Burnley Win But No Blackpool Rock!
Good Friday 18th April 2014 @5:15pm Kick-Off
Burnley beat Blackpool 1-0 at Bloomfield Road on Good Friday to move ever closer to the Premier League. It was a record-equalling 11th away win of the season and it kept their unbeaten run on the road this year going. Promotion celebrations though were once again put on hold after Derby County spoilt the party by beating Doncaster 2-0 at the Keepmoat in the late evening game. The Rams in third spot therefore stay eight points behind the Clarets with three games of the season remaining and nine points still up for grabs. The Clarets now just need two points from their remaining three games to ensure automatic promotion and that is assuming Derby win all their three matches. It would of course be a lot better if we simply beat Wigan at home on Easter Monday and avoid a nervy end to the season. Burnley have three difficult games coming up before the season ends with all three opponents still looking for a play-offs spot. Wigan currently 5th will be followed by our last home game against Ipswich (8th) on the following Saturday and then Reading (7th) away a week later. In contrast, Derby would appear to have a much easier run in playing struggling Barnsley at home on Easter Monday and then Watford at home the following Saturday before completing the season away to Leeds on Saturday 3rd May. Nothing more though could have been asked of the Clarets at Bloomfield Road though in front of the Sky Sports camera. It was by no means a thriller with the match becoming a nervy, scrappy game with so much as stake for both teams. The relegation-threatened home side tried their best but the ructions on and off the pitch including protests against under-fire chairman Karl Oyston and even in-fighting on their own bench made it an uphill task for the Tangerines. Burnley took advantage of the unrest despite it not being one of their best performances. There were not many memorable chances on the pitch by either side and in the end it was settled by a wonder strike from Michael Kightly in the 49th minute. Kieran Trippier became a hero too with seconds of the match remaining when Andy Halliday saw his late volley headed off the line by the alert right back. So a superb victory once again on the road but Clarets fans frustratingly still can`t sing 'We Are Premier League` just yet!
With only Sam Vokes on the treatment bench and out for the rest of the season, Sean Dyche simply named the same eighteen that somehow lost at home to Middlesbrough in the previous game. Our line-up was therefore:
Heaton, Tripper, Duff, Shackell, Mee, Kightly, Marney, Jones, Arfield, Barnes, Ings
Subs: Cisak, Long, Baird, Edgar, Treacy, Wallace, Stanislas
Full Match Report
Northumberland referee, Michael Oliver got the Easter Lancashire derby under way and it was the visitors out of the blocks first with the hosts struggling to keep up with the Clarets pace. Blackpool managed to clear a deep cross from Trippier in the 4th minute but it fell for Kightly. His low shot though went straight into the arms of the keeper. The Stoke on-loan winger should perhaps have done better moments later after latching onto a poor back pass with only the keeper to beat. Gilks though spread himself wide denying Kightly with his legs. Blackpool created their first real chance in the 18th minute but David Goodwillie`s shot flew high and wide of target. Burnley kept pressing though and looked the most likely team to break the deadlock. Arfield got a ball in behind the defence to find Marney. Chasing forward the midfielder then pulled the ball back into the path of Ings. His shot on the turn though was unable to beat Gilks who mopped up the ball. It was Ings again who tested the keeper on the half-hour mark after once more being put in behind the defence by Arfield. The keeper though was again equal to Ings right-footed shot. In a rare attack by the hosts, Jason Shackell came to the rescue with ten minutes of the first half remaining after intercepting a testing cross from Isaiah Osbourne and clearing the ball out of the penalty area. Andy Halliday, a first-half substitute for the injured Jack Robinson, then headed over the bar with the end of the first half rapidly approaching but the last action of the half came from the Clarets when Gilks comfortably saved a deflected shot from Kightly.
Sean Dyche made no changes for the start of the second-half and within five minutes of the restart Burnley got their noses in front to break the deadlock. Cutting in from the right, Kightly played a neat one-two with Marney before unleashing a sweet, curling unstoppable drive past Gilks into the far corner of the net. All is not well at Bloomfield Road these days and going behind stirred the home fans into protest five minutes after the goal. The game was held up whilst tennis balls thrown onto the pitch by the angry home fans in protest against Chairman, Karl Oyston were removed. Blackpool player-manager, Barry Ferguson was clearly infuriated after kicking a few of the balls off himself in disgust! The protest seemed to destroy what little flow there was in the game and nothing of note happened for the next twenty minutes or so with both sides looking nervous and ineffective. It was all hit and hope now by the hosts and it was easy peasy for Heaton who was hardly tested. Second half substitute Stephen Dobbie tried a speculative, wild effort after 79 minutes but Heaton easily handled the danger. The Tangerines were now pushing men forward giving Burnley the ideal opportunity to try and catch out the hosts on the break. A cross from Ben Mee on the counter-attack found the head of Ashley Barnes but the striker couldn`t keep the ball down and it flew over. In the final few minutes of the game, a desperate Blackpool through everything they could at the visitors but there was only really one nervous moment for the Clarets fans. A well-struck goal-bound volley in the dying seconds from Andy Halliday looked set to break all Clarest fans hearts before Kieran Trippier pulled off an acrobatic diving header to clear the ball off the line. That was it, Burnley held on for yet another away victory to march ever closer to that elusive automatic promotion! Bring on Wigan and let`s do it in style in front of our home crowd.
Blackpool: Gilks, McMahon, McGahey, Cathcart, Robinson (Halliday - 44), Basham, Osbourne (Dobbie-70), Ferguson, Perkins, Bishop, Goodwillie (Almond<-56)
Subs Not Used: Haroun, Grandin, Barkhuizen, Keogh
Booked: Yellow Cards for Osbourne(63) and McMahon (90+1)
Burnley: Heaton, Tripper, Duff, Shackell, Mee, Kightly (Stanislas-68), Marney (Baird-81), Jones, Arfield, Barnes, Ings (Edgar-94)
Subs Not Used: Cisak, Long, Treacy, Wallace
Goals: Kightly (49)
Booked: Yellow Cards for Marney (61), Jones (86) and Duff (90+1)
Possession: 57% Blackpool, 43% Burnley (Source: BBC Sport)
Ref: Michael Oliver(Northumberland)