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17:07 24th September 2011


Charlie Austin continued to wage his one-man war with Southampton but his latest goal against the Saints wasn't enough to topple the table toppers.

The former Swindon Town striker has made a habit of scoring against the south coast club with his record now standing at four goals in four games since breaking into the professional ranks.

His sixth of the campaign for the Clarets, expertly poached early in the second half, put Eddie Howe's men in sight of a morale-boosting first home league win of the season.

And while Morgan Schneiderlin's late equaliser dashed those hopes, a vastly improved performance in becoming only the second team this season to avoid defeat against the near all-conquering Saints should give the Clarets a timely lift before Tuesday night's visit of Nottingham Forest.

With Junior Stanislas, Andre Amougou and Marvin Bartley all in from the start, the Clarets had a different look from the side that struggled at Peterborough a week ago and Howe must have been delighted with the response as Burnley more than matched the Championship leaders right from the off.

There were few of the early scares that had blighted recent performances, although Saints leading scorer Rickie Lambert might have done better with a heading opportunity eight minutes in following a peach of a cross from Burnley old boy Danny Fox.

Charlie Austin strikes again and celebrates in style

Fox's inclusion in the Southampton side - alongside former Clarets' team-mate Jack Cork - created an interesting sub-plot in itself and the competitive nature of the game was summed up when Fox flicked out a leg in retaliation at Kieran Trippier to earn a ticking off from referee Anthony Taylor.

Fox and his defensive colleagues certainly knew they had been in a game in a first half full of purpose but largely devoid of clear chances.

The best of Burnley's came with a quarter of an hour gone and was largely self-inflicted by a Southampton defence with a tendency to over-play from the back.

This time goalkeeper Kelvin Davies was guilty of a poor pass out to Cork, who was robbed by Chris McCann.

Old pals' act

The Clarets' skipper, looking more and more like his old self, fed Austin and the striker was unlucky to see his goalbound shot blocked by Jose Fonte.

Jay Rodriguez also saw an effort intercepted by Jos Hooiveld following a fine break-away instigated by David Edgar and Brian Easton.

And Bartley, who brought some added energy to the Clarets' midfield in an outstanding performance, also sent a deflected shot just wide as the Clarets strove for the all-important opening goal before the break.

Marvellous Marvin leads the charge

Southampton's response was a change of midfield personnel at the break as the introduction of Richard Chaplow made it three former Burnley players in the visitors' ranks.

The former Clarets' junior almost made an immediate impact as he closed on a dangerous cross from David Connolly which was well claimed by Lee Grant.

But the Clarets were quickly back on the attack and their high tempo approach soon paid off as Austin put them ahead.

The Southampton goal was leading an increasingly charmed life as full-backs Easton and Trippier charged forward to pepper the penalty area.

Rodriguez and Easton both went close before Easton, profiting from the August departure of Fox to claim the Clarets' left-back berth, delivered a superb cross which Rodriguez nodded down for Austin to pounce and hook home in predatory style.

It was no more than the Clarets deserved, although the lead almost proved short-lived.

One that got away

Grant made a sharp save from Frazer Richardson, but was then no more than a spectactor when Lambert produced a remarkable miss with almost an hour gone.

Richardson's cross should have been meat and drink for the prolific striker but rather than burst the net, his close-range header went down into the turf and up and back out off the underside of the bar.

As Southampton cranked up the pressure, Howe replaced Stanislas with Dean Marney to try and close out the game.

But the Saints sensed an equaliser and with ten minutes to go they got it. Two bad headed misses from Adam Lallana, both from Fox crosses, suggested it might be Burnley's day.

But an increasingly overworked defence couldn't hold out for that elusive clean sheet as another Fox delivery proved one too many as substitute Schneiderlin connected in a crowded penalty area with a shot which beat Grant from eight yards.

Morgan Schneiderlin grabs a point

Without a draw this season the Saints didn't look ready to settle for a point.

And although Amougou nearly won it for Burnley with a glancing header from Trippier's late corner, the Saints had one last chance with Lallana racing through in injury time to deliver a shot, under pressure from Amougou and Trippier, which Grant gratefully saved to ensure some reward.

Burnley: Grant, Trippier, Amougou, Edgar, Easton, Bartley, McCann, Wallace (Hines 88), Rodriguez, Austin (MacDonald 90), Stanislas (Marney 73). Subs: Mee, Stewart.

Southampton: Davis, Richardson, Fonte, Hooiveld, Fox, Cork, Do Prado, Hammond (Schneiderlin 62), Lallana, Lambert, Connolly. Subs: Martin, Chaplow, De Ridder, Bialkowski.

Booked: Lallana 90

Referee: Anthony Taylor

Attendance: 14,170

    Data provided by Press Association