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14:22 6th November 2010


A controversial equaliser denied Burnley their first away win of the seaon after Martin Paterson put the Burnley bug behind him to make a stunning return to goalscoring action at Norwich.

For the second time this season, the Clarets threw away a two-goal lead away from home to concede a stoppage time leveller, when Andrew Crofts clearly handled before scoring.

Eearlier, Northern Ireland striker Paterson sealed his first start in two months with a first half brace to stun City.

First he slotted home Tyrone Mears' cross in the 26th minute to open his account for the season.

And the Clarets striker, restored to the starting line-up in preference to top scorer Chris Iwelumo, soon added a second when Norwich keeper John Ruddy failed to stop his 18-yard effort.

Chris Martin halved the deficit 20 minutes from time as Norwich, battered by the Clarets in a one-sided first half, looked for a way back.

And at the start of four minutes of stoppage time the immediate suggestion that Crofts controlled the ball on his upper arm - later confirmed by TV replays - went unpunished as he drilled home past Lee Grant, to the anger of Burnley players.

Crofts scores in stoppage time

Paterson, who recovered well from the stomach bug earlier in the week, replaced Iwelumo in attack in the n;y change to the starting line-up at Carrow Road.

Michael Duff and Clarke Carlisle continued at the heart of defence - with Andre Bikey sidelined with a recurrence of his rib injury - while Jack Cork started from the bench.

Burnley, wearing black armbands in memory of former manager John Benson, who passed away last week, started well and Chris Eagles drove straight at John Ruddy following a probing run.

Eagles tried his luck again in the seventh minute, dancing in from the right and finding the side netting with a low drive.

Paterson was soon involved in another flowing move that came close to giving the Clarets the lead.

Linking up with Tyrone Mears, the striker drove to the by-line and his cross was taken off Jay Rodriguez's bootlace by a last gasp challenge in front of a gaping goal.

Dean Marney's long rang effort was deflected for a corner as Burnley continued to create the best of the early openings.

It took 20 minutes for Norwich to carve out a clear cut opening. Martin overlapped down the right and Simon Lappin met his cross with a downward header that Lee Grant did well to parry away off the slick surface.

However, in the 26th minute, the Clarets grabbed the lead with a sensational move. Wade Elliott spotted Mears' overlap, but turned inside to feed Rodriguez, who in turn spotted the overlapping right back.

Mears' pull back from the by-line was perfection and Paterson coolly slotted home from eight yards to round off the sweet move.

And just after the half hour, Paterson was the man again as the Clarets doubled their advantage.

This time he timed his run to perfection from Dean Marney's pass and his shot was saved by Ruddy, who was a little unlucky as the ball bounced up off his arm and trickled behind him into the empty net.

The Clarets were now in total control and despite a few hairy moments from hopeful crosses into the Burnley box, Grant was largely untroubled ahead ofr the half time whistle.

Norwich replaced Lappin with Anthony McNamee at the interval.

And they instantly tried to lift their game - Leon Barnett forcing a fine save from Grant with a firm downward header from McNamee's cross five minutes into the half.

Just after the hour, with the pressure mounting, it took a stunning defensive header from Mears to clear yet another terrific cross from the increasingly dangerous McNamee.

City were now forcing Burnley on to the back foot and Eagles made way for Ross Wallace with 20 minutes remaining as Brian Laws made his first change.

But almost instantly, City sub Chris Martin reduced the arrears with a simple close-range finish as the pressure finally paid off.

McNamee then caused a heart-stopping moment for the Clarets 15 minutes from time as he jinked inside Danny Fox and smacked a low , skidding shot off the inside of Grant's near post and across the face of goal.

That was the signal for Jack Cork to replace Marney - and soon after Paterson made way for Iwelumo.

And as Norwich strained every nerve and sinew to force a leveller, Crofts finally rifled home his galling 91st minute leveller to break Burnley hearts - before being sent off for a second bookable offence deep into stoppage time.

Burnley: Grant, Fox, Duff, Carlisle, Mears, Alexander, Marney (Cork 78), Elliott, Eagles (Wallace 70), Paterson (Iwelumo 81), Rodriguez
Subs: Jensen, Edgar, Cort, Thompson

Booked: Elliott 82

Norwich: Ruddy, Martin, Crofts, Holt, Jackson (Martin 64), Hoolahan, Smith, Lappin (McNamee 46), Barnett, Ward, Smith (Fox 54)
Subs: Rudd, Gill, Johnson, Askou

Booked: Crofts

Sent off: Crofts 90+3

Ref: T Kettle

Att: 24,519

    Data provided by Press Association