Burnley 2 Barnsley 1

Match Report by Dave Clark

Urn returned to winning ways taking three home points for the first time in seven weeks as they eventually won against an Arns team themselves on a poor run having now suffered five straight defeats.

That Urn won was mainly in thanks to NTG who enabled the win with a magnificent last minute save, as he was able to push Rankin's shot from seven yards around the post.

It should not have needed this after Arns had been reduced to ten men for the last thirty minutes, though this was the spur to Arns and the marker for the end of the game as far as Urn were concerned, anxiety creeping needlessly into the last ten minutes.

Clarets took to the field in front of a paltry 500 or so Barnsley followers, in a lovely green and blue away strip, another case of green being a poor choice in away strips. Kevin Ball having served his time returned to the midfield alongside Johnrose and Cook.

The usual trio took the centre defence with Weller on the right balanced by Branch on the left. Up front, for once Payton partnered Moore, the Predator enjoying his 400th league appearance in some style Moore also having a good game and the two looking more complimentary than in previous partnerships.

The bench for once contained options with Little, Mellon, Mullin, Crichton and Armstrong occupying the tracksuits today.

As in the Scunthorpe game, Clarets lost the toss and kicked towards the East Stand for the first half in which Clarets were once again very deep in midfield tending to isolate the front two.

First blood almost went to the Arns as Cox was caught napping, allowing debutant Rankin to nip in and shoot enabling NTG to make his first save on an afternoon he was to be kept quite busy. It took Urn twenty minutes to bring Miller into action and this only to take a tame shot on the turn from Moore. Within a minute Urn could easily have fallen behind as Shipperley, unmarked, shot wide from ten yards.

The game was not following any kind of real pattern, Branch was moving from one wing to the other, though his left wing run half way through the half resulted in Clarets first (and only???) corner of the game. Cook's out swinger found a stooping Johnrose, who neatly curled a header into the top right corner to give Urn some breathing space with the relief of a rare lead. Three minutes later and Payton was crudely fouled thirty yards from goal.

This time Cook's dead ball skills picked out Moore who's deft glancing header beat Miller, bouncing along the line after hitting the inside of the post, before being hacked away to safety.

The goal had visibly lifted Urn who now started to knock the ball around with new found confidence allowing Branch and Weller the rare moments of runs down the wing instead of the more familiar aimless punts from defence. Cook's next free kick on the half hour was quickly taken and Payton was unlucky to mis-time his volley on the turn, the defence caught flat footed.

As the game neared half time the battle between Rankin and Cox was proving the most eye catching and it was the Arns man who so nearly caught NTG, needing all his height and reach to tip away a lobbed ball.

It was easy to see that Arns were a team low on confidence though Urn's lack of willingness to press on enabled the Arns defenders too much time and space allowing them to build quite easily from the back. So half time arrived as a bit of a damp squib, with Urn looking to build on the lead.

The second began encouragingly as Johnrose neatly fed the ball inside the full back only for Branch to then over hit his cross and the clear chance was gone. Next let off went the way of the Urn as Weller was hopelessly caught out of position allowing Arns's left back time and space to cut into the area and hit a good low cross that Rankin spooned over from ten yards, NTG electing to stop on his line rather than cut out the cross with Cox at full stretch.

Moore stupidly kicked the ball away in frustration as the officials started to become more noticeable, which will lead to a suspension this being his fifth booking. Heyward was booked for dissent as Arns started to show signs of falling apart, before the disappointing Shipperley was replaced by Dyer. Rankin was booked for a crude push on Cox as his frustration got the better of him.

Two minutes later and Moore was put clean through for a run on goal. Morgan, the hero of Oakwell, became the villain at the Turf, as he brought down Moore for a straight red card. Nigel Spackman immediately shuffling his ten card deck before the resulting free kick came to nothing. With twenty minutes remaining Urn went two goals clear. Branch having cut into the area saw his shot parried away, only to Moore who's shot was cleared to Payton.

The Predator having seen his first shot hit a defender on the line followed up with a calm header into the bottom right corner, celebrating appearance number 400 with goal number 220, not a bad record by anybody's standards. The goal should have steadied nerves and enabled Urn to move out of sight.

Instead, it had the opposite effect and the last twenty minutes were very frustrating, the home side constantly giving the ball away with a number of players disappearing from the game. Branch was replaced by Little before Arns came back into the game with a goal out of the blue.

Thomas' header cleared the area and fell to debutant Heyward thirty five yards from goal in a central position. Whilst his first touch was good there seemed little danger though no one was quick out to him and his twenty five yarder screamed into the top left corner of NTG's for one of the best goals at the Turf this season.

Johnrose entered the book as the game entered the last ten with Clarets now too often sloppy and guilty of giving the ball away on too many occasions allowing Arns to build with ease and press forwards putting Clarets under pressure and building the frustrations in three sides of the ground.

Looking around it was difficult to tell which side had the ten men. Payton was replaced by Mullin, before Cox entered the book as it was now his turn to foul Rankin, before Cook was strangely replaced by Armstrong, Stretch taking up an unfamiliar midfield role for the remainder of the game. Into the last five with tensions rising in the stands still further, a case not helped at all by the diving Dyer, booked for his double twist and pike in the area.

Mullin broke the constant Arns pressure with a run into the area, though his cross was easily taken. As the game entered the last of the four injury time minutes, the defence was broken by a high spinning ball that fell to Rankin, who looked odds on to score before his shot was superbly tipped away by the agile NTG, keeping the three points intact, just, moving Clarets up to ninth spot in the process.

It would have been a travesty had Clarets conceded, but this was a save worthy of winning any game.

The Good - Three points at last and three games unbeaten. Let's see where this takes us as they say.

The Bad - Too many bookings in this game. I think Moore and Johnrose are now able to book a holiday with their win bonuses gained today.

The Ugly - None really. Though Clarets inability to kill off yet another poor side is a cause for concern. Still forty two points is that that really matters. Who knows there may even be a Cup run to celebrate soon.


Burnley: Michopoulos, Thomas, Ball, Davis, Cox, Johnrose, Cook (Armstrong 85), Branch (Little 70), Weller, Payton (Mullin 84), Moore.

Yellow cards: Moore (52) dissent, Johnrose (77) foul, Cox (85) foul.

Burnley Scorers: Johnrose 24, Payton 61

Barnsley: Miller, O'Callaghan, Morgan, Chettle, Barker, Neill, Hayward, Bullock (Regan 57), Shipperley, Rankin, Jones

Yellow cards: Morgan (30) foul, Hayward (63) dissent, Rankin (69) foul, Dyer (85) unsporting behaviour.

Red Card: Morgan (56) foul

Barnsley Scorer: Hayward 77

Referee: C. H. Webster (Chester-le-Street)

Attendance: 15,380

Picture: Fans man of the match Nick Michopoulos