Barnsley chopped down by rampant Clarets
Report of match Burnley 2 Barnsley 0 played 14th February 2012
Reporter Tony Scholes
It wasn't quite a Valentine's Day Massacre but Burnley were more than comfortable winners last night against Barnsley and could well have run up a much bigger score than the 2-0 we did win by.
Still, 2-0 was good enough. The performance was definitely good enough with another goal from Jay Rodriguez and probably more importantly a first Turf Moor goal for Charlie Austin since he opened the scoring in the 3-1 win against Blackpool in October.
|No 500: Danny Ings|
Eddie Howe had called for a special night and that's exactly what it was. It was an emotional night too as the Burnley fans brilliantly showed their support for chairman Barry Kilby and his family during the first half.
It also has to be said that the game was played in half decent enough weather. Gone were the gales from the Derby game and certainly gone were those shocking conditions we faced both during and after the last home game against Peterborough.
There was a big surprise when the team news came through, certainly as far as the bench was concerned. The starting line up showed just the one change to that which had started at Southampton on Saturday with loanee Josh McQuoid coming in for Keith Treacy who was relegated to the bench.
Earlier in the day we'd been informed by the club that Martin Paterson was on the brink of a return whilst Danny Ings, whose Burnley career so far is on substitute appearance for the reserves, could be fit and ready for the first team squad by the end of the week.
Pato, unfortunately didn't make it, but Ings, very surprisingly, was there, named amongst the five substitutes with Zavon Hines, the third substitute used at St. Mary's, not included.
Barnsley included just the one former Claret; that was striker Andy Gray with Stephen Foster losing his place as Scott Golbourne came in for his debut at left back.
I always felt that we'd have beaten Derby recently had we just been able to get our noses in front. That didn't happen but we made up for that last night by taking the lead in just the third minute of the game.
Austin and Ross Wallace linked up down the right hand side and when the latter crossed beyond the far post for Josh McQuoid to head for goal. He headed it back past goalkeeper Luke Steele and it looked as though it was just about going into the corner, but Jay Rod did what good strikers do, he made sure and turned it in from close range.
He's in a rich vein of form right now in front of goal and that's five in the last six league games, all of which have been important goals.
Against a team that had been able to have a rest over the weekend it really sparked us into life and we went looking for more goals. We piled forward looking for a second and we were very much in the ascendancy.
Football's an emotional game. We care passionately about our team. We care about our fellow fans and that's often evident on the message board when people are so quick to offer support when it's needed.
That support has been so evident in the last week for our chairman Barry Kilby and his family following the news that he had been diagnosed with cancer and would be standing down as chairman.
I had the opportunity yesterday to offer my best wishes personally, but last Thursday, via the message board, there was a call to hold a minute's applause after thirteen minutes of the game to thank him and offer our support.
It came from a very long standing supporter who posts under the name of fulwooddingles. As much as I agreed with the sentiment I really didn't think it would work, but, as staff working in the Bob Lord Stand came outside to join in, the applause started as the clock ticked over to 13 minutes gone.
It worked I can confirm, it very much worked, and it showed Barry and Sonya just how much support they really do have within Turf Moor. During that minute, we came close with a shot that went just wide of the post but the focus was definitely on 'one of our own' sat in his usual seat in the directors' box which prompted him to stand and acknowledge everyone. I was moved; I think the whole ground was moved.
That we didn't add another goal for him in the rest of the first half remains a mystery, part of which can be down to the most appalling of referees in Oliver Langford. Somehow he decided that Chris McCann had dived when brought down and yellow carded him.
Was it inside the box? Should it have been a penalty? I think so, and just a few minutes later McCann looked totally baffled as he was pulled and shoved in the box right in front of Langford who, incredibly, gave nothing.
Austin, who had headed over from a brilliant Kieran Trippier cross earlier in the half then thought he'd ended his goal drought as he headed home. Perhaps Steele should have saved it but it led to a 'What happened next' moment. It was clear from my vantage point close to the half way line that it was over the line before a defender was able to clear it but neither Langford nor his assistant saw it and allowed play to continue. Where's Blatter and his goal line technology when you need it?
At half time it was still 1-0, and probably should have been more. Howe must have been happy as he made his way to the dressing rooms but Barnsley boss Keith Hill wasn't. He'd already made one substitution and there were two more at the start of the second half.
We started the half brightly enough and we could have twice scored from Trippier crosses. That we didn't led to some nervousness and even more so when Barnsley, for the first time in the game started to get some possession.
One goal leads are fragile and we were within inches of losing ours when Craig Davies hit an unstoppable shot from outside the box. It looked to be sailing into the top corner but we got lucky as it smashed against the bar.
It was as close as they'd been and they certainly didn't get any closer.
Soon after that scare it was all over. Wallace and Dean Marney linked well with Marney, again in outstanding form, playing Jay Rod in on the left hand side of the box.
Jay looked an almost certain scorer but hit his shot against the foot of the upright where Austin, looking decidedly offside as Jay shot, hitting in the rebound to give him that much needed goal.
That was game over and even allowed Howe to give Ings a short cameo in the closing minutes, becoming the 500th player to play post-war league football for Burnley.
He made a couple of good runs as he gave the home fans a taster of what might be to come whilst referee Langford ended his night with one final howler. This time the dive went unpunished as the totally innocent Michael Duff was yellow carded for fouling.
The early goal really helped, but Burnley looked a different side, albeit against a poor Barnsley team. We defended well but when in possession moved the ball so much quicker than we have recently. That's when we look a good side and we did here.
The win has taken us up one place in the table. We've still got a lot to do and Friday will be tough. For now though we can enjoy a good performance and a good result.
The teams were;
Burnley: Lee Grant, Kieran Trippier (Brian Easton 90+1), Michael Duff, David Edgar, Ben Mee, Ross Wallace (Marvin Bartley 81), Dean Marney, Chris McCann, Josh McQuoid, Charlie Austin (Danny Ings 82), Jay Rodriguez. Subs not used: Brian Jensen, Keith Treacy.
Yellow Cards: Chris McCann, Michael Duff.
Barnsley: Luke Steele, Scott Wiseman, Rob Edwards, Jimmy McNulty, Scott Golbourne, David Perkins (Nathan Doyle 45), Korey Smith, Matty Done (Chris Dagnall 45), Michael Tonge (Jim O'Brien 29), Craig Davies, Andy Gray. Subs not used: David Preece, Stephen Foster.
Referee: Oliver Langford (West Midlands).