Another late, late goal denies the Clarets
Report of match Burnley 1 Nottingham Forest 1 played 1st April 2013
Reporter Tony Scholes
Late goals have featured heavily in Burnley games for the last couple of years or so but there's been nothing quite like the events of the last three games against Blackburn Rovers, Watford and Nottingham Forest.
In all three there has been a goal deep into stoppage time that's earned the scoring team a point. There was David Dunn's offside effort for Blackburn and four days ago it was us who benefited with Sam Vokes scoring at Watford.
As the board went up yesterday showing an extra five minutes I really didn't think it could happen again. We were leading 1-0 with a Junior Stanislas goal and, although Forest were putting us under some pressure, I thought we were going to hold out.
That it came from a penalty made it even harder to take. I've no problem with the decision; it looked a correct one from my seat, but I am still amazed that we didn't get one ourselves in the first half for the most blatant of fouls on Charlie Austin.
|Junior Stanislas scored the Burnley goal|
Let's get this one sorted out. There were just under five and a half minutes of stoppage time gone when Nigel Miller pointed to the spot, not over six minutes as has been reported elsewhere. Given that we'd introduced David Edgar as a substitute during the stoppage time I fail to see how we can have any complaint at this award in terms of the timing.
We've had very good reason to complain about some crucial decisions in recent weeks but not this one. It was a penalty and it was within the time that had been added on taking into account that substitution.
Lewis McGugan scored from the spot and had anything of any note happened after that then I'd have missed it. I'd had enough and stormed out as Forest celebrated the goal.
It hadn't been a classic; far from it, but it was certainly better, considerably better, than some of the recent home games although the run without a win has now stretched to six games. That's the worst home run since we went six games in 2011, but they were the last two of the 2010/11 season and the first four home games of the following season.
The last time we managed a home run like this during one season at this level was in 2007 when we actually played eight consecutive home games without a win. They were the last two under Steve Cotterill's management and the first six under Owen Coyle.
I always suspected this was going to be a tough one. Forest are a side in form, on a good run and pushing to ensure a play off place. Such is the size of their squad they were able to make six changes to the team that had drawn with Brighton on Saturday.
Sean Dyche also made changes. He recalled Ben Mee, as expected, at left back having served a one match ban, but there were two other changes further up the pitch with Stanislas and Sam Vokes, the late goalscorer at Watford, coming in for Alex Kačaniklić and Danny Ings.
As at Blackburn, Burnley wore black armbands following the sad death of former goalkeeper Harry Thomson and, ahead of kick off, a minute's applause was held as he family laid a wreath in the goals at the Jimmy McIlroy end.
Thinking about Harry, I recalled a lot of the accusations on the message board in recent years that neither Danny Coyne nor Lee Grant were big enough to play in goal. Harry was around 5' 8" tall.
If I thought this was going to be a difficult game, my initial fears seemed to be confirmed as Forest started much the brighter. They were quicker, their passing was crisp and more accurate than ours.
They took hold of the midfield, but that was no surprise with Marvin Bartley and Chris McCann both having poor games, and it looked as though we were in for a tough time.
Their one big chance came via a Billy Sharp header. This is the bloke who said Burnley wasn't a big enough club for him and promptly signed for Doncaster. But he's on a season long loan at Forest, scored against us at the City Ground and here he forced Lee Grant into a good save from a header.
Eventually we started to get a foothold into the game and twice might have done much better but for wasteful balls into the box. A Stanislas cross from the left was woeful and then Austin, on the right hand side, opted to shoot rather than play in Vokes and missed the target by some considerable distance.
Stanislas, who offered much more in possession than we've seen recently from loan man Kačaniklić, got onto a ball played by Mee and broke into the box, but at a tight angle. He got little wrong as he tried to curl his shot past goalkeeper Karl Darlow into the far corner but Darlow just about got enough on it to force it wide for a corner.
It was the closest either side came in the first half although Grant made one more good save to his left to deny McGugan.
I wasn't thrilled with the first half performance but I was happier than I'd been for some time on the Turf. Despite us being a side who don't seem to do as well in the second half I had more confidence that we could get something out of this game than I'd done at kick off.
It was very much nip and tuck for a while in the second half. In truth there was little goalmouth action and neither side were able to establish any authority on proceedings. We at least looked comfortable at 0-0.
Then disaster struck again for Mee. He came back from a long term injury and played twice before serving a one match ban at Watford for the red card in the second of those games at Blackburn, and just before the hour he went down in front of the Longside clutching his knee.
He quickly resumed after treatment but it was nothing more than temporary and he went down again with physio Ally Beattie frantically signalling to the bench to get the sub ready.
I was expecting Danny Lafferty to jump to his feet, totally unaware that he wasn't even on the bench, so it was a big surprise when Joseph Mills got up.
Mills hasn't been seen on the Turf since the third home game of the season, and hasn't featured at all since he stood in for Lafferty at Birmingham on the Saturday before Christmas. Now he had half an hour to play.
He hadn't been on long when he played a vital role in us opening the scoring. Stanislas picked up the ball in a deep position and made a good run forward. There looked to be little on for him but he waited his moment before playing the ball wide for Mills.
The substitute had made ground terrifically well and continued before crossing. The ball cleared all in the middle but there was Stanislas, who had continued his run, to hit home via a big deflection.
Having seen it again it looked like an own goal, but I think after the Austin goal earlier in the season, the PA man isn't too keen on registering them as own goals any longer. It was credited to Stanislas; I have no problem with that and I'm sure he doesn't.
In front, just over twenty minutes to go, even then I thought it might be a case of hanging on, and so it proved.
Soon after Mills did really well to deny Forest an equaliser at the expense of a corner with the hapless Miller giving a goal kick, further proof that this appalling referee was getting it very wrong for both sides.
Forest threw on both Darius Henderson and Simon Cox. Radoslav Majewski followed as they pushed for an equaliser. Grant made one good save, he was pushed all over the place when another ball went in with the referee this time, thankfully, seeing the foul.
We got blocks in but it was all Forest and then up went the board for five extra minutes. That was, rightly, extended because of the nonsensical and pointless substitution and we finally paid the price.
Austin gave it away with and when Forest quickly got the ball forward it was Long who brought down Henri Lansbury with McGugan converting the spot kick.
That was it for me. In a fit of temper I stormed out, another two points dropped when the game really should have been won.
Lets' take a look at some of the stats:
1. We've dropped 28 points from winning positions this season. 13 of those points were under the management of Eddie Howe in the first ten games but there are another 15 points to add since Dyche became manager.
2. We've now won just once in 12 league games. We've slipped from seventh in the table at the beginning of February to just four points above the relegation positions. Managers get sacked these days for runs like that. I'm certainly not advocating a change of manager, I think it would be suicide, but Dyche is going to have to start getting some wins very soon to relieve the pressure from supporters.
I heard fans delighting in the news that the likes of Wolves and Barnsley were winning yesterday, presumably because it put Blackburn under more pressure at the bottom of the league. We need to be careful what we wish for.
3. Only three goals scored in six home games. In no home game in 2013 have we scored more than one goal.
4. Speculation about players not signing new contracts leaving a lot of uncertainty around the place.
I could go on.
I don't think we will go down. I suspect one win will do it and I'm convinced we'll get that win from somewhere. But it's not good, it's got beyond frustrating now and we need one massive lift and very quickly.
The teams were;
Burnley: Lee Grant, Kieran Trippier, Kevin Long, Jason Shackell, Ben Mee (Joseph Mills 60), Ross Wallace (Danny Ings 71), Marvin Bartley, Chris McCann, Junior Stanislas (David Edgar 90+4), Sam Vokes, Charlie Austin. Subs not used: Brian Jensen, Brian Stock, Alex Kačaniklić, Martin Paterson.
Yellow Cards: Ross Wallace, Joseph Mills.
Nottingham Forest: Karl Darlow, Gonzalo Jara Reyes, Elliott Ward, Greg Halford, Chris Cohen, Guy Moussi, Henri Lansbury, Lewis McGugan, Andy Reid (Radoslav Majewski 76), Dexter Blackstock (Darius Henderson 73), Billy Sharp (Simon Cox 73). Subs not used: Dimitar Evitmov, Dan Harding, Danny Collins, Jonathan Greening.
Yellow Card: Henri Lansbury.
Referee: Nigel Miller (County Durham).