The most important goal since Wade's
Report of match Burnley 1 Cardiff City 1 played 20th April 2013
Reporter Tony Scholes
A David Edgar goal just seconds into stoppage time gave Burnley a desperately needed point this afternoon against Cardiff City on a day when results have generally gone our way.
We'd trailed for over an hour to a Craig Conway goal for champions elect Cardiff and it looked like it was going to be a third consecutive 1-0 defeat in a week when Edgar headed in his first ever Turf Moor goal.
I said then that it could be the most important goal Burnley have scored since Wade Elliott planted one past Paddy Kenny at Wembley in May 2009. It gave us one more point as we limp to what will hopefully be safety and to another season of Championship football in 2013/14.
It hasn't been a good week. We lost at Blackpool last Saturday on that apology of a pitch. I think there was a lot of sympathy because of what we had to play on, but that sympathy totally disappeared on Tuesday when we turned in an abject performance at Leeds.
|A first Turf Moor goal for David Edgar and a very important goal|
Like most football supporters, we started to panic. "We're going down, absolutely no doubt about that," said one fan coming out of Elland Road, this despite almost a third of the division still being below us in the table.
It's been that sort of season. I don't think anyone expected us to have only 54 points going into the last two games, but I'm certain anyone who did would have imagined it would have, at least, been enough to see us well clear of the drop zone.
Our opponents today, Cardiff, were promoted on Tuesday and last night, as Hull bored the country to death again, they all but clinched the title. This was, without any doubt, the toughest game we could face.
We knew we had to face it without the injured Charlie Austin and Michael Duff and we knew we'd be without Alex Kačaniklić who, instead, played almost a full game for Fulham against Arsenal at Craven Cottage.
He'd played at Leeds and his place went to Junior Stanislas. Ben Mee, injured in that game, failed a fitness test with Danny Lafferty coming in and Sean Dyche made a third change, recalling Danny Ings at the expense of Martin Paterson.
With Sky here it meant a 12:45 kick off and we were soon to discover that this was certainly not going to be an easy 90 minutes for us. For much of the first half we were very much second best. We failed to match Cardiff in the midfield and they basically dominated most of the half.
There was little of note from us during that first 45 minutes, an occasional cross but the best we mustered was a ball that put Kieran Trippier clear on the right but with no support he fluffed it.
That came less than a minute before the game's opening goal and a good one it was too from Craig Conway. He got past Trippier, evaded Kevin Long and as Jason Shackell came in he unleashed a shot into the corner of the net.
Thankfully that was their only goal of the half and we could be grateful to go in just a goal behind. We could also count ourselves very fortunate not to be down to ten men too given that Ross Wallace had gone on a one man assault course on Cardiff's Bo-Kyung Kim although it has to be said the South Korean midfielder got little support from the home crowd after going down a little bit too easily more than once previously.
I can't recall anything happening between the two players in the reverse fixture in October but Wallace, as television pictures showed, twice used his arm and you have to wonder just how the referee missed them. Then, of course, you remember that the referee is Stuart Atwell who misses a lot while seeing things that don't happen.
We needed to do something. It was desperate. We were awful, even taking into account the quality of the opposition. Dyche opted to make a double change, replacing Wallace and Junior Stanislas with Paterson and Edgar. The same change had improved things at Blackpool and did so again.
Without being good it was better. We at least got on the front foot a bit and started to take the game to Cardiff. We might have had a penalty too when Dean Marney went down in the box. It was theatrical the way he went down but there was contact. Attwell carded Marney for diving.
Time was beginning to run out for us but, with less than five minutes to go, I thought we'd rescued a point. Keith Treacy, on for Marney, won a header and found Paterson who did ever so well to play it forward for Ings.
Ings brilliantly took the ball on his chest, turned and fired in what looked a certain equaliser only for David Marshall to make a brilliant save to keep his side level.
Just around five minutes later there was nothing Marshall could do. Ings had played a poor ball forward that Cardiff should have dealt with but Treacy forced a throw close to the right hand corner flag.
Trippier threw it long, although nothing quite as long as we'd seen from Aron Gunnarsson during the afternoon. It was headed back to him and this time his delivery was perfect. As it came over around the six yard line, Paterson pulled away taking a defender with him and Edgar got in to head goalwards.
Marshall got a hand to it but could do no more than help it into the net and, as the board went up to show four extra minutes, we were level and on our way to a point.
Incredibly that's four draws in our last seven games and all of them have had two stoppage time equalisers, against us at Blackburn and at home to Forest and for us at Watford and now here.
There were no scares and the point was won. Now we had to wait and see how important it might be.
Huddersfield had just beaten Millwall 3-0 but that really was as bad as it got for us. It would have been nice to see Barnsley lose at Forest but defeats for Blackburn, Blackpool, Wolves and Peterborough have left us in a much better position tonight than we were this morning.
Barnsley and Wolves occupy the relegation places with already relegated Bristol City. They, as do Peterborough, have 51 points. For any of them to go above us they would need to win both their remaining games.
If two of them don't then, quite simply, we are safe. That's the only objective we've got now and then we can take stock as to what went wrong this season and how we can put it right ahead of next season, a next season that simply has to be in the Championship.
Yes, David Edgar's goal might just be the most important since Wade's.
The teams were;
Burnley: Lee Grant, Kieran Trippier, Kevin Long, Jason Shackell, Danny Lafferty, Ross Wallace (Martin Paterson ht), Dean Marney (Keith Treacy 83), Chris McCann, Junior Stanislas (David Edgar ht), Danny Ings, Sam Vokes. Subs not used: Brian Jensen, Luke O'Neill, Marvin Bartley, Brian Stock.
Yellow Cards: Kieran Trippier, Dean Marney.
Cardiff: David Marshall, Kevin McNaughton, Ben Turner, Leon Barnett, Andrew Taylor, Bo-Kyung Kim, Aron Gunnarsson, Jordon Mutch (Don Cowie 74), Craig Noone (Craig Bellamy 66), Rudy Gestede, Craig Conway. Subs not used: Joe Lewis, Ben Nugent, Pete Whittingham, Simon Lappin, Joe Mason.
Yellow Card: Bo-Kyung Kim.
Referee: Stuart Attwell (Nuneaton).