Burnley Enjoy Forest Picnic!
Saturday 22nd February 2014 @3pm Kick-Off
Nottingham`s Forest was felled in no uncertain terms on Saturday by the Clarets. Billy Davies` men had not lost a league game in fourteen matches but they were no match for Burnley who pulled them apart in the first half and were 3-0 up by the 35th minute. This was a superb display of direct, sweet passing football by the Clarets and probably one of the most impressive halves so far this season! Forest may have had excuses whinging about a shed load of injuries, including influential skipper, Andy Reid who was a late casualty but Burnley turned up the heat with a show of sheer class. Scott Arfield started the rout with a goal from the edge of the box in the 12th minute. Sam Vokes made it 2-0 in the 25th minute after heading home at the far post and ten minutes later he notched up his brace and eighteenth goal of the season with a deflected shot past the keeper. Forest were somewhat stronger in the second half but they had a mountain to climb despite getting a goal back in the 80th minute after being awarded a penalty. Even then the visitors had to have two attempts following the penalty decision. Heaton saved the spot kick by Djamel Abdoun but his blushes were saved after scoring from the rebound. The last ten minutes were perhaps a little nervy but in truth we looked comfortable and in the end picked up three valuable points keeping us well in contention for automatic promotion. Burnley remain in second spot, still eight points behind Leicester who disposed of Ipswich in a 3-0 home win. The Clarets now have 63 points from 32 games, seven points clear now of QPR in fourth spot. The Rs had a bad day in London going down 1-0 away to struggling Charlton. Although they have a game in hand over the Clarets, they now have a lot to do to get back in the automatic promotion race. Derby are now our main rivals for that second spot. The Rams secured a 1-0 home win over Bournemouth to remain in third spot, two points behind Burnley setting up an intriguing game at Turf Moor next Saturday when the two clubs face each other. A draw would ensure we keep hold of that second spot but a win would put us five points clear of Derby and all Clarets fans then really could dare to dream!
It was business as usual for Sean Dyche who named the same starting eleven for the sixth successive time. Indeed it was the same eighteen as the one he selected for last week`s 1-1 draw away to Bournemouth so that meant we lined up as follows:
Heaton, Trippier, Duff, Shackell, Mee, Kightly, Marney, Jones, Arfield, Vokes, Ings
Subs: Cisak, Edgar Long, Wallace, Stanislas, Treacy, Barnes
Full Match Report
Essex referee, Andy D`Urso got the game underway following the one minute applause for Burnley legend, Gordon Harris and Preston`s Tom Finney who both sadly passed away recently. The Clarets came storming out of the blocks too and were nearly 1-0 up within 90 seconds. Scott Arfield kept to his task and his persistence nearly paid off after finding Vokes. The striker unmarked unleashed a shot from eight yards out but the keeper managed to get a touch to the ball allowing a defender to clear the ball off the line. It was a sign of things to come though as the Clarets stepped into fourth gear and then into overdrive after taking the lead in the 12th minute. David Jones found Arfield with a perfect, sweet pass and the former Huddersfield winger then nutmegged his marker to thump a rasping shot past Darlow into the roof of the net to notch up his sixth goal of the season! The Clarets pressure continued when the busy Michael Kightly curled a shot over the angle after cutting in from the left but Burnley were soon celebrating a second goal. In the 25th minute, Trippier got the better of former Clarets defender, Danny Fox on the by-line to put over a trademark cross. Sam Vokes stooped low to reach the waist high ball and head the ball home just a few yards from goal. The visitors were now completely shell-shocked as the Clarets continued to bombard their goal in a stunning display of football. Darlow had to save a 25 yard rising volley from Sam Vokes after the Welshman latched onto to a pinpoint accurate pass from Marney to unleash the shot. With 17 minutes of the first-half remaining the Clarets hit the back of the net again after Duff at the far post thumped home a downward header following a Jones free-kick only for the referee to scratch the goal for offside. Burnley were now firmly camped in the Forest half and with ten minutes to go their dominance paid off with a totally deserved third goal. Kightly and Mee linked well down the left before the former Manchester City defender cut the ball back for Sam Vokes. His first-time effort took a deflection off a Forest boot to loop over the keeper into the far corner of the net. The referee brought the half to an end with all Burnley fans applauding a stunning display from their team and giving the Clarets a well-deserved standing ovation.
The second-half started with Burnley still in control and looking for a fourth goal. It nearly came too when Vokes just failed to latch onto an Ings cross after his strike partner had done all the hard work sprinting down the right. A bedraggled looking Forest though suddenly burst into action from a corner taken by Abdoun. A point blank header from Jamaal Lascelles was no match for Heaton though who pulled off a great save touching the ball over the bar with his glove. That near miss seemed to give Forest hope and they began to come into the game for the first time in the match. On the hour, the visitors nearly reduced the arrears but Trippier headed from underneath the crossbar to deny Lascelles. Back came the Clarets again in the 65th minute when they should have put the game beyond any doubt. A superb cross from Ben Mee allowed Sam Vokes to get a touch and find Ings who was completely unmarked just twelve yards from goal. He looked certain to score and normally would but this time he skied his volley with just the keeper to beat. The Clarets having withstood a little bit of pressure from the visitors began to exert their authority again. First, Duff was just inches wide putting the ball past the post following a flick- on from a Jones corner. Jones then saw his attempt fly into the side netting. Sean Dyche, with his team comfortably in control decided to bring on some fresh legs with Ashley Barnes coming on to replace goal hero of the afternoon, Sam Vokes who left the pitch to a standing ovation. In the 80th minute though, Forest got a consolation goal after being awarded a penalty when substitute Simon Cox fell in the box following a challenge from Michael Duff. It looked pretty tame to be honest but the referee pointed to the spot. Tom Heaton was equal to Abdoun`s penalty kick but although he saved well, the ball rebounded to the Algerian and he managed to head the ball home from close range. Clarets fans are always a little nervy even with a two goal advantage but we need not have worried, the visitors goal was too little, too late and the final whistle brought to an end a great day at the office for Burnley and their fans.
Burnley: Heaton, Trippier, Duff, Shackell, Mee, Kightly (Treacy - 61), Marney, Jones, Arfield, Vokes (Barnes - 76), Ings
Subs Not Used: Cisak, Edgar Long, Wallace, Stanislas
Goals: Arfield 12, Vokes 25, 35
Nottingham Forest: Darlow, Halford, Fox, Jara (Henderson - 82), Lascelles, Collins, Paterson, Moussi (Greening - 75), Djebbour (Cox - 75), Mackie, Abdoun
Subs Not Used: de Vries, Lichaj, Harding, Derbyshire
Goal: Abdoun 80
Booked: Yellow cards for Fox (46) and Greening (89)
Possession: 49% Burnley, 51% Forest (Source: BBC Sport)
Ref: Andy D'Urso (Essex)