Clarets Relegation Fears Ease with Win over Robins
Saturday 6th April 2013 @3pm Kick-Off
The Clarets at long last won on home soil to defeat bottom club, Bristol City 3-1 on Saturday. Burnley went into this game without a win at home in six matches and whilst a number of draws and better performances away from home had kept the Clarets in mid-table , clubs winning below us suddenly left Burnley just four points clear of the relegation zone going into Saturday`s game. A defeat was unthinkable and boy did we need three points from this clash. Surely we could succeed against a side propping up the Championship table, seven points adrift of safety? Well you could say we made hard work of things to be honest but it all came good in the end! Things looked a bit bleak when City took the lead on 35 minutes after Adomah scored to give the Robins a 1-0 lead at half-time. Shackell though equalised for the Clarets on 52 minutes with McCann nine minutes later putting Burnley ahead 2-1. Bristol City were not down and out yet though and it might have been a different story had Grant not pulled off a great save to deny Steve Davies an equaliser from the penalty spot in the 83rd minute. The miss seemed to take the stuffing out of the Robins and it was over for them when substitute Martin Paterson made it 3-1 at the end of normal time. The victory sees the Clarets move up to 11th spot now comfortably seven points clear of the drop zone. Who are third from bottom? Well none other than Blackburn Rovers who lost 3-2 away to Sheffield Wednesday and they are right in the middle of a relegation dogfight now trying to avoid their second demotion in two seasons running. Aw bless what a shame!! Burnley now have five games left and a maximum fifteen points to play for. The Clarets on 54 points are eight points behind the sixth placed club, Brighton so at the moment both the play-offs and relegation remain a mathematical possibility although mid-table looks the most likely scenario.
Sean Dyche made just two changes from the starting eleven that lined-up against Nottingham Forest on Easter Monday. Dean Marney made a return after recovering from injury with Marvin Bartley dropping back to the bench. Joseph Mills also lined up at left back in the absence of the injured Ben Mee to make his first start since the Birmingham away game on December 22nd. In summary then we lined-up as follows :
Grant, Trippier, Shackell, Long, Mills, Wallace, McCann, Marney, Stanislas, Vokes, Austin
Subs: Jensen, Lafferty, Edgar, Kacaniklic, Bartley, Ings, Paterson
Full Match Report
Nottinghamshire referee, James Adcock got this match underway on a pleasant, bright Spring-like day in Burnley. The Clarets were the quickest out of the blocks with the Robins looking distinctly shaky and the home side were nearly one nil up within 90 seconds. A deft flick on by Austin found Vokes ideally placed 12 yards from goal but his attempt failed. Robins` keeper, Tom Heaton had to come to his side`s rescue not once but twice first to deny Austin following a low cross from Vokes and then to somehow keep out Austin`s downward header from a Wallace cross after diving at full stretch. It was all Burnley at this stage and they looked in control when Marney unleashed a 30 yard curling shot that flew just wide with the keeper this time beaten. In the 19th minute, Vokes turned his marksman to shoot across goal with the ball flying just over the angle.
How many times this season have we had the possession and failed to make it count? It looked like another one of those days when City totally against the run of play got their noses in front just past the half-hour mark. Steve Davies was the architect after threading through the ball to find Adomah. His pace was far too good for Joseph Mills as he charged towards goal to round Lee Grant and slot the ball home through Mills legs! Surely the unthinkable couldn`t happen could it, 1-0 to the bottom club in the division despite having the lion`s share of possession by some distance? Burnley came back fighting and seven minutes from the end of the first half, Austin`s header from a Wallace corner stubbornly flew over the bar. Stanislas too had the chance to equalise towards the end of the half but Heaton easily coped with the winger`s curling shot from the left side of the box and Burnley went in 1-0 down at half-time
What was needed now was some cool heads on the pitch in the second half and thankfully that`s what we got with no sign of panic or downheartedness. The same side trotted out without any changes and within six minutes from the re-start Burnley had equalised. It was a Stanislas in-swinging corner that did the damage for the Robins. As the ball came over from the left it looked to have deceived everybody before Shackell headed the ball home from just inside the far post. Now the Clarets began to turn the screw with both a flicked header from Vokes and a McCann half-volley keeping Heaton busy. Bristol City though still had fuel in the tank and nearly caught the Clarets out on the break only for Davies to fire his shot across goal after finding space in the box. Just past the hour mark though, it was delight and relief for Clarets fans when Burnley took the lead in the 61st minute. It was Wallace on a run from the centre circle who started the charge eventually releasing the ball to Trippier on the right flank. A typically accurate cross from the right back, allowed McCann to chest the ball down before shooting from eight yards out to give the Clarets a 2-1 lead. Could that be it now? Could we be on track for our first win since January 12th? The answer looked like an emphatic 'no` when a less than impressive Mills needlessly brought down Adomah close to the by-line in the 83rd minute. Following discussions with the assistant the two officials decided it was inside the box and a penalty was awarded. Davies thumped the ball high and it looked to be going into the top right hand corner of the net until Grant sprung into action after guessing correctly to somehow save the day at full stretch. The Robins were now a spent force and it was game over for them when Burnley made it 3-1 in the 91st minute. Paterson who had come on from the bench to replace Vokes in the 84th minute tried to head the ball home from a Trippier cross but it took a deflection. The ball fell nicely into his path though and he thumped the ball into the back of the net to send all Clarets fans home happy for the first time in seven long games.
Burnley: Grant, Trippier, Shackell, Long, Mills, Wallace (Ings - 90), McCann, Marney, Stanislas, Vokes (Paterson - 84), Austin
Subs Not Used: Jensen, Lafferty, Edgar, Kacaniklic, Bartley Goals: Shackell 52, McCann 61, Paterson 90
Booked: Yellow Cards for Marney (32), Wallace (81) and Paterson (90+5)
Bristol City: Heaton, Fontaine, Cunningham, Moloney, Bates, Kelly (Kilkenny - 78'), Pearson (Howard - 84'), Anderson, Elliott, Adomah, Davies
Subs Not Used: Gerken, Foster, M.Wilson, Carey, J.Wilson
Goal: Adomah 35
Booked; Yellow Card for Adomah (23)
Possession: 52% Burnley, 48% Bristol City (Source: BBC Sport)
Ref: James Adcock (Nottinghamshire)