Back in second place as 2014 gets underway with a win

Last updated : 02 January 2014 By Tony Scholes

It was a game that twice saw us take the lead through Danny Ings, early in the first half and then just a few minutes before half time, extend the lead with a Kieran Trippier goal but still end the game hanging on to a one goal lead when really the game should have already been put to bed.

My plans for an energetic walk down Manchester Road for the game were scuppered by the weather so hasty arrangements were made for a lift on a day when the bus companies weren't operating.

How things have changed; not that many years ago you would have seen extra buses in operation to cater for football crowds but now we are left to our own devices.

Man of the match performance from Scott Arfield against his former club

As it happened the rain held off during the 90 minutes or so before kick off as most people made their way to the Turf, and a crowd of over 14,000, our fourth biggest so far this season.

Ben Mee, who had missed the last two games, was passed fit. He came in for Danny Lafferty in the only change from the game at Wigan while on the bench Ryan Noble replaced Steven Hewitt.

Huddersfield named Martin Paterson in their team. It was his first game at Turf Moor since his departure last summer and he was to play a significant role as the afternoon unfolded.

But ahead of kick off it was another former Claret, Paul Comstive, who was remembered. Commie passed away three days ago after suffering a heart attack at the age of 52. A minute's applause was held ahead of kick off.

He spent two years at Burnley, and played in a New Year's Day win at Carlisle in 1988 but his only Turf Moor appearance on the first day of the year was less successful for him; he was in the Wrexham team that lost 5-2 at Burnley in 1986, a game he didn't finish after being sent off.

Those two away games, at Middlesbrough and Wigan, had seen us fail to score; the first time we'd drawn successive blanks this season. It wasn't long before we knew that wasn't going to be three as Danny Ings, scored his 14th league goal of the season with not much more than five minutes gone.

I wasn't certain he was onside as he latched onto a ball played down the left touchline by David Jones but he was allowed to go and run towards goal. The advancing Alex Smithies in the Huddersfield goal got a touch but he couldn't prevent it going in.

An early lead was just what we wanted and such was our start that we could have quite easily doubled the lead. Scott Arfield, playing on the right, was in excellent form again his former club and he set up Sam Vokes only for the striker to miss the target and then he got in a shot of his own after great work by Trippier.

Everything looked good but then, right out of the blue, Huddersfield equalised and it just had to be Paterson. It was all too easy for him from a left wing corner that was headed back to him and he made no mistake from just a few yards out.

It might have knocked us for six but we were almost in front again immediately as Vokes almost got onto a ball from the right. Huddersfield survived that one and then Smithies saved well from Jones.

Then Treacy saw a powerful goal bound shot headed out just after Jones had hit the bar with a free kick. Dean Marney almost got to a through ball but was pulled up for handball. and Huddersfield just kept on surviving but on 41 minutes we finally got back in front.

It started with Treacy who found Marney who in turn played in Trippier on the right. His ball into the box reached Ings with his back to goal but the striker created space for himself brilliantly before shooting into the far corner.

What a goal it was and gave us a deserved half time lead against a team that we've found difficult to play against since they won promotion in 2012.

I felt all we needed was a third goal and we certainly went looking for it after the break. Vokes had a chance with a header but opted to try and chest it down for Ings and then Ings got between the two central defenders only to fire his shot over the bar.

For a period the game became very open as both sides looked to attack and further goals looked certain. Tom Heaton really only had to make one routine save but at the other end we were twice close to getting that third goal. Marney had an effort blocked and when Ings broke clear on the left he didn't see Treacy breaking clear on the right. He delayed the ball which he eventually played to Arfield but the chance was gone.

Would the third goal come? Yes was the answer and from the unlikely source of Trippier who scored his first ever Turf Moor league goal and it will be one to remember for him. The right back broke clear, got into the box. He took the ball past Smithies and then from the tightest of angles finished sensationally.

Two more goals for Danny Ings

Ings was so, so close to getting his third and our fourth with a header that went agonisingly wide of the post but then, right out of the blue, we found ourselves with a fight on our hands.

With not much over a minute remaining of normal time we conceded a second. Paul Dixon got down the left and crossed for Paterson to get his second from close range.

In doing so he became the first player to score twice against us this season and the first visiting player to net two goals since Chris O'Grady did for Sheffield Wednesday in the 3-3 draw some fifteen months ago. It also meant Huddersfield joined Birmingham as the only two teams to score two league goals in a game at Burnley in the Dyche era.

Suddenly we got nervy and in stoppage time they almost repeated it . Again Dixon crossed but this time it was Tommy Smith sliding in at the far post but bundling his effort just wide of the woodwork.

We'd won it - our eight home league win of the season, only one less than the entire 2012/13 season and one more than we won in 2011/12.

Conceding two goals shouldn't be a major concern. It will happen to all teams at some time or other and today was the day it happened to us. It's at the other end of the pitch where we can concentrate our thoughts and after those two recent blanks it was all but back to normal service as we created numerous chances.

We've stuck three of them away for the first time in a while and I thought at times we showed the sort of form we did during that seven game winning run that took us to and kept us at the top of the league.

Ings just continues to score goals, Vokes was tireless, Treacy came in and did well but for me there has to be special praise for Arfield. I'm sure he wanted to do well today against his former club. I know he didn't get two goals but he was on the winning side and he turned in a second successive home man of the match performance.

So, the holiday fixture list is over. We've won two, drawn one and lost one and now we get an eleven day break before resuming our league programme at Yeovil, albeit with a cup trip to Southampton in three days time.

We might even have some new blood in the squad by the time that Yeovil trip comes around. I certainly wouldn't be surprised and even today, the first day of the window, we've been linked again with Brighton's Ashley Barnes.

I hope we can find some players to boost the squad. The manager has worked miracles with them so far and I'm sure we've every chance of staying up there and challenging if we can just get a couple of additions.

But for now, it's another win to report, another good performance to report and, despite the current inadequacies of the Clarets Mad message board it is very much a Happy New Year.

The teams were;

Burnley: Tom Heaton, Kieran Trippier, Michael Duff, Jason Shackell, Ben Mee (Danny Lafferty 71), Scott Arfield, Dean Marney (Brian Stock 84), David Jones, Keith Treacy (Junior Stanislas 84), Danny Ings, Sam Vokes. Subs not used: Alex Cisak, Kevin Long, David Edgar, Ryan Noble.
Yellow Card: Dean Marney.

Huddersfield: Alex Smithies, Tommy Smith, Murray Wallace, Joel Lynch (Anthony Gerrard 25), Adam Hammill (Sean Scannell 85), Oliver Norwood, Adam Clayton, Jonathan Hogg (Duane Holmes 52), Paul Dixon, Martin Paterson, Danny Ward. Subs not used: Ian Bennett, Calum Woods, Oscar Gobern, Jon Stead.
Yellow Cards: Murray Wallace, Martin Paterson.

Referee: David Coote (Nottinghamshire).

Attendance: 14,105.