Date: 2nd January 2015 at 12:23pm
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In an incredible game at St James Park on New Year`s Day, Burnley came from behind three times to share a six-goal thriller and that was despite having been forced to make three substitutions in the first half due to injury; the first time a club has been forced to do that since 2009. The Clarets were outplayed in the first-half but showed great character, grit and determination in the second-half to put the Toon under pressure in a ‘never say never’ performance that in the end earned Burnley a 3-3 draw and a valuable point. Not only that but they hit the woodwork four times and left Newcastle caretaker manager John Carver admitting his team were lucky to get out of jail in the end and deserved to lose.

The Clarets looked shaky in the first half and after sustained pressure fell behind in the 14th minute, Steve Taylor rose highest to plant a header inside the far post but it got worse for Burnley when it became clear that Jason Shackled had injured himself unsuccessfully trying to prevent the goal. Shackell was replaced by Kevin Long to make his Premier League debut and Dean Marney picked up the captain`s armband. Remarkably Shackell had not failed to complete a game under the whole of Sean Dyche`s reign but now Burnley`s character was about to be tested to the full. They got a lifeline first though thanks to a bizarre own goal from Dummett in the 19th minute. Under no pressure he attempted a headed back pass to his keeper but instead the ball flew over Alnwick into the back of the net to level things up. Burnley though fell behind again when Colback hit a screamer in the 26th minute from 25 yards out to put Newcastle 2-1 up. The Clarets seemed to have a mountain to climb after that when by the 37th minute they had been forced to make another two forced substitutions due to injury. Marney had to be replaced in the 32nd minute complaining of illness, so now we had lost both our captain and vice-captain. Kightly came on to replace Arfield on the wing with the Scot now playing in centre midfield and Trippier took over the captaincy. Five minutes later and disaster struck again when substitute Kevin Long who had only been on the pitch himself 20 minutes had to be stretchered off after getting clattered in the back and falling awkwardly seemingly jarring his knee badly. Sean Dyche now had a headache to resolve in the back four with no more recognised centre backs on the bench. It was decided to bring on Steven Reid at right back, move Kieran Trippier to left back and play Ben Mee in the centre of defence. It looked like it was going to be one of those days now with nothing going our way. Our tactical options for the rest of the game would now be severely restricted with no further substitutions available and of course any more injuries and Burnley would be down to ten men or worse. In the second-half though Burnley put in an incredible performance. They had already hit the woodwork a further three times before finally equalising in the 66th after Ings got on the end of a Kightly cross to cleverly glance in a header. There would still be more heartbreak though for the Clarets when totally against the run of play, the hosts got their noses in front again in the 78th minute thanks to a Sissoko goal. 3.200 Clarets though who had made the journey to the North East were finally given some justice four minutes from time when George Boyd made it 3-3 to earn Burnley a valuable point, one that would prove crucial once the other results involving relegation-threatened teams were known. Leicester despite a 2-2 draw at Liverpool would fail to move closer to the Clarets who remain second-from-bottom with now 17 points from 20 games. Palace and West Brom also picked up a point away to Villa and West Ham respectively whilst Hull beat Everton 2-0 at home. A late equalizer by Swansea in added time at Loftus Road prevented QPR moving further ahead and they remain in 16th spot still two points ahead of Burnley. Sunderland went down 3-2 away to now joint league leaders, Manchester City and the Black Cats are now in 14th spot only three points ahead of the Clarets. We play Sunderland away later this month and also have another two vital six-pointers at home in January before that with first QPR and then Palace the visitors. Our first game in February is also at home to struggling West Brom. The next four league games all against sides trying to avoid the drop could make or break our season.

Team Sheet

Dyche opted to name the same starting eleven for the sixth successive game and the only change in the eighteen from the Manchester City match on Sunday was that Reid replaced Chalobah on the bench. Sam Vokes was still absent. It was revealed that he had picked up a bug and had not travelled to the North East. Our line-up was therefore as follows:

Heaton, Trippier, Keane, Shackell, Mee, Arfield, Marney, Jones, Boyd, Ings, Barnes

Subs: Gilks, Long, Reid, Kightly, Wallace, Jutkiewicz, Sordell

Full Match Report

Wirral referee, Mike Dean got the game underway and Burnley almost scored within the first minute. Ings found Barnes on the left with a through-ball and the in-form striker then let rip with a drive that beat Newcastle keeper, Jak Alnwick only for the rising ball to hit the inside of the post. Newcastle though then took over the game and enjoyed most of the possession. Heaton managed to claw away a long-range effort from Yoan Gouffran before a half-cleared corner set up Colback. His low shot though took a deflection and went behind for a corner. The pressure paid off for the hosts though in the 14th minute from an in-swinging corner with Taylor rising the highest to head home inside the far post. The goal was made worse for Clarets fans because Shackell was injured trying to defend the danger and had to be substituted with Long coming on to make his Premier League debut. Burnley`s luck though improved five minutes later when they were gifted an equaliser thanks to an own goal. A clearance from Heaton led to Fabricio Coloccini attempting a looping header to defend the danger. Magpies left-back, Paul Dummett was under no pressure as the ball came down to him but instead of heading the ball out for a corner he decided to attempt a back-pass to his keeper that went horribly wrong. His header flew over the keeper into the back of the net to make it all square. Newcastle though continued to press and by the 26th minute had regained the lead. Colback unleashed a 25-yard effort that flew just inside Heaton`s right hand post to make the score 2-1 in the hosts favour. Two more forced substitutions followed for the Clarets following the departure of both Marney and then Long leaving no alternative but to change things round and play with a makeshift defence and move Scott Arfield into the centre of midfield with Kightly coming on from the bench to replace him on the wing. Ben Mee was now playing in the centre of defence, Steven Reid came on at right back and Kieran Trippier was now playing on the opposite flank. It looked bleak now for the Clarets but they held on until half-time without conceding any further goals.

Whatever Dyche said to them at the break, it worked! The Clarets came out and began to take control in impressive style frustrating the home fans. Burnley almost made it 2-2 within a minute of the re-start. Kightly put over a cross from the right to find Boyd at the near post but at full stretch he could only stab the ball over the ball. Just a few seconds later they had an even better chance to equalise. Ings finding space on the edge of the box saw his right-footed shot whip against the underside of the bar. Barnes was quick to react though and latch onto the loose ball out-jumping his marker to head on target. But it looked like it was going to be one of those days when his attempt too hit the woodwork with his nodded ball bouncing off the foot of the post. The hosts though were now clearly rattled and had no answer to Burnley`s resurgence and dominance. Just past the hour mark, the woodwork came to the hosts rescue again when Ben Mee got up from a Jones corner only to see his header come off the crossbar. Four times now, Newcastle had been saved by the woodwork but the Clarets continued to press determined to get back on level terms. Burnley were in complete control now and in the 65th minute Alnwick pulled off a spectacular save to deny Boyd after getting a glove to the former Hull winger`s long range effort and pushing the ball over. One minute later though and the visitors finally got their richly-deserved equaliser. Kightly on the left put over a cross following a short throw-in and there was Ings at the far post to get the faintest of touches and glance the ball home with his head. Totally against the run of play though, Newcastle somehow got their noses back in front in the 78th minute. Perez charging down the left wing put over a cross to find substitute, Adam Armstrong. He managed to deflect the ball into the path of Sissoko at the far post and he made no mistake drilling the ball home from six yards out to make it an undeserved 3-2. Somehow though the ‘never say never` attitude of the Clarets paid dividends in the end and with four minutes to go once again they were back on level terms. Following a driving run from Ings the ball broke to Boyd and he unleashed a shot from 18 yards out that sailed sweetly into the back of the net. A remarkable day and a remarkable point against all the odds in the end but a result that set 2015 off to a great start!

Match Stats

Newcastle: Alnwick, Janmaat, Coloccini, S.Taylor (Williamson-60), Dummett, Sissoko, Colback, Tioté, Gouffran (Haidara-71), Riviere (Armstrong-57), Pérez

Subs Not Used: Woodman, Santon, Anita, Cabella

Goals: Taylor 15, Colback 26, Sissoko 78

Booked: Yellow Cards for Janmaat (67) and Williamson (89)

Burnley: Heaton, Trippier, Keane, Shackell (Long-17,Reid-37), Mee, Arfield, Marney (Kightly-32), Jones, Boyd, Ings, Barnes

Subs Not Used: Gilks, Wallace, Jutkiewicz, Sordell

Goals: Dummett og 19 minutes, Ings 66, Boyd 86

Booked: Yellow Cards for Ings (63), Mee (83), Trippier (83) and Boyd (90+2)

Possession: 52% Newcastle, 48% Burnley (Source: BBC Sport)

Referee: Mike Dean (The Wirral)
Dyche Deliberation
“We had to make three changes and it was all going off in that first half.

‘We had to deal with it and after that I thought we were outstanding, right to the death when we were still looking to score.

‘The belief was still there and I thought some of the quality of our play was exceptional.

‘Going into Christmas people said we might not win a game but we have taken five points from five teams in the top 10 and two in the top four. We still need get more points but we are going in the right direction and the performance levels are very high.’