Burnley Top of World, Well At Least Championship!
Tuesday 1st October 2013 @7:45pm Kick-Off
Somehow and pinch yourself, Burnley are top of the Championship for the first time since August 2006! Last night they defeated Doncaster Rovers at the Keepmoat 2-0 and at the moment they can simply do no wrong! They have 23 points from 10 games now and leapfrogged QPR who do not play in midweek into top spot, on goal difference having now played a game more. Leicester also have 23 points from 10 games and are third. Incredibly this season they have now won seven of their 10 league games (four of them on the road), drawing two and losing only one. The Clarets have also won five games in a row in all competitions to proudly sit at the top of the Championship and be in the last sixteen of the Capital One Cup. Our amazing season so far has surprised many fans and pundits who had Burnley down more for a relegation battle this season! It is certainly some achievement for Sean Dyche who has got the team to gell well together, support each other and play with both confidence and motivation. Long may it last! A Sam Vokes penalty in first-half added time gave the Clarets a deserved 1-0 lead at half-time. That`s seven for the season so far for Sam, who quite frankly is revitalised this season now he is being given the chance to play up front with strike partner, Danny Ings. The pair have formed a strong bond and understanding, between them notching up 17 goals so far this season adequately it seems making up for the loss of 28 goal top scorer last season, Charlie Austin. In the 87th minute, Trippier looked to have scored to make it 2-0 to the Clarets. Media reports however appear to be crediting it as an own goal by Rob Jones after the ball bounced off him into the net via the post following Trippier`s cross. Who cares, they all count and the final whistle sent 1385 Clarets fans home deliriously happy! Sean Dyche said after the game:
'When you're top of the league you naturally come over the radar, but we're happy to be a competitive side.
'The obvious challenge is there are bigger clubs with bigger budgets but they don't have a guaranteed license to have success. We can be successful, especially if we keep delivering.
'The secret is, how many times can we do it over a season? We have to keep working every day. At the minute, we have to be relentless and as a group, we want to be relentless.'
Dean Marney was sidelined after picking up an automatic one match suspension for a fifth yellow against Charlton at Turf Moor on Saturday and the big debate was who would replace him. It was either going to be David Edgar or former Doncaster Rovers midfielder, Brian Stock and in the end Edgar got the nod. Dyche made just this one forced change to the starting eleven. Long and Noble were named on the bench with O`Neill losing out. In summary then we lined-up as follows:
Heaton, Trippier, Shackell, Duff, Mee, Arfield, Edgar, Jones, Kightly, Vokes, Ings
Subs: Cisak, Lafferty, Stock, Long, Stanislas, Treacy, Noble
Full Match Report
Wiltshire referee, Roger East got the game underway and it was the hosts who made the livelier start putting the Clarets under some early pressure. Rovers have been boosted by the recent loan signing of Manchester United striker Federico Macheda and the Italian was soon testing the Burnley keeper after controlling the ball following a Coppinger cross to head for the near post. Heaton though was equal to the danger saving well. At this stage the Clarets seemed lacklustre and were finding it difficult to mount any sort of attack. In the first 15 minutes only Ben Mee tested the keeper following a shot from distance but it was 'easy meat 'for Donny stopper, Ross Turnbull. Gradually though Burnley began to get in the game more-and-more. Ten minutes before half-time, Ings picked up a cross from Mee and was given a free header from 12 yards out but the ball sailed safely into the keeper`s arms. Another Ben Mee cross this time found Vokes but a flicked header from a Doncaster defender saved the home side`s blushes at least temporarily. One minute before the break, Ings got the better of Rob Jones beating him for pace to get to the edge of the box before Turnbull got in a crucial touch to deny the former Bournemouth stiker`s eleventh goal of the season. It looked like the game was heading for a goalless score line as the match entered first half added time. Vokes though on the right of the box was then tripped as he tried to find some space and the referee had no hesitation pointing to the spot. The Welshman was clearly up for taking the penalty himself and coolly slotted home into the bottom corner of the net after sending Turnbull the wrong way. What a time to take the lead and it must surely have deflated the home team as they slumped off to the dressing room now 1-0 down. It was not a great half to be honest with little action but it was the Clarets at least who got the vital breakthrough
Neither manager made any changes for the start of the second half and it was the Clarets who began to impress the most from the restart. Just before the hour mark Burnley nearly doubled their advantage after Vokes put Rob Jones under pressure following a low cross from Tripper. Jones breathed a sigh of relief though after seeing his attempt to clear the danger flash past the post. The Clarets were containing the home side now but there was a scare when danger man Macheda found himself in acres of space with a quarter of the game remaining. The ball was loose in the area and Macheda swung at it but thankfully it was embarrassingly skied, high and wide. A defensive blunder by Rovers right back, Quinn allowed Kightly to rob the ball off him with just 18 minutes to play. He then charged into the box clear on goal and should have tried to score himself. Instead he decided to try and pass the ball to Ings, square across goal but a defender got in the way. The ball was then immediately down the other end, Heaton saving from Macheda after he found space in the box to shoot from a tight angle. Jones then headed just over from another Rovers attack. The Clarets though finally put the game to bed with just three minutes remaining. It came from a typical low cross drilled in from Trippier after the right back had charged down the right and into the box. The ball hit the post only to cannon off Rob Jones into the back of the net to make it 2-0 and another memorable victory !
Doncaster Rovers: Turnbull, Jones, Khumalo, Husband, Quinn, Coppinger, Wellens, Keegan (Robinson - 75), Cotterill (Duffy - 59), Brown, Macheda
Subs Not Used: Bennett, Maxted, Wabara, McCullough, Furman
Booked: Yellow Cards for Macheda (28 mins) and Coppinger (34 mins)
Burnley: Heaton, Trippier, Shackell, Duff, Mee, Arfield, Edgar, Jones, Kightly (Treacy - 88), Vokes, Ings (Stock-93)
Subs Not Used: Cisak, Lafferty, Long, Stanislas, Noble
Goals: Vokes 45+1 (pen), Jones og 87
Booked: Yellow Card for Shackell (82 mins)
Possession: 49% Doncaster, 51% Burnley (Source: BBC Sport)
Ref: Roger East (Wiltshire)