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17:34 16th October 2010


It will never make up for the disappointment of their play-off final defeat at Wembley, but Sheffield United gained a small measure of revenge by denying the Clarets a first away win of the season with a dramatic injury-time equaliser at Bramall Lane.

Jay Rodriguez's 90th-minute strike looked to have finally ended the Clarets' away-day hoodoo after they had earlier squandered a two-goal lead.

But four minutes into added time the Blades delivered a final thrust when Mark Yeates fired home to edge Burnley out of the top six.

Before the late drama Brian Laws' side had apparently been cruising to a morale-boosting win when Dean Marney's first Burnley goal and a Chris Eagles penalty early in the second half virtually had the points on the board.

However, a quick riposte from United's Daniel Bogdanovic revived the hosts who made it 2-2 eight minutes from the end through substitute Matt Lowton.

The Clarets still looked to have done enough when Rodriguez's clinical strike repaired the damage and left the Blades staring down the barrel at a fourth home defeat of the season.

But again Burnley couldn't shut up shop and with the seconds ticking away fatally allowed Yeates to deliver the last act of a dramatic afternoon.

The previously watertight Clarets had been forced into a defensive change with Clarke Carlisle's suspension and an 11th-hour injury to the luckless Michael Duff bringing Leon Cort into a new-look back line.

And they were given an early scare when Johnny Ertle was given the space to rifle in a shot which Brian Jensen touched over the cross bar at full stretch.

Skipper Wade Elliott shows neat footwork

That was a rare threat, though, from the hitherto goal-shy Blades as the Clarets eased themselves into a measure of control in the opening half-hour.

Andre Bikey should have headed Burnley ahead after 28 minutes from a Danny Fox corner but his downward header lacked direction and bounced up and over the bar.

And when the ever-dangerous Chris Eagles combined brilliantly with acting captain Wade Elliott, Chris Iwelumo just failed to get a touch in front of goal to Eagles' driven cross.

But again not scoring during a period on top almost cost Burnley dear as the Blades came alive for a spell just before the break.

United had kicked off as the lowest scorers in the Championship but after 34 minutes Alan Quinn almost improved their impoverished record with a skidding low drive which Jensen saved well down to his left.

Rodriguez then collected a seemingly harsh booking for a tackle on Ritchie De Laet and from the free-kick Yeates saw his shot deflected just wide.

The Blades' set-piece expert then got another sight of goal following a handball from Rodriguez five minutes from the end of the first half and this time his effort clipped the foot of a post from 25 yards out.

Yeates had been his side's best player and a minute after the break he popped up again with a shot from the edge of the penalty area which again forced Jensen to turn over the top.

But the Clarets suddenly struck twice in five minutes to swing the game emphatically their way.

Marney has found goals elusive in recent times but the midfielder timed his run into the penalty area perfectly to meet a cross from Eagles and glance a header past Steve Simonsen.

Dean Marney heads Burnley in front

Marney was then involved again in a sweeping move from back to front which ended with Tyrone Mears bursting into the box and being bundled over by De Laet.

With Graham Alexander again on the bench, the Clarets' penalty taking duties have been assumed by Eagles and the in-form winger duly delivered again when he drove his spot-kick into the top corner to make it 2-0.

he shoots ...

... he scores!

The Clarets should have seen the game out from there but the Blades were handed an unexpected lifeline after 57 minutes.

There looked to be little danger when Mears controlled the ball in his right-back berth but an unfortunate slip suddenly left Bogdanovic with a run at goal and the striker kept his composure to slide a shot into the bottom corner and re-ignite the home crowd.

They were on their feet again moments later when Fox flew into a challenge which earned him a yellow card and an injury which forced a change with Laws sending on David Edgar at left -ack.

And the Burnley boss made a double swap with 16 minutes remaining as Steven Thompson and Ross Wallace came on to try and help steady the ship and take the sting out of the Blades' resurgence.

Wallace immediately created a heading chance for Rodriguez which he couldn't steer past Simonsen but the momentum was with United and eight minutes from time they made it 2-2.

Lowton's only contribution since coming off the bench had been to collect a yellow card for a foul on Wallace but the youngster was in the right place at the right time to claim his first senior goal when a deflected cross from Yeates dropped for him to convert from eight yards with the help of another deflection.

The Clarets looked at that stage to be hanging on to claim just a point but the prospect of all three re-surfaced thanks to Rodriguez.

Mears made amends for his early slip with a storming run and intelligent pass to the young striker.

And Rodriguez, who had scored his first goal away from home at Millwall a fortnight ago, showed all his class to drill a low shot across Simonsen and into the far corner.

That should have been it, but with five minutes of injury time added on and after Jack Cork had whistled a shot wide on the break, the Blades still had time to deliver one more wounding blow as Yeates collected a pass from ex-Claret Stephen Jordan to poke home the most dramatic and painful of equalisers.

Burnley: Jensen, Mears, Fox (Edgar 66), Cort, Bikey, Cork, Elliott, Eagles (Wallace 74), Marney, Iwelumo (Thompson 74), Rodriguez. Subs: Alexander, Eckersley, Paterson, Grant.

Sheffield United: Simonsen, Calve, Nosworthy, Morgan, De Laet (Jordan 85), Ertl (Lowton 78), Britton, Yeates, Bogdanovic (Evans 69), Cresswell, Quinn. Subs: Montgomerie, Bartley, Slew, Wright.

Referee: Eddie Ilderton.

Booked: Burnley: Rodriguez 38, Fox 62

Sheffield United: Britton 41, Lowton 80

Attendance: 22,936

    Data provided by Press Association