Date: 1st May 2011 at 7:09pm
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The Clarets face automatic promotion chasing Bluebirds at Turf Moor in our final fixture of 2010-11. We recall the game earlier this year at the Cardiff City Stadium and the two matches in 2008-9

Burnley played the Bluebirds only recently in a clash at the Cardiff City Stadium back in February this year. It was played on the night of Tuesday 15th February 2011 in front of 21.307 fans. It was in fact a rearranged fixture originally scheduled to be played on Saturday 18th December but the snow and ice in Wales that month ensured the game was postponed.

We were enjoying a good spell by the time we eventually played them in February. Eddie Howe had replaced Brian Laws in January and since that time had won four out of the six games played with one match drawn.

Cardiff were riding high in second spot with one eye on automatic promotion so it was excellent result to come away from South Wales with a point following a 1-1 draw.

Eddie Howe named an unchanged starting eleven for this clash following our 3-1 away win at Watford in the previous game. Charlie Austin having recovered from his bout of illness returned to the eighteen on the bench.

We therefore lined up as follows:

Grant, Mears, Duff, Carlisle, Fox, Cork, Marney, Wallace, Eagles, Iwelumo, Rodriguez

Subs: Jensen, Bikey, Alexander, Elliott, Bartley, Austin, Thompson

Salisbury referee, Roger East got the game underway and Burnley certainly had to weather the storm in the first few minutes of the match with Cardiff rampant and keen to move within touching distance of League leaders QPR. They were just five points behind them at the start of this game with a game in hand.

Chopra came close in the seventh-minute after getting in a shot from the edge of the penalty area which hit the crossbar. Former Clarets` loan Peter Whittingham then soon after let rip with a left-footed curling shot that had Grant diving at full stretch to keep out the danger.

The Clarets though kept their composure and gradually got more and more into the game with Chris Eagles in particular the driving force leading the counter-attack from about the 20th minute. He shot just wide of the post after 21 minutes and then had two attempts to score on the half-hour mark but was thwarted in his case by Heaton after unleashing first a 30-yard thunderbolt and then an angled drive from inside the area. Eagles then had another attempt blocked by Cardiff defender Mark Hudson with the Clarets now beginning to dominate proceedings. It was perhaps a cruel blow when against the run of play and in first-half added time Cardiff took the lead to go in at half-time 1-0 up.

Bothroyd in the clear and charging down the right flank put the ball over across the six-yard area and there was Chopra to thump home the ball into the top corner. What a cruel blow but Burnley now have a new found resilience under Howe on the road and they were certainly not going to give up without a fight. They nearly even bounced back immediately after the goal with that man, Eagles again in the thick of things. His shot following a Wallace corner was blocked by Bothroyd in the dying seconds of the first half.

Howe made no changes for the start of the second half and Burnley now certainly had the bit between their teeth looking for an equaliser.

Eagles continued as he had left off causing all sorts of problems for the Cardiff back four. He had one effort saved by Heaton before Wallace then got into the action thumping a 25-yard drive wide.

Charlie Austin now fully recovered from his illness last week came on from the bench after 67 minutes to make his third appearance for the Clarets. Iwelumo was the player he replaced.

Cardiff not to be outdone then brought on the high-profile, Craig Bellamy to replace goal-scorer, Chopra but it was the Clarets who continued to dominate.

Former Bluebirds striker, Steve Thompson then came on for Jay Rodriguez in the 74th minute to a round of applause from the Cardiff fans. Their appreciation of their former player though turned sour when he scored an equaliser with just seven minutes of the game remaining! First though it was now Cardiff`s turn to soak up the pressure and they came close to doubling their lead after Bothroyd pounced in the area to force Grant into a great save from close range.

Burnley though were not going to be denied at least something from their first visit to the Cardiff City Stadium and their equalising goal came from a Wallace corner to the near-post. Thompson who had timed his run to perfection glanced in a header with the ball sailing past Heaton and into the far corner via a deflection. They don`t come sweeter than that against your former club and Thommo will have been delighted to have scored his third goal of the season for the Clarets. 1-1 then the final score and a great point!

The last time we played Cardiff City before this season was in the 2008-9 and it was the Bluebirds who had the upper hand collecting four points from the two games. Cardiff looked to be strong candidates for automatic promotion in 2008-9 and when that opportunity evaporated it still looked odds on they would be in the play-offs. It looked certain when they beat Burnley 3-1 at Ninian Park on Easter Monday 2009 with just four games to play that the Bluebirds would at least get something for their efforts. In the end they managed to pick up just one point from those four games to finish agonisingly 7th behind Preston losing out by just one goal. Preston in the first of those four games had trounced Cardiff 6-0 at Deepdale and they would go on to finish the season on the same number of points as Cardiff with the same goal difference but having scored one more goal.

On Easter Monday 13th April 2009 though, Clarets fans hopes were high that we could get something from our clash away to Cardiff City. At the time we were on a run and had been undefeated in seven games. We were still in a good position to reach the play-offs ourselves lying in 6th spot two places behind Cardiff who in fourth place still had hopes of automatic promotion. This was certainly going to be a six pointer of a game but the omens were not good. Ninian Park was proving to be a bit of a bogey ground for the Clarets in recent times and with Cardiff moving to a new stadium in 2009-10 unless we met again in the play-offs this was going to be our last chance to get a rare victory on this ground.

However we had not even managed a draw there since Cardiff were promoted to the Championship in 2003 and you would have to go back to our promotion season of 1999/2000 for the last time we had won on this ground. A 2-1 victory on ironically April Fool`s Day 2000 was the last time we could wipe the smile off Welsh faces so could we now?

It was not going to be easy since Owen Coyle also faced a problem with his team selection. He had limited options in attack and had a threadbare squad of just nineteen fit players to choose from. Former Cardiff striker, Steven Thompson was still out injured with an ankle ligament problem and Martin Paterson was also sidelined with a hamstring injury. This meant that Jay Rodriguez was given his second start having only just made his full debut in the previous game.

We lined up as follows:

Jensen, Williams, Carlisle, Caldwell, Kalvenes, Alexander, Eagles, McCann, Elliott, Blake, Rodriguez

Subs: Penny, Duff, Gudjonsson, McDonald, MacDonald

Burnley looked to have had the edge in the first 30 minutes of this nervy match but Cardiff then began to turn the screw. It was goalless though at half-time but the pressure would be on the Clarets in the second half following news that our rivals for a play-offs spot, Preston and Swansea were both winning away from home.

The second half continued very much like the first with no side able to get that all important first goal. The hour mark came and went and still the score was 0-0. In the 74th minute though, Cardiff finally broke the deadlock. McCormack flicked the ball into the area and it was Bothroyd who picked up the loose ball to thump it into the top corner of the net and put the Bluebirds 1-0 up.

The goal though seemed to spur the Clarets into action and suddenly we started to string a few attacks together.

Rodriguez headed over and then Blake attempted a strong shot from 20 yards that bamboozled Taylor who fumbled the ball with no Clarets player around to take advantage.

Darren Purse then had to clear the ball following some magic by Elliott in the box.

Eight minutes remaining and we got a free-kick in Robbie Blake territory. Despite the fact, it was wide on the left hand side, Blake came close to equalising but at least Clarets fans didn`t have to wait long until we did draw level.

On 84 minutes, Rodriguez was pressing on the attack and Gudjonsson got onto a loose ball before a poor Darren Purse back pass let Blake sneak in and score Burnley`s 85th goal of the season.

The Clarets fans had hardly stopped cheering though when the Bluebirds regained the lead straight from the kick-off to destroy our hopes of getting something from this game. Bothroyd headed down the ball which McCormack latched onto having found room in the box to shoot past the hapless Jensen. What a hammer blow, something surely we didn`t deserve?

Coyle now had limited options to try and rescue the situation and was forced to bring on defender Michael Duff as an emergency striker with three minutes of the match remaining

Burnley tried to get the equaliser in the last few minutes of the game but you just sensed we would get caught out on the break and so it proved. Carlisle came close with a header from a corner that was headed clear off the line, in a little bit of pressure that saw three corners in quick succession but with stoppage time being played, McCormack caught Burnley out on the break to beat Jensen who was rushing out with the defence on the retreat and trying to get back. No ‘Happy Easter` then for the Clarets but at least in the end it would still be our season.

The earlier clash at Turf Moor was played out on the night of Tuesday 10th December 2008. Both teams were riding high at the time with the Clarets in fourth spot and the Bluebirds fifth.

Both Michael Duff (calf strain) and Chris McCann (illness) were sidelined for this match but thankfully Clarke Carlisle was available after a one match suspension for a fifth yellow.

Coyle lined up 4-4-2 but chose to leave former Cardiff player, Steve Thompson on the bench

We therefore lined up as follows

Jensen, Alexander, Carlisle, Caldwell, Jordan, Elliott, McDonald, Gudjonsson, Eagles, Paterson, Blake.

Subs: Penny, Akinbiyi, Thompson, Mahon, MacDonald

It was the Bluebirds who made the livelier start and Jensen was soon in action smothering the ball following a shot by Ledley. Bothroyd nearly broke the deadlock with a shot after 8 minutes but it was the Clarets against the run of play that took the lead five minutes later.

Paterson turned superbly to shoot and test the Bluebirds keeper, Enckelman who could only parry the ball to Blake. He made no mistake from close range to put the Clarets 1-0 up.

However, the lead was not going to last too long with Cardiff drawing level after 25 minutes of play.

Another parry this time from Jensen after Routledge had sliced through our defence and shot could only find Bothroyd who scored. The first goal from a visiting side at Turf Moor in 488 minutes!

It remained 1-1 at half-time but the Clarets quickly fell behind in the second half. Jensen saved from Bothroyd but the loose ball in the box was snapped up by Routledge to score and give Cardiff a 2-1 lead in the 47th minute.

The Clarets now tried to get back in the game and began to put some pressure on the visitors. Enckelman had to be on his guard on 51 minutes after being tested by an Eagles shot from the edge of the box.

The game was now becoming a thrilling end to end affair.

Coyle decided though it was time to change things round after 57 minutes. With Elliott failing to make an impression it was time to replace him with Thompson and see if the striker could put some pressure on his former team mates.

He certainly did that and was about to score only his second goal for the Clarets of the season and what an important one it was too.

A cross by Eagles on 75 minutes found Blake whose shot was tipped onto the post by Enckelman. The ball fell to Thompson who from close range made no mistake to make the score 2-2.

It was Thompson again with seven minutes remaining who could have got a second goal but he put his header at the far post just wide following an excellent cross by Eagles.

We tried everything to get the winner but it wasn`t to be and in the end the Clarets had to be content with a point.

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