Date: 24th October 2007 at 6:51pm
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The Clarets won their first game in seven matches last night after beating struggling side Norwich 2-1. They made hard work of it though after being 2-0 up with only 4 minutes of play on the clock. A goal by Blake in the first minute followed by a Gray penalty, three minutes later threatened to suggest a tonking might be the order of the day for the poor Canaries! However like many frustrating matches this season, the Clarets dont seem to be able to sense a killing and let Norwich back into the match in the second half when Chris Brown sidefooted home on 68 minutes. But for the heroic efforts of Kiraly they may have had an equaliser but he pulled off a tremendous save after 80 minutes to deny Cureton from six yards out.

Despite the wobbles and scares for the Clarets fans, this was still a valuable three points and we are now 10th. If we had played and won our postponed match against QPR we could now find ourselves second or third its that tight around the play-offs spots. Somehow though we have to stop giving away one goal and two goal leads and letting the opposition back into the game through some nervy defensive displays.

The Clarets made one forced change last night with captain Steve Caldwell out injured. Alexander took the armband with Carlisle, Unsworth and Jordan completing the back four. Blake and Lafferty returned to the starting eleven with Mahon and Akinbiyi having to be content on the bench. The Clarets therefore lined up as follows:

Kiraly, Alexander, Carlisle, Unsworth, Jordan, Elliott, Spicer, McCann, Lafferty, Gray, Blake

Subs: Harley, James O’Connor, Akinbiyi, Jensen, Mahon.

Norwich had former Clarets loan, Luke Chadwick in the starting eleven and the full team was as follows:

Marshall, Otsemobor, Murray, Shackell, Lappin, Chadwick Brown, Russell, Huckerby, Strihavka, Spillane.

Subs: Croft, Martin, Cureton, Smith, Hartson.

The referee, Michael Jones (Cheshire) got the match underway and it didnt take long for the Clarets to pounce with their first goal

The Canaries’ were taken by surprise after just 51 seconds. An impressive and thrilling Burnley attack with Lafferty running 50 yards after defending a corner led to Robbie Blake heading home a cross from Wade Elliott.

The Clarets then quickly made it 2-0 three minutes later when Jon Otsemobor brought down Blake and Andy Gray cooly took the penalty to score his ninth goal of the season.

We then seemed to take our foot of the accelerator despite a series of corners and Norwich came back into it especially in the last 15-20 minutes and we were probably lucky to go into the break still two goals up. In total though it was an half that we mainly dominated and there couldn’t be too many complaints.

We started off well at the start of the second half too.

Lafferty and Blake teamed up well to earn a corner. From the corner,Chris McCann shot from the edge of box, but it was deflected wide.Robbie Blake then got behind the Norwich defence after 50 minutes following another good attack, but he could only put his shot wide.

Mahon replaced Blake after 57 minutes and we seemed to lose momentum

Norwich got back into the game after 68 minutes after substitute John Hartson found Brown to give Kiraly no chance. 2-1 and the trembling began! Then came the save of the match if not the season to maintain our lead.Kiraly pulled off an amazing save on 80 minutes after Jamie Cureton looked certain to equalise from only six yards out. Phew!

Ade Akinbiyi came on for the last ten minutes but never really got into the game

There was thankfully however no more anxious moments and the Clarets probably felt relieved as the whistle went with three points safely in the bag. Bring on the Saints!

Burnley: Kiraly, Alexander, Carlisle, Unsworth, Jordan, Elliott, McCann, Spicer, Lafferty (Akinbiyi 78), Blake (Mahon 57), Gray.

Subs Not Used: Jensen, Harley, James O’Connor.

Booked: Unsworth, Alexander.

Goals: Blake 1, Gray 4 pen.

Norwich: Marshall, Otsemobor, Murray, Shackell, Lappin, Chadwick (Cureton 69), Brown, Russell (Smith 84), Huckerby, Strihavka (Hartson 58), Spillane.

Subs Not Used: Croft, Martin.

Booked: Huckerby.

Goals: Brown 68.