Date: 24th September 2008 at 8:32am
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The last time Fulham beat the Clarets at Turf Moor was in April 1951 and the jinx continued for the Cottagers last night with the proud Clarets defeating the Premier League side 1-0. A late goal by substitute, Jay Rodriguez three minutes before the end of the match avoided the threat of extra time and possible penalties in this Carling Cup Third Round encounter..

Fulham got the bird in no uncertain terms, with Eagles putting in a great pass for Jay to score and propel the Clarets into the Carling Cup fourth round where there is the potential for a juicy draw against a top big name, Premier League side.

Let`s not underestimate the Clarets performance though last night and the task they faced. Fulham are no slouches this season in the top flight and are currently in 11th place. Burnley`s task may have been made easier with Fulham putting out an under strength team but let`s not forget we are 13th in the Championship some distance away from the dizzy heights that Fulham are normally used to.

Fulham retained only three of the side defeated by local rivals Blackburn on Saturday but one of these was the dangerous striker Andy Johnson, a recent £10.5 million signing from Everton, eagerly looking for his first goal with Fulham.

The Cottagers also strangely named only six or their allocated seven substitutes for this match which makes you wonder how seriously they took this game. A debut was also handed out to keeper Pascal Zuberbuhler.

The Clarets sixteen saw the return of Chris Eagles who was named on the bench with Coyle showing faith in Jordan who retained his place in the back four with Kalvenes one of our seven substitutes.

Steve Thompson it turns out was cup tied having played in an earlier round for Cardiff. Ade Akinbiyi and Kevin McDonald were unavailable for selection due to injury

The Clarets therefore lined up as follows:

Jensen, Anderson, Carlisle, Caldwell, Jordan, Alexander, Elliott, Gudjonsson, McCann, Paterson, Blake

Subs: Penny, Duff, Mahon, Eagles, Rodriguez, Kalvenes, van der Schaaf

Michael Jones was the referee as the match got underway with the Clarets adopting their now familiar 4-1-4-1 formation with Alexander in the holding role in front of the back four and Paterson the lone striker.

Roy Hodgson’s side started the brightest though.

Jensen came for a corner after four minutes and appeared to get bundled off the ball but he gathered at the second attempt.

After 11 minutes though an innocent challenge by Fulham`s Dempsey led to Russell Anderson falling awkwardly and injuring his knee. He had to be stretchered off and Clarets fans face an anxious wait while the swelling goes down on his twisted knee ligaments and a scan can proceed later this week. He left the ground on crutches though so we have to hope for the best.

Coyle was not tempted to move Alexander into the right back position and instead brought on Michael Duff to fill the role.

Chris McCann had the first of many chances two minutes later. He shot wide though after being put through by Blake

Steven Jordan turned the ball away for a corner on 19 minutes after Johnson had hit a low ball across the box. Johnson, still looking for his first Fulham goal then beat the offside trap after being put through by Gera but he fluffed his shot and hit it weakly towards Jensen.

McCann came close again with 31 minutes on the clock but his deflected shot was just wide of the Fulham goal.

The Clarets at this stage looked the most likely to score although Konchesky`s shot was deflected wide with two minutes to go in a rare Fulham attack.

As the half-time whistle went, the Clarets could have been proud of their performance having had the greater number of chances to score and Owen Coyle would have been the happier of the two managers.

No changes were made for the start of the second half as Fulham began to raise their game and put the Clarets under some pressure with 60 minutes on the clock.

However, the Clarets were equal to the pressure and by the end of the match had had more of the possession.

With 15 minutes left, Coyle decided to change things round a bit and brought on Chris Eagles for Blake.

Chris McCann was by now on fire had raised the Clarets fans hopes after twice coming close within a few seconds of each other.

His first a header was cleared in the six-yard box and then from a Blake cross, he shot wide of the post. On 78 minutes it was the lively McCann who came close again after a superb cross by Jordan. He should really have done better with his header though.

Young Jay Rodriguez came on for his first match of the season replacing Paterson after 85 minutes.

Eagles on 86 minutes tested the keeper with a long range shot but a few moments later and the Clarets were one nil up with Eagles the prime architect of the goal. He put in a delightful through ball to Rodriguez who skirted round the keeper and slotted home into the empty net to score his first senior goal for the Clarets.

The Clarets had done it and had thoroughly deserved their victory over Premier League opposition, even it was against a weakened side.

Let`s hope we get an attractive money-spinning tie in the fourth round draw.

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Burnley: Jensen, Anderson (Duff 12), Carlisle, Caldwell, Jordan, Alexander, Elliott, Gudjonsson, McCann, Paterson (Rodriguez 85), Blake (Eagles 75).

Subs Not Used: Penny, Kalvenes, Mahon, Van der Schaaf.

Goals: Rodriguez 88.

Fulham: Zuberbuhler, Baird, Stoor, Andreasen, Konchesky, Teymourian, Ki-Hyeon (Milsom 90), Gera (Pantsil 73), Dempsey, Kallio, Johnson (Nevland 72).

Subs Not Used: Stockdale, Leijer, Brown.

Booked: Kallio.

Ref: M Jones (Mansfield).