A late, late show from the Clarets in Wales

It was a game where it took us over half an hour to get going, before twice coming close to scoring and then going two goals behind, and finally, with some away supporters having given it up and started their journey home, scoring two late goals to leave the home fans devastated and the Burnley fans, along with new mascot Barry Parrott (don't ask) making his Clarets' debut, dancing with delight in the away end as another point was secured.

"How did we get a point out of that?" I kept hearing on the journey home. The answer is a simple one; they scored twice, we scored twice and it ended 2-2 in appalling conditions.

I don't know how bad it was out on the pitch for the players but it was bad enough in the stand with the howling wind ensuring that even towards the back there would be occasions when the torrential rain reached us.

That rain hit us on the journey down not too long after coming off the M50 and it just got worse and worse and it forced a dash from the car to the turnstiles once we'd got there, or as fast as my knees will allow me to dash.

I'd thought Sam Vokes might be fit for this one but he was again ruled out and Sean Dyche, who had played Rouwen Hennings in the draw against Brighton, opted to give Chris Long his first Burnley start up front alongside Andre Gray.

Rouwen Hennings sparked the late comeback with his first Burnley goal

Other than the swap between the two strikers, it was the same starting line up and same substitutes as last week.

The new Cardiff stadium is one where we are still to win and in the first quarter of the game there was absolutely no indication that was to change. We struggled to keep hold of the ball for long and it certainly showed the effect Vokes has on this team.

There was little to enthuse about in our play and defensively we were finding ourselves with problems as Cardiff certainly gave Tom Heaton a few testing moments. He got a touch on one which clipped the bar and tipped another over, but I don't think we could have had too many complaints had we fallen behind.

But we didn't fall behind and eventually started to get a foothold, twice coming close to opening the scoring, both of them from George Boyd who was edging back to the sort of form he showed last season.

Scott Arfield played a delightful ball forward for Gray. The daft woman on the Channel 5 programme might have suggested Gray was chasing a lost cause but it was anything but. Goalkeeper David Marshall came to try and stop him but Gray got the better of him and crossed an excellent low ball into the box for Boyd to strike first time.

I was convinced we were in front but Matthew Connolly, who was to play out the final dramatic act in this game, was on the line to block the effort.

Just a couple of minutes later and Joey Barton played in Gray down the right. This time the striker shot only for his effort to be blocked on the line but Boyd picked up the rebound and shot towards the corner.

Lee Peltier blocked his effort and the Burnley fans were stunned when referee Darren Drysdale, of whom Sean Dyche was very critical, gave a goal kick rather than a corner and he really could not have been in a better position.

Some Burnley fans were adamant that Peltier had handled the ball and they were right. It is a clear penalty and therefore a red card. At this point of the game we should have had the ball on the spot with the opportunity to go in front and we should have been playing the remainder of the game against ten men.

Instead, just over three minutes later, we fell behind. It was a poor, poor goal from our point of view. It was nothing more than a routine free kick into the box but Aron Gunnarsson got above Michael Duff to head home less than four minutes before half time.

It was so frustrating because we'd seen off the best of Cardiff's play at 0-0 and it was downright annoying that once more we'd been badly let down by this particular referee.

As the rain got even heavier, we didn't really look as though we were going to get back into it in the second half. Sean Dyche made one early change, introducing Matt Taylor for the tiring Long but there was no real threat from us.

And just under twenty minutes into the half the points looked to be going to the home team when Sean Morrison headed home a corner from virtually on the line. I couldn't see exactly what happened, but there was certainly a bit of afters from Michael Keane and Barton was clearly disappointed with something that had gone on as the ball came over.

Barry Parrott ready for his first Burnley game

It was 2-0, surely our chances gone, but to be fair we kept going and just a few minutes after that goal the away end was on its feet to welcome back Dean Marney. When he came on for Jones it was his football in the first team since we were leading West Brom 2-0 last February.

Without him we conceded two and ended the game with a draw that day, could we do it in reverse here I thought to myself before quickly dismissing any such notion. It's four seasons since he made  a substitute appearance in a league game; that was during a period when Marvin Bartley was preferred to him in the team. It was so good to see him back.

He did okay, and he played a part right at the end, but the third substitute was the first to make an impact. Arfield, who had gone into a more central role when Long went off, came off himself for the first time this season with Hennings going on as we reverted to two strikers.

He came in for some stick a week ago, some of it totally uncalled for, but this time he came on and looked good. He got a couple of good touches but then made a real impact by scoring his first Burnley goal.

Gray played the ball to Boyd down the left. Hennings took his low ball into the box with his back to goal, turned and hit a left foot shot into the corner. Surely it was going to be no more than a consolation but without doubt a confidence booster for the German striker.

There suddenly seemed to be some real belief with that goal and Hennings was nearly a massive hero just over a minute later when he got himself another chance but this time headed wide of goal.

Burnley were now piling forward but got to the 90 minutes still trailing. Up went the board showing four extra minutes and it took us just under three.

Just before that, Cardiff had brought on Federico Macheda. When he last played against Burnley he scored a controversial equaliser for Birmingham, again after coming on as a substitute, so how nice and fitting that when we got our equaliser here he had played his part.

With the ball just over the half way line he conceded a totally unnecessary free kick with a poor foul on Barton. Heaton came forward to take it but it was headed out by Cardiff. We got it back and this time it reached Marney on the right. His cross was met by Keane who headed for goal.

It was going wide, but there was Connolly to divert it into his own goal. I've seen two superb photographs of the aftermath, one of four crestfallen home players and the other showing both Keane and Mee in delight, Hennings running away to celebrate and Barton punching the air whilst some distance off the ground.

Had we deserved it? I wouldn't go that far but, having said that, had Drysdale done his job in the first half then this could so easily have been our day.

I'll take it and as for this record at Cardiff's new stadium. That's four league visits and we've only lost one of them, maybe the place isn't so bad after all.

We've played far better than this previously this season but as Dyche says, we never give up and not for the first time we've rescued a point with a late goal.

I was in no real rush to leave, it was still throwing it down outside but we drove out of it as we headed north, just as we'd driven into it earlier in the day. We had a quick stop on the motorway where someone with a ginger goatee was spotted buying a latte. He was still talking about the penalty incident.

It was a tough game in tough conditions, but eventually we came through and I didn't think, when I set off yesterday, that I'd be singling out Hennings and Boyd for praise. Well done to them and to the rest of this relentless team of ours.

The teams were;

Cardiff: David Marshall, Lee Peltier, Sean Morrison, Matthew Connolly, Scott Malone, Craig Noone, Aron Gunnarsson (Stuart O'Keefe 67), Pete Whittingham, Joe Ralls, Tony Watt (Joe Mason 62), Kenwyne Jones (Federico Macheda 89). Subs not used: Simon Moore, Bruno Ecuele Manga, Gabriel Tamas, Matthew Kennedy.
Yellow Card: Pete Whittingham.

Burnley: Tom Heaton, Tendayi Darikwa, Michael Duff, Michael Keane, Ben Mee, George Boyd, Joe Barton, David Jones (Dean Marney 67), Scott Arfield (Rouwen Hennings 76), Andre Gray, Chris Long (Matt Taylor 56). Subs not used: Matt Gilks, Matt Lowton, Stephen Ward, Michael Kightly.

Referee: Darren Drysdale (Lincolnshire).

Attendance: 15,133 (including 703 Clarets).

 

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