Clarets Give Reading The Royal Blues To Stay Top!
Saturday 5th October 2013 @3pm Kick-Off
The Clarets remained at the top of the Championship in style after defeating last season`s Premier League boys, Reading 2-1 at Turf Moor on Saturday and notching up an incredible sixth successive victory. They now enter the international break looking down on all their rivals with 26 points from 11 games. It is their best start to a season since 1961 when they eventually finished runners-up to Ipswich in the old Division One top flight. The victory against the Royals caps off a remarkable week; a week which saw manager Sean Dyche pick up the Sky Bet Championship Manager of the Month award for September and Danny Ings get a call up to the England Under 21 squad. Leicester lost 1-0 away to Doncaster Rovers on Saturday so they are now three points behind the Clarets in third spot but thanks to a Charlie Austin brace QPR keep up the pressure on the Clarets and they are just behind them on goal difference with a game in hand. Our next home game is against QPR so what a six-pointer that could prove to be but first we go to Portman Road in two weeks time after the international break to play Ipswich Town. Against Nigel Adkin`s men on Saturday possibly the strongest opposition at the Turf so far this season, the Clarets played some sublime football and generally impressed throughout the game. A Danny Ings goal in the 21st minute following a Reading defensive blunder gave the Clarets a deserved 1-0 lead at half-time. It looked like Burnley had sealed it when Sam Vokes doubled the advantage after sliding in to score from a narrow angle with ten minutes to go. The customary nervous finish though was ensured when Reading pulled one back two minutes later after an unfortunate Shackell own goal. The Clarets held on though for another excellent three points. It is now eight wins in nine league and cup games The only worry at the end was seeing Trippier down injured after the final whistle had gone. The stretcher was called for but in the end it wasn`t needed. Hopefully he will be OK by the time we are next in action in two weeks time.
As expected, Dean Marney went straight back into the starting eleven after his enforced one-match suspension against Doncaster Rovers in midweek for a fifth yellow card against Charlton at Turf Moor a week last Saturday. This was the only change and we lined-up as follows:
Heaton, Trippier, Shackell, Duff, Mee, Arfield, Marney, Jones, Kightly, Ings, Vokes
Subs: Cisak, Edgar, Stock, Long, Lafferty, Treacy, Stanislas
Full Match Report
Chester referee, Mike Jones got the game underway and it was the Clarets who started the brighter soon putting the Royals under some early pressure. Dean Marney looked threatening charging forward from midfield in these early stages with Reading defending deep and looking a little cautious. A threatening cross from Trippier split the Royals defence with the ball getting in behind the two central defenders and that blunder led to our first goal in the 21st minute. Ings got on the end of the cross to pounce from six yards out and tap the ball home past Royals keeper, Alex McCarthy to notch up his eleventh goal of the season. The Clarets were now playing some sublime football and you could see the belief the team now had in itself. Kightly had a shot blocked and then McCarthy spilled the follow-up from Jones only to grab the ball at the second attempt under pressure from Vokes. Reading did not know what had hit them! An inch-perfect cross from Marney to the far post found Arfield who saw the ball fly just wide of target after heading it back across goal. Eventually the Royals found some composure but they had been lucky to only be one goal down at this stage. Their first real chance only came in the 30th minute though but Heaton was equal to the threat tipping over a looping header from Pogrebnyak in somewhat acrobatic style. He then denied Obita with six minutes of the half remaining saving his long-range effort. The Clarets though turned up the screw again with the half coming to a close. Kightly found Wayne Bridge wanting after nicking the ball off him to find Jones. The impressive midfielder then fed Ings on the edge of the penalty area who unleashed a shot that was just inches wide. 1-0 to the Clarets then at half-time and a lead thoroughly deserved.
Neither side made any changes for the start of the second half and Burnley began the brighter again taking the game once more to the Royals. Ings set-up a two-on-one situation after robbing Alex Pearce but his pass to Arfield could have been stronger. Arfield did manage to get in a right-footed shot after checking his run but McCarthy pulled off a good save after diving low to his left. McCarthy was very much keeping Reading in the game now. The keeper parried a shot from distance from Ings and then from the follow up used his legs after Jones latched onto a pass from Arfield to concede a corner. He didn`t have much time to catch his breath and was in action again as the ball came over. Shackell towered above the rest to head the ball into the danger area and there was Ings looking certain to score from close range with his head. Somehow though, the keeper got his finger tips to the ball to push it round the post. It was a sign of how good we were playing when Adkins decided it was time to make a triple substitution in the 59th minute. It had little effect though and Burnley once again began to dominate proceedings despite a lot of somewhat ineffective Reading possession. On the hour mark, Ings nearly got his brace after latching onto a well-taken flick from his strike colleague, Sam Vokes. The former Bournemouth striker was clear on goal but yet again McCarthy denied the Clarets a second goal saving with his legs. Moments later and the twin strikers were combining well again. Ings should have done better this time after picking up the ball from a Vokes knock-down just twelve yards out. This time he blasted the ball over and Clarets fans were now getting a little anxious with one goal leads never being enough especially with a quarter of the game still remaining. Burnley fans though were soon breathing a sigh of relief when that important second goal finally game with 11 minutes to play. Kightly in the final third managed to get possession back for the Clarets and then Ings took up the mantle getting in a ball behind the flat back four to find Vokes who nonchalantly slotted up. Delirious Clarets fans were soon brought back down to earth though when from nowhere somehow Reading pulled a goal back two minutes later to set up a nervy finish. It was an own goal too after a far post header from Pogrebnyak hit Shackell`s knee to ensure the ball flew into the roof of the net. Reading kept trying but they knew it was game over when in the dying moments of the game Heaton easily mopped up a header from Gunter.
Burnley: Heaton, Trippier, Shackell, Duff, Mee, Arfield, Marney, Jones, Kightly, Ings, Vokes
Subs Not Used: Cisak, Edgar, Stock, Long, Lafferty, Treacy, Stanislas
Goals: Ings 21 Vokes 80
Reading: McCarthy, Gunter, Pearce, Morrison, Bridge, Obita, Baird (Taylor - 58), Guthrie, Robson-Kanu (Blackman - 58), McAnuff(Le Fondre - 59), Pogrebnyak
Subs Not Used: Akpan, Kelly, Federici, Gorkss
Goai: Shackell 82 (og)
Booked: Yellow Cards for McAnuff(45 mins) and Blackman (66 mins)
Possession: 44% Burnley, 56% Reading (Source; BBC Sport)
Ref: Michael Jones (Chester)