Rare Oakwell Win Moves Burnley Ever Closer!
Tuesday 8th April 2014 @7:45pm Kick-Off
It was another massive result for the Clarets against Barnsley at Oakwell on Tuesday night. A seventh minute goal by Ashley Barnes in the first half sealed a 1-0 win for Burnley to move them ever closer to their dream of reaching the top flight. Although Derby enjoyed a 3-1 away win at Blackpool last night to move into second spot, local rivals Blackburn did Burnley a favour by beating QPR 2-0 at Ewood Park realistically ending their automatic promotion hopes. The end result is that Burnley are now eleven points clear of Derby and a massive thirteen points clear of Harry Redknapp`s men with just five games and fifteen points remaining up for grabs. If results go our way this Saturday, Burnley could be confirmed as the second automatic promoted club with Leicester already guaranteed Premier League football next season. It looks like the Foxes celebrations during the week may well have affected their performance on the pitch considering they lost 4-1 at home to Brighton last night. It we had not so cruelly lost Sam Vokes in the home game against Leicester, who knows what might have been. If we had won that match we might now be top of the league on goal difference but as it stands they still have a six point margin. That sounds catchable albeit unlikely despite fifteen points up for grabs yet but most Clarets fans I am sure will settle for second spot. Until last night Burnley had only won once at Oakwell since 1932 and that was on Boxing Day 2010 but this victory was even sweeter in probably the most important game against the Tykes in those 82 years! Barnsley were battling hard and needed something from the game to ease their relegation fears. At times in the second-half they put us under some pressure but we held firm to pick up another three vital points. The streets of Burnley could be alive with celebration next Saturday if we beat Middlesbrough at Turf Moor and Derby drop points at home to Huddersfield. A Clarets win and a Derby draw would give Burnley an unassailable thirteen point lead with only four games and twelve points up for grabs after Saturday`s matches. What a flipping season!!
Burnley welcomed back both Danny Ings and Kieran Trippier following their recent absence through injury and Dean Marney was also back after a two match automatic suspension for a tenth yellow. Ings was back in the starting eleven partnering Barnes up front in a return to the 4-4-2 formation with Treacy returning to the bench. Chris Baird though who has impressed at right back in Trippier`s absence kept hold of his place with Trippier having to be content with a place on the bench. Dean Marney replaced David Edgar in the centre of midfield and Arfield returned to his more familiar role on the wing with Kightly on the other flank. Our line-up in summary was as follows :
Heaton, Baird, Duff, Shackell, Mee, Kightly, Marney, Jones, Arfield, Barnes, Ings
Subs: Cisak, Long, Trippier, Stock, Edgar, Treacy, Wallace
Full Match Report
Referee, Neil Swarbrick got the game underway on a pleasant evening in Barnsley and it was the home side out of the blocks first. A couple of early crosses tested the Burnley defence but they were easily mopped up. Burnley`s first chance came in the fifth minute after Barnes on the edge of the box held the ball up well to feed Kightly on the wing. His cross flew over dangerously to the back stick but Tykes keeper Luke Steele was able to collect it. Just two minutes later though and Barnes and Kightly linked again, this time in a move which led to a goal for the visitors. Kightly created some space out wide to dink over a cross to the near post where Barnes, getting the better of his marker headed in to put Burnley 1-0 up after just seven minutes. The home fans looked demoralised ten minutes later when Burnley had the ball in the back of the net once again but they soon breathed a sigh of relief when it was ruled offside. Arfield on the right found Barnes with a low ball, but with the linesman already raising his flag the ball was laid off to Ings who thumped the ball over the line only to see the goal scratched off. That decision seemed to give the Tykes the impetus to try and get back on level terms. Shackell came to the rescue after a nice one-two between Dale Jennings and Chris O`Grady saw Jennings charge into the box. The skipper was alert to the danger and cleared the ball for a corner. It was Jennings again who came close in the 21st minute after cutting inside on the left to unleash a shot that flew wide of target. The Tykes were certainly not giving up with relegation fears spurring them on but former Burnley trialist, Jacob Mellis might have done better had he kept his shot down from 20 yards out with the ball flying well over without Heaton even looking worried. In the 25th minute though, Burnley came close to doubling their lead after Jones superbly put Ings through on goal. With the ball bouncing, Ings looped a cross to the back post to find Barnes but it was perhaps too tight an angle for the former Brighton striker. With the goal at his mercy his toe-poked attempt was wide of target. The truth was although Barnsley had managed to press a little, Heaton had not had a shot to save with no shot on target. It was a familiar story in the 32nd minute after Tomasz Cywka played the ball to Jennings at the back post. Once again the ball was over the bar frustrating the now restless home fans even more. Burnley`s passing and link play had been impressive in the first half and it continued in the 36thminute when a cross from Kightly to the back post was knocked down by Arfield into the path of the inrushing Jones. The midfielder`s first time effort though flew over the bar. For the Tykes, Jennings had been in the thick of things and was their most influential player. In the 38th minute, he got to the by-line following a rare momentary lapse of concentration by the Clarets defence. The former Bayern Munich player though could not find a Barnsley shirt and the defence made amends by clearing the danger.
Neither manager made any changes for the start of the second half. In the 6th minute, Marney went on a charge from the half-way line before releasing the ball on the edge of the box to find Arfield. Arfield`s cross though was cut out conceding a corner. The corner was only half-cleared and in the melee, Barnes appeared to be brought down just inside the box but the referee was having none of it and waved play on. Ings pounced on a weak back pass to Steele but the keeper got to the ball first to clear. The ball hit Ings though and could have gone anywhere but it finished up wide of target. The game although gritty was getting a bit scrappy now. The Tykes kept pressing with Burnley going through a period where they couldn`t keep the ball on the deck with their passing seemingly going astray. The Clarets continued to press for that second goal though and in the 58th minute. Kightly powered his way into the box after showing great pace to force Steele into a save with the ball being flicked past the post. Barnsley were now desperate to get something from the game with the clock ticking down and they gradually started to put the Clarets under pressure. They were throwing men up now and Martin Woods hit a shot wide from outside the area. Kightly had a chance to relieve the pressure in the 68th minute but his shot flew straight at the keeper. On the opposite flank, Arfield did well to get to the by-line before pulling the ball back for Ings. His shot looked to be on target before it was blocked. Barnes then latched onto a cross from Arfield in the 73rd minute but his header was easy meat for the keeper. The impressive Michael Kightly then nearly sealed it for the Clarets with just nine minutes remaining after charging into the box to unleash a shot but once again it was too high. By now Barnsley were struggling to find any momentum and any creativity evaporated. Burnley played out the game including three minutes of added time with some ease to come away with an Oakwell victory for only the second time in 19 meetings stretching back to 1932. We are so close now you can taste it but yet we are still not quite over the Premier League line. Let`s see if results go our way on Saturday and we can finally join Leicester in the top flight next season.
Barnsley: Steele, McLaughlin, Kennedy, Woods (McCourt-81), Mvoto, Nyatanga, Mellis (Noble-Lazarus-60), Dawson, O'Grady, Cywka, Jennings
Subs Not Used: Turner, Hassell, Proschwitz, Hunt, Frimpong
Booked: Yellow Cards for Mellis (31) and O'Grady (48)
Burnley: Heaton, Baird, Duff, Shackell, Mee, Kightly, Marney, Jones, Arfield, Barnes, Ings (Treacy-87)
Subs Not Used: Cisak, Long, Trippier, Stock, Edgar, Wallace
Goals: Barnes (7)
Booked: Yellow Card for Marney (84)
Possession: 51% Barnsley, 49% Burnley (Source: BBC Sport)
Ref: Neil Swarbrick (Preston, Lancashire)