Brizzle handed first home win by woeful Clarets
Report of match Bristol City 3 Burnley 1 played 5th November 2011
Reporter Tony Scholes
Bristol City finally got the monkey off their backs with a first home win of the season as they beat Burnley 3-1 at Ashton Gate, and surely no one inside the ground could argue that the result was fully justified.
It was, frankly, another awful performance from Burnley with little to enthuse about. Goalkeeper Lee Grant kept us in it for longer than we deserved, Ross Wallace was our best outfield player by some distance and Charlie Austin worked his socks off to try and make something happen with little reward.
|Lee Grant kept us in the game in the first half|
Other than that we can forget it in another performance that well and truly falls into the 'one to forget' category as this Burnley team fell ever closer to the bottom three in the Championship, and mark my words, should we get there the lack of fight in this team will make it a very difficult job to get out, although perhaps not quite the eighth wonder of the world once suggested by Stan Ternent.
There were no surprises when the team was confirmed. I think we all knew that Andre Amougou would be left out just as soon as Brian Easton was fit and that's how it turned out. Easton came in at left back with Ben Mee joining David Edgar in the centre of defence. Amougou replaced Michael Duff on the bench after Duff had filled in on Tuesday.
The teams were led out yesterday by members of the armed forces and the Bristol City players wore poppies on their shirts, something Burnley haven't done this season, ahead of this week's Day of Remembrance.
A minute's silence was observed impeccably before kick off in memory of those who have lost their lives serving their country, and for those who tragically lost their lives in the horrific M5 pile up the night before. It certainly put into perspective what followed, and what follows in this report.
The game got off to a quietish opening with perhaps half chances at both ends, but we were soon aware that Bristol City were going to cause us problems down their right wing. It was something we didn't come to terms with as Albert Adomah became an influential figure in the first half.
Surprisingly, the closest Bristol City came to taking the lead was when Nicky Maynard was allowed to get between our two central defenders to a cross from the left but could only just get a touch on the ball and steer it wide of the far post.
We were struggling and very thankful to goalkeeper Grant who was, without doubt, keeping us in the game. Our only response was Charlie Austin putting a chance wide of the target and as half time approached it was becoming more and more a relief that we were still level, that was until disaster struck three minutes from the break.
I think we have to take some of the responsibility as we discussed the importance of going in level at half time. Less than a minute later a ball in from the left was missed completely by Edgar and that allowed Marvin Elliott, always impressive against Burnley, to head down for new boy Stephen Pearson to get the ball into the net. Did he handle it? Mee thought so but there didn't seem to be much of an appeal otherwise.
A goal down at half time and we seriously could have no complaints. The growing unrest in the crowd suggested there was little confidence in us getting back into the game, but incredibly it took us less than two minutes after the restart.
Kieran Trippier got the ball to Junior Stanislas. It looked as though the former West Ham man had delayed too long but he got the ball to Wallace who looped the ball over David James and we were right back in it.
|A goal in each of last four league games for Wallace|
What a run Wallace is having. That's a goal in each of the last four league games and the first time it's happened since Garreth O'Connor early in the 2005/06 season when he benefited from a couple of penalties and a free kick. Ross is still some way behind Willie Irvine who scored in seven consecutive league games during the 1965/66 season (see footnote).
Was this our chance to get back into things and go on and win? No, was the unfortunate answer. The lead did last for 14 minutes before substitute Brett Pitman, a former Bournemouth player under Howe, restored the home side's lead.
This goal is a defensive joke, just as bad as that 99th minute goal we conceded to Reading. The lack of any semblance of organisation at the back was simply frightening and, in the end, it looked just a matter of who was going to put it in.
That was that. We did the Keith Treacy for Stanislas change for the fifth time in six games but whether it would have made any difference or not I don't know. By the time Treacy got his first touch it was 3-1 and we were coming home with nothing.
It all came from our free kick. Wallace got the kick wrong, we were embarrassingly caught out and, despite a gallant effort to recover the situation by Marvin Bartley, Adomah got the goal his performance so richly deserved.
We knew they'd won it and so did they although such was Bristol City's uncertainty, brought about by this poor home run, they allowed us to have too much play towards the end. Jay Rod put one effort wide and James saved well from Treacy. A second Burnley goal, and a 3-2 defeat, would have given us a very flattering scoreline that we just did not deserve.
It really wasn't good enough, nowhere near good enough. We've still got room to manoeuvre and we are still five points clear of the drop zone, but the number of clubs between us and that bottom three is getting less and less as is the points gap.
We are going into a third international break. As we came out of the last one we had pointed out to us this run of seven games in three weeks between the two breaks, games that could shape our season. Five of those seven have been lost.
A year ago today we were on the brink of beating Norwich City away until a late handled goal handed the home side a point after a second half fight back.
More incredibly, just two years ago tomorrow there were thousands of Burnley supporters celebrating at the City of Manchester Stadium as we held Manchester City to a 3-3 draw in an inspirational performance. Yesterday, the Burnley fans turned angry at the end, showing their disgust at the performance against a distinctly average, at best, Championship side.
What a drop in two years - it's frightening and it really is very worrying.
The teams were;
Bristol City: David James, Cole Skuse, Liam Fontaine, Lewin Nyatanga, Ryan McGivern, Albert Adomah, Marvin Elliott, Neil Kilkenny, Stephen Pearson (Kalifa Cisse 72), Yannick Bolasie (Brett Pitman 54), Nicky Maynard (Martyn Woolford 82). Subs not used: Dean Gerken, James Wilson.
Yellow Card: Brett Pitman.
Burnley: Lee Grant, Kieran Trippier, David Edgar, Ben Mee, Brian Easton, Marvin Bartley (Dean Marney 86), Chris McCann (Zavon HInes 79), Junior Stanislas (Keith Treacy 71), Ross Wallace, Jay Rodriguez, Charlie Austin. Subs not used: Jon Stewart, Andre Amougou.
Yellow Cards: Ross Wallace, David Edgar.
Referee: Gary Sutton (Lincolnshire).
Garreth O'Connor's four game run of goals came in the following games in 2005/06
Brighton (h) 1-1
Ipswich (h) 3-0
Wolves (a) 1-0
Leeds (h) 2-1
Willie Irvine's record in the 1965/66 season was in the following games
West Ham (h)3-1*
Sunderland (a) 4-0
Aston Villa (h) 3-1
Liverpool (a) 1-2
Tottenham (h) 1-1
Fulham (a) 5-2**
* - Irvine scored two goals
** - Irvine scored three goals
Willie Irvine also scored in six consecutive games later in the same season.