Date:Monday December 9 2013
Saturday 7th December 2013 @3 pm Kick-Off
The Clarets moved back to the top of the Championship on Saturday after beating bottom club, Barnsley 1-0 at Turf Moor. At times this was a less than convincing performance with the Clarets seemingly unable to break down a dogged Tykes defence until Michael Kightly broke the deadlock with a superb goal, his first for the Clarets in the 65th minute. Barnsley indeed enjoyed the lion`s share of possession by the end of the game (60% in fact) and looked threatening on the break and you certainly would not have thought the Yorkshire club were struggling at the foot of the table. Promoted clubs though do tend to have some luck and the ability to pick up points from pretty lacklustre performances. This was one of those days, helped by the fact that our nearest rivals also had an off day. Blackburn (no doubt inadvertently!) did the Clarets a favour by holding QPR to a 0-0 draw at Loftus Road whilst Leicester were convincingly beaten 3-1 away to Brighton. Those results allowed Burnley to leapfrog both to regain top spot. The Clarets now lead QPR on goal difference (five goal cushion) with both on 39 points from 19 games. Leicester are now third just a point behind setting up an intriguing game next Saturday when the Foxes play the Clarets in the King Power Stadium in the Sky Sports live televised game (Kick-Off: 12:15pm)
The good news for Clarets fans was that Danny Ings passed a late fitness test to make the starting eleven but Dean Marney still remained sidelined with a groin injury. The Clarets line-up had a familiar feel to it with Brian Stock once again lining up in midfield in Marney`s absence. The eighteen then was as follows:
Heaton, Trippier, Duff, Shackell, Mee, Arfield, Jones, Stock, Kightly, Vokes, Ings
Subs: Cisak, Lafferty, Long, Edgar, Hewitt, Stanislas, Noble
Full Match Report
Nottinghamshire referee, James Adcock got the game underway and it was the Clarets who started the brighter of the two teams nearly taking the lead within two minutes. Sam Vokes on a charge though did not shoot with enough welly and the ball tamely flew wide of target. Tykes` keeper, Jack Butland then made a hash of things after racing out of goal only to scuff his clearance. Vokes from 30 yards out tried to volley the keeper but the ball frustratingly flew just inches away from the goal. The Barnsley keeper in these early stages was being kept busy and he came to their rescue again after denying David Jones following a drive from the midfielder on the edge of the box. Barnsley though having survived the initial onslaught now seemed to settle into the game and gradually began to dominate possession and put the Clarets under some surprise pressure. Burnley though just seemed to mop up any danger and indeed it was the Clarets who came close to breaking the deadlock following a trademark right-wing cross from Trippier. Ings was there attempting to flick the ball into the net with his head but once again the ball flew frustratingly wide. Moments later though, the visitors had their best chance to take the lead. A superb pass allowed Tomasz Cywka to split the centre of our defence before Heaton was alert enough to pull off a superb block and deny the Polish midfielder. The Clarets had the last say of the half when Arfield raced forward only to drive his shot just over the bar.
Both managers decided to not make any changes for the start of the second half and the play followed a similar pattern to the first. Ings, ten minutes from the re-start looked to be in the clear after shrugging off challenges to get inside the box but Tom Kennedy lunged forward superbly to block the attempt. Kightly linked well with Trippier and the neat one-two led to the winger cutting into the box from the byline and putting over a low delivery that whizzed across the face of goal only to be cleared by the last defender on the line. In the 65th minute though, Clarets fans finally breathed a sigh of relief when the Clarets at long last got their noses in front. It was a superb goal too with Trippier and Kightly again involved. Trippier managed to beat his man and square the ball to the former Wolves striker. Kightly gave his marker short shrift before unleashing a curling left-footed shot that flew sweetly past Butland into the top corner of the net. The winger celebrated in style with his team mates after scoring his first goal in a Claret & Blue shirt and the relief around the ground from the home contingent was clearly felt after a pretty frustrating afternoon. There was no time for the Clarets to relax though and Barnsley were not done yet. Heaton denied Cywka following a free kick from distance and the Tykes always looked like they could still spoil the party. A late offside flag though denied Vokes his eleventh goal of the season after the Welshman scuffed the ball into the net with thirteen minutes to play. It was Vokes again who came close to making it game over for the Tykes when his 25 yard shot flew just wide of the keeper`s left hand post. In the 80th minute, Arfield went on a mazy run only to shoot straight at the keeper and that was it really. The rest of the game had no real scares for the Clarets .Victory and another vital three points following the final whistle allowed the team to celebrate their 10th clean sheet of the campaign and regain their rightful place at the top of the Championship table. Bring on the Foxes!
Burnley: Heaton, Trippier, Duff, Shackell, Mee, Arfield, Jones, Stock (Edgar - 76), Kightly (Stanislas - 86) Vokes, Ings
Subs Not Used: Cisak, Lafferty, Long, Hewitt, Noble
Goal: Kightly 65
Booked: Yellow Card for Stanislas (90+4 mins)
Barnsley: Butland, Wiseman, Kennedy, Perkins, Cranie, Ramage, Mellis, Etuhu (Scotland - 69), Tudgay, Cywka (O'Brien - 76), McCourt (Pedersen - 83)
Subs Not Used: Hassell, Dawson, Mvoto, Fox
Booked: Yellow Card for Tudgay (54 mins)
Possession: 40% Burnley, 60% Barnsley (Source: BBC Sport)
Ref: James Adcock (Nottinghamshire)
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Date:Monday December 9 2013
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