Date:Monday March 18 2013
Sunday 17th March 2013 @ 12:30pm Kick-Off
The Clarets long wait for victory over Blackburn Rovers continues following a 1-1 draw at Ewood Park on Sunday in the big East Lancs derby. Once again all the luck went to the team at the opposite end of the M65! Burnley completely dominated this game up until the 65th minute when the referee decided to send Ben Mee off for a second bookable offence. By that stage we were still leading 1-0 thanks to a goal from skipper, Jason Shackell in the 32nd minute; his first for the Clarets. Now the tide turned and Burnley`s defence came under increasing pressure but the back four showed grit, determination and skill holding on until the fifth minute of added time. Clarets hearts though were finally broken in somewhat of a reverse fashion to the game held at Turf Moor back in December! In that earlier clash Sam Vokes saved the day with a late equaliser and now Rovers would do the same to the Clarets. Of course it had to be David Dunn who scored after slotting the ball home at the far post. There was however a hint of offside about the goal and certainly Sean Dyche is now convinced of the fact having seen the replay umpteen times.
In his post-match comments, Dyche said :
'It feels like a result that's been taken away from us by an official's decision. We've had too many of them. We did enough to win the game but a goal that's two yards offside has cost us. I've seen it again and it's clear. What can you do?"
"That is the turning point in a game we deserved three points in and, of course, the bragging rights. The offside goal at that stage of the game is unacceptable, I think.'
The gaffer then added :
"We deserved all three points, regardless if it's offside or not.
'I don't think Blackburn hardly had a chance in the game. I'm very proud of the players and I thought we were excellent. We were creating chances and we never looked like we were in trouble even with the sending off.
'I thought we had a real control of the game. I was pleased with the endeavour with the players and we want to build on that. We've got some good players and they're improving overall.'
In the end Rovers fans may have thought they had the last laugh but can they seriously believe they would have beaten 11 passionate Clarets out there on the pitch and do they seriously believe they played good football? Rovers were in the Premier League last season and expectations were high for an instant return. They must surely have thought too they could beat the Clarets in at least one of the Championship fixtures! They haven`t and are currently in 18th spot only four points off the drop zone albeit with a game in hand. Reality must have set in by now, welcome to the Championship Rovers. Enjoy it while you can since League One seems to be more of a possibility than a return to the top flight.
To be honest a point was pretty much useless to both teams if either still had any ambitions of reaching the play-offs. The Clarets move up to 11th spot, three points ahead of Rovers having played a game more but they are now ten points behind sixth placed club, Leicester. With just eight games now remaining this season, although it is still mathematically possible, Burnley`s chances of finishing in the top six look pretty slim but on the evidence of our superior play yesterday with Rovers looking distinctly average , we could at least finish above them and might just have the joy of seeing them struggle to stay up!
The Team Sheet
In the end, despite only Marney being unavailable for selection, Sean Dyche decided to make just two changes to the line-up that had failed so miserably in our last game at home to Hull City on Monday night. Marvin Bartley started in place of David Edgar who didn`t even make the eighteen whilst Keith Treacy too failed to make even the substitutes bench in what must have been a disappointment for him being unable to feature against his former club. Paterson made a start after being an unused sub against Hull lining up in attack with Austin. Bartley was given the task of playing in front of the back four so perhaps a bit more of a defensive midfield role than normal!
In summary then the starting eleven was:
Grant, Trippier, Duff, Shackell, Mee, McCann, Wallace, Kacaniklic, Bartley, Paterson, Austin
On the bench we had Jensen, Lafferty, Long, Stanislas, Stock, Vokes and Ings.
Full Match Report
Rovers fans of course continually like to remind Clarets fans that we haven`t beaten Rovers in over 34 years although let`s face it we have only played them ten times since 1979 including yesterdays battle at Ewood Park ! A win though is sadly overdue but we will now have to wait until next season unless Rovers fail in their attempt to avoid relegation to League 1. This season of course the 'bragging rights` have been shared with two 1-1 draws although you could argue that`s a better statistic for the Clarets considering Rovers were a Premier League club last season. The coach ritual once again proved to be a bugbear with fans having to stand in the rain until we were allowed to board. Sitting for ages before the coach set-off was a pain too both there and back and of course we arrived miles too early at Ewood Park. With over an hour to kill, the only alternative was to get crushed queuing for over-priced beer on the concourse or venture into the away end and suffer loud, large screen entertainment (NOT!) of how wonderful Rovers were (NOT!). Couldn`t they just play music instead of riling up the fans? Burnley fans of course again came in their numbers only to see what wonderful support Rovers had (NOT!) even for a local derby of this magnitude! There were a huge number of blue seats clearly visible in the home stands allowing Burnley fans to sing the 'Ground is too big for you`. A lighter moment, it was in an otherwise tense, pot-boiling atmosphere. I am not a big advocate of these 'bubble` games and heavy police presence but that is never going to change if idiots start wrecking the place by pulling up seats and vandalising the toilets! These morons just bring a bad name for the club and make the coach trips (very uncomfortable at that,) almost inevitable! Those groups such as Clarets Trust (and indeed no doubt Rovers Trust) trying to negotiate with the Police to make the day out more pleasurable for all face an uphill battle thanks to these mindless twerps on both sides of the M65! Anyway rant over back to the game...
Essex referee, Andy D`Urso was given the unenviable task of trying to control the derby game on a reasonably pleasant day in East Lancs. It was a little bit cold with the snow failing to threaten as the game got underway. I did notice there was more snow on the Blackburn side than Burnley but then when hell freezes over we will know who gets it first! Well anyway the derby started in typical fashion and Ross Wallace was soon earning a lecture from the referee after a somewhat blatant foul on Martin Olson before Austin, in Burnley`s first real attack of the game sent shudders through the home stands in the eight minute. His shot on the turn though flew over the top. Now the best part of the game was upon us following the arrival of a chicken which was somehow released on the pitch. I remember Turf Moor having problems catching dogs on the pitch in the 70s, but hell you ever tried to catch a chicken in the tenties? Well it kind of relieved the tension as the referee watched in amazement (as well as his watch) with stewards round the ground trying to catch the blighter! No wonder there were four minutes added time at the end of the first half! Oh well, it was finally caught and then we all had to remember there was a job to be done! It was Burnley again; looking bright and determined that nearly got their noses in front! With just nineteen minutes on the clock, Burnley carved up the Rovers defence down the right allowing Mee to provide an inch-perfect pass to Alex Kacaniklic via a Chris McCann dummy. The on loan Fulham winger cut the ball back neatly to Paterson who unleashed a shot that looked certain to break the deadlock until Rovers keeper, Jake Kean somehow managed to turn the ball over the bar. Next up was that corner routine that I don`t remember seeing in sometime! You know the one? This time it was Duff who dummied the Wallace low corner only for Austin to make a right hash of things by blasting well-over. It was all Burnley by this stage with the home contingent remarkably quiet! Even the empty blue seats were making more noise! Wallace then further tested the in-form keeper by getting in a 30-yard shot that dipped towards target. Somehow though Kean saved the danger but it wasn`t long after before Clarets fans were in ecstasy. In the 32nd minute, Wallace put over a superb free-kick to accurately find Jason Shackell. The skipper`s first attempt was headed against the foot of the post but he collected the rebound and thumped the ball home from close range to make it 1-0 Clarets! Now Ewood Park really was Deadwood Park apart from the away end! Rovers simply had no answer and were being outplayed! The Clarets almost made it 2-0 six minutes after getting their noses in front when Wallace nearly scored from a direct free kick from 25 yards out. His curling effort though following a foul by Hanley on Paterson, clipped the post with the keeper well-beaten. Burnley had quite simply dominated the first half playing with passion and determination. Rovers fans had very little to cheer about and were clearly getting agitated. The only chance Rovers had in the first 45 minutes was a shot from distance by Dunn towards the end of the half. The ball flew harmlessly over the bar and the Clarets went into the break feeling well-pleased by their performance; a sentiment echoed by the delighted away following.
Rovers gaffer, Michael Appleton had to do something at half-time for the start of the second and elected to bring on Josh Morris in place of Leon Best. It made little difference with Burnley continuing to dominate. A shot by Rhodes that flew harmlessly over the bar from distance did little to rattle Burnley`s composure and confidence. We were on top and looking the most likely to get the second goal until the 65th minute when we were reduced to ten men. Left-back, Ben Mee had already been yellow carded for a foul on Dunn in the 58th minute but seven minutes later he was adjudged to have got in a late tackle on Hanley after trying to contend with a bobbling ball on a quite frankly awful, disgraceful pitch at Ewood Park! It was red and now predictably the Clarets were under the cosh with Rovers now sensing they had a chance, one they would never have had against eleven Burnley players! Sean Dyche was then forced into making a substitution anyway with Wallace also limping off so it made logical sense to bring on Lafferty to fill the now vacant left back spot. Rovers though were now pumping balls into the box and the Clarets were finding it difficult to clear their lines! Even when they did, balls came back in with interest! Burnley held on and held on but just couldn`t find the momentum to relieve the pressure and mount their own attacks. Austin was visibly tiring by now so it was time for fresh legs, Ings and Vokes both came on in the space of three minutes but it made little difference. Rovers continued to pummel the Burnley goal but we were holding on until a ridiculous six minutes of added time was announced (where did that come from, the ghost of Jack Walker?) Even then we looked like we might hold on to a famous victory at Ewood Park for the first time since 1979 but once again it wasn`t to be when in the fifth minute of added time up popped our nemesis, David Dunn to gleefully score from an offside position and ruin what looked like being a perfect day for all Clarets fans! Coming back on the coach (or more accurately double-decker bus) watching the laughable Rovers fans celebrate with so much glee you would have thought they had won the Premier League title! Actually, they didn`t even win this game against ten men so I hope they remember that when they trawl out the boring 34 year statistic!
Blackburn Rovers: Kean, Mn Olsson (Nuno Gomes - 87), Dann, Kane, G Hanley, Lowe, Dunn, Stewart, Jones, Best (Morris - 46), Rhodes
Subs Not Used: Sandomierski, Givet, Rekik, Pedersen, Williamson
Goals: Dunn 90 + 5
Booked: Yellow cards for Hanley (37) and Dann (79)
Burnley: Grant, Trippier, Duff, Shackell, Mee, McCann, Wallace (Lafferty - 70), Kacaniklic, Bartley, Paterson (Vokes - 84), Austin (Ings - 81)
Subs Not Used: Jensen, Long, Stanislas, Stock
Goals: Shackell 32
Booked: Red card for Mee (65) for second bookable offence following yellow card (58), Yellow card for Austin (44)
Possession: 50% Blackburn Rovers, 50% Burnley (Source: BBC Sport)
Ref: Andy D'Urso (Essex
Date:Monday March 18 2013
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