Scrappy own goal condemns Burnley to defeat

Last updated : 01 March 2015 By Tony Scholes

I don't think it's the worst we've played this season, but I'd go as far as to say it is the worst game we've been involved in since getting back into the Premier League. In what Garry Monk described as difficult conditions, neither side really got hold of the game and, for much of the ninety minutes, neither side looked like scoring.

Swansea pressed us in much the same we as we press teams and the result was a stalemate with the only goal, predictably, coming from a corner, and this one was as bad as any we've conceded this season.

There was no pushing and shoving as we'd seen in the West Brom game, no being beaten in the air on second balls as we suffered at Old Trafford; this one was mainly down to the fact that we allowed former loan player Jack Cork as much room as he liked in the six yard box as the ball came in.

The right wing corner was won in the air by Bafe Gomis and headed across goal for Cork. His first effort, a right foot volley, was superbly tipped onto the bar by Tom Heaton. It dropped to Cork again and next effort deflected off Kieran Trippier's left thigh.

Tom Heaton was unfortunate to concede after making an excellent save to deny Jack Cork

Heaton, on the ground after his first save, stuck out a hand to keep it out but as it dropped and he tried to claim it he could do no more than push it into the net. It's currently been recorded as a Trippier own goal but presumably, next time the dubious goals committee meet, it will be changed with Heaton being confirmed as the goalscorer.

It wasn't dubious but it was an awful goal from our point of view; to allow a player so much space in the goal area at a set piece takes some believing. Yes, Swansea were so fortunate in so many ways to get this goal, but it should never have been so easy for Cork to get one shot in, never mind two.

I don't know why but I'd been confident ahead of this game that we might get our second win of 2015. We'd played well and got less than we'd deserved against West Brom and then turned in two excellent performances on the road.

I've seen some awful games between us and Swansea over the years on the Turf. There were 0-0 draws in 1980, a game played earlier in the day due to floodlight problems. And in our 2008/09 promotion season we lost 2-0 in a game that was a shocker to watch.

The game at the Liberty in August had been an enjoyable game. We were second best, without doubt, for much of the first half, but we gave them a real fright in the second half and really deserved to get something out of the game.

There was little to inspire during the first half. George Boyd got in an early shot and then seemed to disappear for much of the rest of the game, and the closest we came was when Lukasz Fabianski was alert to get into a good position to prevent Ashley Barnes scoring after he 'd been played in by Danny Ings.

At the other end there were two scares, both when Swansea players received balls from Jonjo Shelvey. Both efforts, from Wayne Routledge and then Bafe Gomis, missed target with Routledge making a half hearted appeal for a penalty against Heaton.

Referee Jon Moss was probably a long way away, he often is, and waved away the claims. On the subject of Moss, or certainly referees and the use of the vanishing spray. As much as it might be a good addition, is there really a need to use it when a team gets a free kick in a wide position and are trying to take a quick free kick? More than once yesterday he held up play ridiculously to mark his yards when it was totally unnecessary.

Shelvey himself had the last effort of the first half, firing wide of the post, but 0-0 was definitely the right scoreline as the teams went in at half time.

We tried to step things up after the break but, in truth, there was little change to the game, although the Jimmy Mac went up as one for a penalty when a Swansea player appeared to handle. Michael Kightly had come in almost along the bye line but after Fabianski parried the ball there was a strong appeal. I think Sean Dyche had it right given the ball came up off the defender's thigh.

Then came the goal. It was out of the blue in a game that had rarely threatened to trouble the scorers and you knew it would now be very difficult to get our way back into it.

Barnes had one effort on the turn that flew just wide and Fabianski saved well from Sam Vokes, who had come on as a substitute for Kightly.

Quite often when we are in need of a goal in the last quarter of an hour or so the ground is buzzing. We are putting the opposition under real pressure with the home crowd urging the players on.

It was nothing like that yesterday; there was no real push and the Burnley crowd was as quiet as I've heard it in such a situation for a long time. Far be it for me to open the debate again but a cricket field stand left three quarters empty is hardly conducive to a good atmosphere. Those behind the decision not to allow home fans in this season should be hanging their collective heads in shame.

We made a rather pointless substitution just before the final whistle which was greeted with a collective sigh that this poor game was finally over.

All that was left was to negotiate the increasingly dangerous situation at the Wellington traffic lights as cars whizzed round the corners with the only good news coming with defeats for Sunderland, Hull and Villa.

I've just watched the Liverpool v Man City game - on that form I don't think our game at Anfield on Wednesday is going to be an easy three points for us.

But we're still in there. Not much damage was done unless you now consider West Brom and Palace to be out of the equation.

I just wish we had Dean Marney in the midfield though.

The teams were;

Burnley: Tom Heaton, Kieran Trippier, Michael Keane, Jason Shackell, Ben Mee, George Boyd, Scott Arfield, David Jones, Michael Kightly (Sam Vokes 75), Danny Ings, Ashley Barnes (Lukas Jutkiewicz 90). Subs not used: Matt Gilks, Steven Reid, Michael Duff, Stephen Ward, Ross Wallace.

Swansea: Lukasz Fabianski, Kyle Naughton, Federico Fernandez, Ashley Williams, Neil Taylor, Jack Cork, Tom Carroll (Jefferson Montero 60), Ki Sung-Yeung, Jonjo Shelvey, Wayne Routledge (Jordi Amat 90), Bafe Gomis (Nelson Oliveira 90+2). Subs not used: Gerhard Tremmel, Angel Rangel, Leon Britton, Marvin Emnes.

Referee: Jon Moss (West Yorkshire).

Attendance: 17,388 (including 1,123 from Swansea).