Date: 4th October 2012 at 12:28pm
Written by:

Three goals by Charlie Austin were not enough to secure all three points for the Clarets against Sheffield Wednesday at Turf Moor on Tuesday night. Frustratingly the Owls refused to die despite Burnley taking the lead three times and on two of those occasions the visitors hit back almost immediately to level the score. A 3-3 final score was good entertainment for the neutral in a game which was open and end-to-end for the whole of the match but it was in the end a disappointing result for Clarets fans. Expectation had been high going into the two home games against Millwall and Sheffield Wednesday but the return has been poor with just two points from six against two struggling sides in the bottom half of the table. Millwall came to Turf Moor last Saturday on the back of three straight defeats but managed to go away with a point and on Tuesday night it was even worse with Sheffield Wednesday picking up their first point following five defeats on the bounce, six if you also count their exit from the Capital One Cup! This is simply not good enough and something has to improve and soon.

We are rapidly becoming a one man team with Austin on fire and now leading the Championship goal scorers table with 11 for the season (14 in all competitions) so far including his hat-trick on Tuesday night. That`s Charlie`s second hat-trick in five matches not to mention a brace as well. But it`s no good scoring if we are leaking goals at the other end and Austin must have been the most frustrated player on the pitch after three times giving Burnley the lead only to see it evaporate three times! The result leaves the Clarets basically in mid-table no-man`s land in 15th spot with eleven points from nine games. Worryingly that is just three points off the drop zone albeit also only five points off the play-offs positions.

Burnley`s line-up for the Owls match contained one surprise with Chris McCann out injured and replaced by Brian Stock. Jason Shackell was also still absent with a hamstring injury so our line-up in the end was as follows :

Grant, Trippier, Duff, Edgar, Mee, Wallace, Stock, Marney, Stanislas, Austin, Paterson

Subs: Jensen, O`Neill, Mills, Long, Bartley, Stewart, Vokes

Nottingham referee, David Coote got the game underway on a rain-drenched night in Burnley and it was soon clear both sets of fans were going to be in for a lively evening.

Both teams went hell for leather in the opening minutes and if Wednesday had lost their last six games they certainly did not seem to have lost any confidence. It was in fact the Owls who created the first real chance. Nejic Pecnik found Antonio after heading the ball down to him but thankfully on the turn the resulting shot flew over the bar. Martin Paterson then curled an effort just wide as Burnley hit back and before long the Clarets got the lead they were seeking thanks to that man Austin again. Paterson held-up the ball to set Wallace free. Wallace then combined well on the overlap with Trippier before the right back crossed into the danger area allowing Austin to jump the highest and beat the Owls defence to head home past Wednesday keeper, Chris Kirkland and put the Clarets 1-0 up after 22 minutes. Any hope though that the Owls heads might drop evaporated quickly when they equalised just 45 seconds later! Antonio`s speed down the left flank had been causing the Burnley defence problems and this time his cross found O`Grady ideally placed to nod home and level the scores. That equaliser lifted the Owl`s spirits. They took flight again, looking the most likely to take the lead. On-loan Everton midfielder Ross Barkley was now becoming a handful and he twice tested former Owls keeper, Lee Grant from distance. He then picked up a pass from Pecnik and rounded the keeper only to see his effort fly into the side netting from a tight angle.

Burnley had to try and get control back in this game and with seven minutes of the first-half remaining they managed to do just that after regaining the lead. Wednesday defender, Gardner was bamboozled by a cross driven over by Trippier allowing Austin to pounce again after carefully judging the flight of the ball to head back across the Owls keeper and put the Clarets 2-1 up. David Edgar nearly made it 3-1 a few minutes later but his header was well-saved by Kirkland. It would soon become apparent too that a two goal cushion was going to be required if the Clarets were going to stand any chance of winning this clash.

Just four minutes into the second half, Wednesday nearly equalised when Jay Bothroyd curled a shot on target only to see Grant parry the ball round the post. The Owls were simply not going to give up and on 63 minutes they levelled the score for the second time. O`Grady latched onto a Bothroyd pass and running forward flew past Grant before rolling the ball over the line to score his brace. The game continued in hectic style with both teams now looking to get their noses in front, Burnley for the third time, Wednesday for the first!

Howe decided to freshen things up bringing on Stewart for a spent Paterson with 20 minutes to go before Austin nearly got his hat-trick out of the blue after giving Gardner the run-around before forcing Kirkland into a save at the keeper`s near post.

In end-to-end action, with fifteen minutes of the match remaining Burnley survived a scare when Antonio made a hash of his shot after latching on to a McCabe cross giving Grant the chance to make a one-handed save. However on 84 minutes, Austin struck again to claim his hat-trick. A long-ball from Dean Marney found the in-form striker and he charged forward controlling the ball getting the better of Taylor before unleashing a shot from the edge of the box past Kirkland to make it 3-2 Clarets! Surely now we would go on to claim all three points? Er not exactly!! For the second time in the match Burnley conceded an equalising goal less than one minute after taking the lead. This time Antonio thumped the ball home from 30 yards out and curled it past Grant to deflate the home crowd once again and make the final score 3-3!

Match Stats

Burnley: Grant, Trippier, Duff (Long 89), Edgar, Mee, Wallace, Marney, Stock, Stanislas (Vokes 90), Austin, Paterson (Stewart 70), Wallace.

Subs Not Used: Jensen, O`Neill, Mills, Bartley,

Goals: Austin 23 38 84

Booked: Yellow Card for Marney.

Sheffield Wednesday: Kirkland, Johnson, Mattock, Taylor, Gardner, Barkley, Semedo, Bothroyd, O`Grady (Madine 82), Antonio, Pecnik (McCabe ht).

Subs Not Used: Bywater, Llera, Madine, Jones, Mayor, Rodri

Goals: O`Grady 23 64, Antonio 85

Booked: Yellow Card for Johnson

Possession: 45% Burnley, 55% Sheffield Wednesday (Source: BBC Sport)

Referee: David Coote (Nottingham