Well Earned Point Not Enough in Wigan!
Sunday 29th December 2013 @3pm Kick-Off
The Clarets dropped out of the top two following a well-earned point in a 0-0 draw against Wigan in the DW Stadium on Sunday. It was the last game of 2013 and Burnley are now third in the table, four points behind league leaders, Leicester who came out on top 5-3 in the eight goal thriller at the King Power Stadium against Bolton. Derby too got back to winning ways after beating lowly Barnsley 2-1 at Oakwell to lead Burnley in second place on goal difference. The Clarets best chance against Wigan came in a pivotal moment in the last minute of the first half. Former Wigan midfielder David Jones hit a fierce strike which was pushed on to the bar following an incredible save by goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi. Other than that there were few chances created by either team in the stalemate and a draw was probably a fair result. You would have taken a point against Uwe Rosler`s men before kick-off but it does now mean that the Clarets have only won twice in the last ten games although that spell does also include six draws with only two defeats. It has been a tough Christmas with two away games and only one point to show for it! Clearly we need to get back on track in our next match and get 2014 off to a good start on New Year`s Day this Wednesday when we face Huddersfield at Turf Moor.
Ben Mee again missed out with a thigh strain, so Danny Lafferty once more lined-up at left back. Sean Dyche made just one change to the starting eleven with Keith Treacy coming in to replace Michael Kightly who had to be content with a place on the bench. In summary then the line-up was as follows :
Heaton, Trippier, Shackell, Duff, Lafferty, Treacy, Marney, Jones, Arfield, Ings, Vokes
Subs: Cisak, Stock, Long, Edgar, Stanislas, Hewitt, Kightly
Full Match Report
Chester referee, Mike Jones got the derby underway and it was former Clarets midfielder, Chris McCann who had the first attempt to open the scoring. He got on the end of a deep cross from Stephen Crainey only to see his powerful header hacked away by Trippier at the near post. A break by Jordi Gomez from midfield then led to Leon Barnett attempting an angled drive but Heaton was there to claw away the ball. At long last in the 28th minute, 4857 Clarets fans who had made the journey to the land of the pie-eaters, had something to cheer about when Burnley finally got on the front foot to put the Wigan defence under some pressure. It was Sam Vokes who nearly opened the scoring for the visitors after Trippier had cleverly lifted a ball from just inside the Wigan half. Lunging forward, Vokes made contact with his head only for Wigan keeper, Al Habsi to turn the ball round the post. Burnley just couldn`t seem to get the better of Wigan`s 3-5-2 formation and struggled to mount any meaningful attacks with the first-half clock kicking down. Then suddenly in stoppage half, the best chance to break the deadlock fell to Burnley. A neat reverse pass by Treacy set Trippier on a charge before he cut back the ball to Jones. The former Wigan midfielder unleashed a ferocious shot and the rising drive looked to be sailing into the back of the net until Al Habsi pulled off a remarkable save after somehow turning the ball onto the face of the crossbar. There were some forlorn appeals that the ball had crossed the line but it clearly had not. It was left to Leon Barnett to clear the danger inside the six-yard box with Danny Ings ready to pounce. The only other story to report from the first half was the controversy over Duff`s yellow card in the 25th minute. Duff at full stretch looked to have got in a perfectly timed challenge on James McArthur to clear the ball but instead the referee harshly adjudged the tackle to be a foul and flashed a yellow card at Duff. The poor decision might have been made worse had Gomez`s free kick gone in instead of curling just inches wide. The booking looked even harsher when he later brought down former team mate, Chris McCann. With the referee racing towards the centre back, visiting fans held their breath fearing the worst half-expecting a sending off for a second bookable offence. Luckily the referee just gave Duff a verbal ticking off perhaps feeling guilty over the first booking. Although the first half was competitive, it was a relatively poor half by the Clarets with the wingers not in the game and the two strikers up front consequently looking pretty isolated.
There were no changes by either manager for the start of the second-half. Both sides struggled to make any impact It was becoming a tight game and even fewer chances were created in the second-half. Burnley had one chance midway through the second period on the break following a low cross from Lafferty. Danny Ings though, who had been pretty quiet for most of the game could not control the ball and his shot flew wide. In the end neither team could break the deadlock and had to be content with a goalless draw. You could argue the referee was a bit of a homer but in the end a draw was probably a fair result. Burnley`s wait for their first win in Wigan let alone in the DW Stadium continues but a point is a point and most Clarets fans would have taken that at the start of the game. On a positive note, the defence held firm again! Burnley have only conceded 16 goals all season which is something to build on as we enter the New Year.
Wigan: Al Habsi, Boyce , Ramis, Barnett, Crainey, McArthur, Perch, McCann (Kiernan-83), Powell, Fortune (McClean-54), Gomez (Espinoza-77)
Subs Not Used: Nicholls, Holt, McManaman, Dicko
Booked: Yellow Card for Powell (63)
Burnley: Heaton, Trippier, Shackell, Duff (Long-83), Lafferty, Treacy (Kightly-77), Marney, Jones, Arfield, Ings, Vokes
Subs Not Used: Cisak, Edgar, Stock, Stanislas, Hewitt
Booked: Yellow Card for Duff(25)
Possession: 62% Wigan, 38% Burnley (Source: BBC Sport)
Ref: Michael Jones (Chester)