Burnley Wobble in Huddersfield!
John Smiths Stadium
Saturday 30th November 2013 @3pm Kick-Off
The Clarets were knocked off top spot by Leicester on Saturday after going down 2-1 to Huddersfield Town in a controversial game at the John Smiths Stadium. Let`s be honest this was a poor performance especially in the first half. Our midfield capitulated and Burnley were lucky to go into the break with the score still 0-0! You can see how dire it was with Sean Dyche making two changes for the start of the second half. How often do we make any change at half-time, let alone two? We started looking a lot brighter in the second half though until a double whammy from the hosts over a five minute spell meant the Terriers were leading 2-0 after 55 minutes. Norwood put the hosts ahead before a penalty five minutes later was slotted home by Vaughan to double their lead. The penalty was somewhat controversial and to be honest the referee was shocking at times but that`s no excuse for a generally lacklustre performance from the Clarets. Burnley to give them their due did try and come back fighting but it was too little, too late despite Danny Ings pulling a goal back with six minutes of normal time remaining. Another six minutes of added time gave Clarets fans hope but it went from bad to worse when Duff was sent off for a second bookable offence four minutes into added time. The defeat brings to an end the unbeaten run which before the match against the Terriers stood at 12 league games. The glass half empty types might now point out that in fact we have not won a game in four matches following three successive draws and now a defeat. Indeed that would be five games if you also include being knocked out of the Capital One Cup by West Ham. This is not the time to panic though, we were always going to lose sometime and now we have to see how the team react with two home games coming up against Watford on Tuesday night and Barnsley the following Saturday. Let`s hope we can come back stronger and regain that top spot! The Clarets are now second on 35 points from 17 games, three points behind Leicester who beat Millwall 3-0 at home on Saturday. It could have been worse but thankfully QPR lost 2-1 away to Doncaster to remain behind Burnley on goal difference.
Dean Marney was still deemed unfit to start thanks to a troublesome groin injury so David Edgar retained his spot in centre midfield. There were in fact no changes to the starting eleven that lined up against Nottingham Forest at the City Ground a week last Saturday. In summary then the eighteen was as follows :
Heaton, Trippier, Shackell, Duff, Mee, Kightly, Edgar , Jones, Arfield, Ings, Vokes
Subs: Cisak, Lafferty, Long, Stock, Stanislas, Treacy, Hewitt
Full Match Report
3,639 Burnley fans in the end made the journey across the Pennines hoping to see their team keep their unbeaten run going. Huddersfield Town though had other ideas and looked by far the brighter team in the early stages of the game. Burnley were lucky not to be two goals down in the first five minutes. Oliver Norwood attempted a shot from 25 yards out that flew wide before Tom Heaton saved superbly to deny James Vaughan following a vicious volley. The Clarets looked shell-shocked, couldn`t get in the game and the midfield were hapless as the Terriers took control. In the 9th minute, Heaton once again saved the day after chasing out of goal to deny Vaughan once more after the former Everton striker had chested down the ball to get in behind Trippier. Burnley just couldn`t seem to mount any meaningful attack with our midfield looking totally ineffective. Ings though nearly got clear of the hosts three-man defence but a tackle prevented him heading towards goal. Huddersfield got their best chance so far to get their noses in front in the 13th minute. Both sets of fans had just sportingly given applause for young Burnley fan Henry Tattersall, who tragically died earlier this week when ex-Clarets striker Martin Paterson got on the end of a left wing cross to head the ball against the post. Danny ings should have done better in a rare Burnley attack midway through the half following a characteristic, right wing deep cross from Trippier. His side-footed volley though flew high over the bar. There was nothing much else for Clarets fans to cheer in the reminder of the half with the hosts once again turning the screw and easily winning the midfield battle. Vaughan came close with an acrobatic attempt at the near post before then blazing over the bar from just eight yards out following a well-taken cross from Norwood with eleven minutes of the half remaining. Somehow the Clarets survived the onslaught as the half-time whistle finally went. There would certainly be some thinking to do by Sean Dyche at the break.
It was clear our midfield set-up was just not working so it was no surprise to see a double substitution in that department before the start of the second half. David Edgar was replaced by Brian Stock in the centre of midfield and Junior Stanislas came on to replace Kightly in an effort to try and liven up our wing play. Although we looked somewhat sharper, the Clarets got the stuffing kicked out of them after ten minutes when they were rocked by two goals over a five minute spell. Burnley had just failed to take the lead when Vokes picked up a cross from Stanislas only to shoot wide before disaster struck. Norwood belted the ball from 30 yards out after a corner had been cut back to him and Heaton looked to have it covered. The ball though bounced to deceive the keeper and it finished up in the back of the net to give the hosts the deserved lead. It looked like curtains for the Clarets four minutes later when the referee awarded Huddersfield a dubious penalty. Replays clearly show that not only did Michael Duff not handle the ball with his arm but that he was in any case outside the area! The linesman though convinced the referee otherwise and the penalty was awarded. Vaughan made no mistake from the spot after deceiving Heaton by commiting him to dive whilst pausing his run up before slotting home. Only now did the Clarets turn up the heat and it all seemed rather too late but at least the visiting fans now had something to cheer about. Vokes neatly set-up ings with a cushioned header and his volley looked to be rising on target until Smithies pulled off a spectacular save to deny the England Under 21 striker. The Burnley fans were incensed when the referee again seemed to make the wrong decision this time refusing to award the Clarets a penalty after Ings appeared to have his heels clipped in the box. Instead the referee penalised ings for pushing and awarded the Terriers a free kick; much to the anger of the visitors end! A mad scramble in the Huddersfield six yard box followed after Vokes nearly took advantage of a defensive blunder but the hosts survived. They survived again too when Burnley got the ball in the back of the net after Vokes latched onto a low cross from Stanislas with 13 minutes of the game remaining. Luckily for the home side, the referee adjudged the Welshman to be offside and now our hopes of a fight back looked unlikely! There was some hope though six minutes from time when finally the Clarets reduced the arrears and pulled a goal back. Ings raced clear following a Vokes pass to score his 15th goal of the season and set up an intriguing finale. It wasn`t to be though even with six minutes of added time and it got even worse for the Clarets when Duff was sent-off for a second bookable offence after bringing down James Vaughan. That last act sealed a miserable day out for all Clarets fans and now we all have to see if Burnley have developed the bouncebackability factor with two home games now on the horizon! Let`s hope so!
Huddersfield Town: Smithies, Hammill (Woods - 87), Dixon, Lynch, Gerrard, Smith, Norwood, Hogg, Vaughan, Paterson (Ward - 74), Clayton Subs Not Used: Bennett, Scannell, Gobern, Wallace, Holmes
Goals: Norwood 50, Vaughan 55 (pen)
Booked: Yellow card for Clayton (90 + 5 mins)
Burnley: Heaton, Trippier, Duff, Shackell, Mee, Arfield (Treacy - 88), Edgar (Stock - 46), Jones, Kightly (Stanislas - 46), Ings, Vokes
Subs Not Used: Cisak, Lafferty, Long, Hewitt
Goal: Ings 84
Booked: Yellow card for Vokes (77 mins) and Duff (54 mins). Duff sent off for second bookable offence (90 + 4 mins)
Possession: 50% Huddersfield, 50% Burnley (Source: BBC Sport)
Ref: Eddie Ilderton (Tyne & Wear)