Last season the two meetings between Blackburn Rovers and Burnley both saw dramatic late equalisers, and that trend continued today at Turfmoor as Jordan Rhodes scored a a fortuitous late goal to salvage a point for the Ewood Park club.
It was a game that Burnley dominated, but despite their best efforts they were up against a resilient and in-form Blackburn back-line. Jake Kean in the Blackburn goal was kept busy throughout the first half with Sam Vokes coming the closest before Tom Cairney forced Burnley keeper Tom Heaton into a fine save. After the break, from a succession of corners Grant Hanley twice went close for the visitors, but it was substitute Junior Stanislas who broke the deadlock for Burnley with fifteen minutes remaining.
Minutes after entering the fray he played a neat one-two with Danny Ings before unleashing an outstanding 25 yard strike into the bottom left corner of Kean’s goal. Burnley fans erupted as they sensed they maybe close to ending their 34 years of hurt without a victory over their most fierce rivals, but in the end they were the cause of their own downfall. Scott Arfield inexplicably played a blind ball back into his own area, Jordan Rhodes intercepted before turning back inside to find Michael Duff in his way, but the defenders clearance ricocheted back onto Rhodes and into the net past a helpless Heaton to leave Burnley heartbroken once more.
Rhodes wasn’t the only hero/villain however, as fans in the blue and white half of East Lancashire were singing the name of Lee Williamson at the end. He was red-carded in the final minute of the game for pulling down Danny Ings who looked to be away and through on goal. But, the returning Williamson pulled out his very own ‘Louis Suarez’ and took one for the team to leave Burnley fans furious.
It was hard luck on the Clarets who played very well and the devastation of another late goal will leave a sour taste. What it ensures though, the return at Ewood Park in March will be as feisty and bitter as ever. Burnley’s only solace? What was once a huge gap between the two has diminished and not much separates the two sides nowadays.
|Tom Heaton – 6 – Not much to do, one good first half save. Blameless for goal.||Jake Kean – 6 – Unconvincing at times, few decent saves.|
|Kieran Trippier – 6 – King’s pace caused problems but tenacious going forward.||Tony Kane – 6 – Needs to sure up defensively, at fault for Williamson’s red card.|
|Michael Duff – 5 – Unfortunate for goal but gave away too many free kicks. Booked.||Grant Hanley – 7 – Solid, went close twice.|
|Jason Shackell – 7 – Solid and reliable performance.||Scott Dann – 6- Few lapses in concentration, otherwise solid.|
|Ben Mee – 7 – Provided endevour, strong performance. Booked.||Tommy Spurr – 7 – Good in defence and attack, provides width.|
|Michael Kightly – 6 – Quiet debut, needs more game time.||Ben Marshall – 5 – Invisible.|
|David Jones – 7 – Did his job well of sweeping possesion, kept Burnley in flow in the middle.||Jason Lowe – 5 – Tried hard but lacks quality. Booked.|
|Dean Marney – 6 – Industrious as always but lacked quality. Booked.||Corry Evans – 6 – Strong in challenge, needs more game time.|
|Scott Arfield – 4 – Showed some good touches but lacked a final ball, mistake let him down.||Joshua King – 7 – Excellent going forward with his pace, needs to do more defensively.|
|Danny Ings – 7 – Link up play was good and has plenty of potential.||Tom Cairney – 6 – One good shot and some nice touches.|
|Sam Vokes – 7 – Excellent target man, faded as the game wore on.||Jordan Rhodes – 7 – Worked hard on own up-front, endeabour rewarded with goal.|
|Junior Stanislas (sub) – 8 – Excellent goal, kept the ball well.||Alan Judge (sub) – 6 – Not enough time to make impact|
|Chris Taylor (sub) – 6 – Not enough time to make impact|
|Lee Williamson (sub) – 4 – Return from injury, sent off in dying minutes|