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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
17:09 22nd October 2011

COVENTRY CITY 1 BURNLEY 2

A week on from the heartache of losing to a 99th-minute goal, battling Burnley redressed the balance with a dramatic injury-time winner of their own to secure a vital three points at the Ricoh Arena.

Charlie Austin's eighth goal of the season four minutes into added time stopped the rot for the Clarets as they came from behind to earn a third away victory of the season.

Trailing to a Cody McDonald header, Eddie Howe's men dug deep to turn it round with goals from Ross Wallace and then Austin after City were reduced to ten men in the 80th-minute when Gael Bigirimana was sent off on his 18th-birthday.

Austin's introduction as a substitute five minutes before half-time ultimately proved pivotal as the striker scored his first goal in four games to cap a superb second-half performance which could turn out to be a major turning point in the Clarets' season.

Howe had earlier made made one change in an effort to avoid a hat-trick of defeats with Keith Treacy returning to the Clarets' starting line-up and Austin dropping to the bench to nurse a toe injury.

The result was a slight change of role for Jay Rodriguez as the Clarets' joint leading scorer was asked to lead the line as a lone striker.

Charlie Austin fires home the winner

Ever willing, it made for a hard shift for Rodriguez, who battled manfully without much joy throughout much of drab opening half.

He did have one sight of goal with ten minutes gone but this time Burnley's well rehearsed corner routine just failed to pay off as he mis-cued after David Edgar's dummy from Wallace's delivery had created an opening.

That had been the source of Burnley's last goal, three weeks previously in a winning cause at Millwall, and Howe decided after only 40 minutes that the best way to improve that record was to send on Austin.

Replacing Treacy, the Clarets were therefore back to where they started against Barnsley in mid-week as they looked to make amends and two minutes before the break they almost grabbed the lead.

Enjoying their best spell of the game, Burnley forced another corner and this time Wallace's left foot found the head of the diving Andre Amougou, whose whole-hearted effort went just over the top.

Ross Wallace celebrates his equaliser....

....but Jay Rodriguez has to go off

Coventry weren't exactly pulling up trees themselves, although they had the best chance to go ahead within moments of Amougou's chance.

McDonald, who had earlier shot into the side netting, was slipped through with just Lee Grant to beat but Grant summed up a tidy personal performance with a crucial save, going to his right to beat the ball away and send the sides into the break level.

The Clarets came out looking far more purposeful and certainly more comfortable following the switch and seven minutes into the second half went close when Junior Stanislas came alive to let fly with a long range effort which had Joe Murphy scrambling to save.

But out of the Sky Blue, Coventry suddenly went ahead with almost an hour gone.

The goal owed everything to left-back Chris Hussey, who managed to dig out a superb cross which was perfect for McDonald to meet with a diving header six yards out which gave Grant no chance.

Coventry go down to ten men as Gael Bigirimana sees red

The Clarets needed a response and within five minutes it almost came from Austin, as he met a Stanislas cross with a bouncing volley which came back off a post to the feet of the substitute who then screwed the ball wide with his second attempt.

Stanislas was becoming increasingly influential and a low cross from the winger saw Austin send another effort just wide at full stretch as Burnley, with Ben Mee on for Amougou at the back, pressed for an equaliser.

And with 17 minutes to go it came.

Mee launched the move with a floated ball to Rodriguez, who bravely won a header from two Coventry defenders. His knock-down left Wallace in the clear thanks to a clever dummy from Austin and the Scot made no mistake with an assured left-foot finish into the top corner from just inside the box.

Rodriguez was immediately replaced after collecting a blow to the face but the drama didn't end there as Grant was forced to make a superb save from Sammy Clingan's top corner-bound free-kick and with ten minutes to go Coventry were reduced to ten men.

The winning feeling

Bigirimana made contact with the ball in a challenge on Kieran Trippier but having lunged in with two feet, it was no surprise to see the teenager get a straight red card.

With a man advantage, Burnley wound up for a final push as Coventry looked to batten down the hatches.

Goalkeeper Joe Murphy was booked for wasting time and made saves from Zavon Hines and Trippier as Burnley threw everyone forward.

And with six minutes of injury time added on, there was still room for one final twist and half way into stoppage time Austin provided it.

The substitute had been a threat ever since coming on and after Chris McCann had kept a corner alive by poking the ball back through a crowd of players in the penalty area, Austin spun to fire home the winner and spark joyous touchline scenes between the players and staff at the final whistle.

Burnley: Grant, Trippier, Easton, Amougou (Mee 65), Edgar, Treacy (Austin 40), McCann, Bartley, Wallace, Stanislas, Rodriguez (Hines 75). Subs: MacDonald, Stewart.

Booked: Rodriguez 32, Bartley 53, Wallace 66, Edgar 78, Hines 90+5.

Coventry: Murphy, Christie, Hussey, Keogh, Wood, Clingan, Bell, Thomas, Bigirimana, McDonald (O'Donovan 69), Jutkiewicz. Subs: Cameron, Deegan, Baker, Dunn.

Booked: Bell 58, Murphy 89, Bell 90

Referee: Graham Scott

Attendance: 12,785 (987 Burnley)

    Data provided by Press Association