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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
15:03 18th October 2009

BLACKBURN 3 BURNLEY 2

Burnley were unable to end 30 years of hurt as Blackburn came from behind to take the derby spoils at Ewood Park.

The Clarets hadn't beaten their near neighbours since 1979 - and despite going in front through a stunning Robbie Blake strike were unable to re-write history.

Blake's goal gave the near 3,000 Clarets' fans real hope in the first top-flight meeting between the two sides in 43 years.

But local lad David Dunn hit back with a quick-fire equaliser to give Rovers the platform to go on and take the points.

First Blackburn goals for Franco Di Santo and Pascal Chimbonda left the Clarets waiting for their first away point of the season.

But not before Rovers were given a late scare as Burnley refused to go down without a fight thanks to an impressive cameo performance from substitute Chris Eagles, whose late goal almost capped a dramatic fightback.

After their fourth straight home win last time out against Birmingham, the Clarets were not surprisingly unchanged and made a dream start through Blake, who matched his winner against Manchester United with another contender for goal of the season.

Blackburn had already signalled their intent in seeking out the towering Chris Samba from every possible set-piece and the giant defender volleyed over early on before Burnley snuffed out a long throw and launched a stunning counter-attack.

Robbie Blake gives Burnley a dream start at Ewood Park

Andre Bikey broke from the back and rifled a pass forward to Wade Elliott, who in turn worked the ball to Blake who cut in from the left, ran at the Rovers' defence and from 25 yards hammered a magnificent right-foot shot past Paul Robinson to claim Burnley's first away goal of the campaign.

The home crowd was stunned but critically Burnley could not protect their lead for more than four minutes as Dunn equalised with another fine goal.

Blackburn worked an opening down their left flank and when Morten Gamst Pedersen crossed, Di Santo laid the ball off perfectly for top-scorer Dunn to place a low shot past Brian Jensen.

Suddenly Blackburn siezed the initiative and El-Hadji wasted a shooting chance before the home side went in front after 21 minutes.

And again it was Samba who caused all the problems.

Burnley were upset that Clarke Carlisle had not been awarded a foul in the build-up but when Rovers had the chance to take a free-kick they made it count thanks to Di Santo.

Dunn delivered the ball to the far post where Samba headed it back into the middle and when Jensen failed to gather after colliding with Stephen Jordan - courtesy of a nudge from Di Santo - and Graham Alexander failed to clear, the on-loan Chelsea striker nodded into an empty net.

Burnley tried to play their way back into the game and Blake's free-kick was headely narrowly wide by Steven Caldwell.

Steven Caldwell and Wade Elliott get no joy from a
referee's assistant following Blackurn's second goal

But the Clarets too often found themselves stretched at the back and were undone again three minutes before the break as the home side increased their lead through Pascal Chimbonda.

A cross-field pass from Keith Andrews picked out Pedersen and from his knock down, Chimbonda went past Steven Fletcher and fired beyond Jensen.

Fletcher responded with a long-range shot which forced Robinson to save and the Scot also went close four minutes after the break following a neat move which epitomised Burnley's bright start to the second half.

And with Burnley desperate to get a goal to get back into the game, Coyle sent on Eagles with half an hour to go.

Immediately the winger launched a raid which set up Blake for a shooting chance and although Blackburn survived at the cost of a corner they were relieved to see Caldwell not make more of a heading chance when Blake delivered from the set-piece.

Burnley remained uncertain at the back but the presence of Eagles certainly added to their attacking threat as he Elliott started to pick holes in the Rovers backline.

And a storming finish almost brought Burnley back from the dead.

Keith Andrews blocked an Alexander drive and then, after Eagles had forced Robinson to save, the substitute turned in a low cross from Jordan in the 92nd-minute to leave the home side hanging on in injury-time.

Thee was still time for Elliott to crack a shot at goal, but Samba was in the way to snuff out Burnley's last hopes of going back along the M65 with honours even.

Burnley: Jensen, Jordan, Carlisle, Caldwell, Mears, Alexander, Bikey (McDonald 78), Elliott, Fletcher (Eagles 60), Blake, Nugent (Thompson 72). Substitutes: Penny, Kalvenes, Duff, Gudjonsson.

Blackburn: Robinson, Jacobsen, Samba, Nelsen, Dunn, Gamst Pedersen, Nzonzi, Andrews, Diouf (Emerton 81), Di Santo (Roberts 75), Chimbonda. Substitutes: Givet, McCarthy, Hoilett, Salgado.

Attendance: 26,689

Referee: C Foy

    Data provided by Press Association