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17:12 26th December 2011


The resurgent Clarets celebrated Christmas with a day of firsts at Turf Moor as Eddie Howe's men climbed into the top ten of the Championship.

A first penalty in the League this season paved the way for a first home win on Boxing Day since 2005.

And the victory, only the fourth at Turf Moor this season, was effectively sealed by Martin Paterson's first Championship goals since last November as the striker announced the end of his injury nightmare.

Fittingly Paterson's late strike - his first League goal at Turf Moor since the final day of Burnley's Premier League season - came against the side which had brought him nothing but bad luck last season.

Picking up injuries in both games against Doncaster, Paterson had barely kicked a ball in anger for 12 months before his comeback a fortnight ago.

But the 24-year-old is now firmly back in business.

And with top scorer Jay Rodriguez claiming two more goals, one from the spot and one which may have to go down as an own-goal in injury time, Paterson and Burnley have much to look forward to in the second half of the season after winning five of their last six games.

I'm back!

With their indifferent home form previously the only major chink in their armour, the Clarets started well against a Doncaster side enjoying a revival themselves in their bid to beat the drop.

And in a bid to re-write recent history, Burnley created a flurry of chances inside the opening 15 minutes.

Their well-worked corner routine nearly snared another victim when David Edgar's dummy allowed Rodriguez a shot which was stopped in front of goal by James O'Connor.

And O'Connor then came to his side's rescue again with a block from Junior Stanislas, recalled in place of Marvin Bartley with the impressive Dean Marney continuing in central midfield, after Rodriguez had headed over a long throw from Ben Mee.

Sam Hird protests his innocence but it's a penalty

The Clarets weren't able to sustain that momentum throughout, but the opportunities continued to come.

Chris McCann failed to make good contact on an excellent cross from Stanislas and the former West Ham man then saw another effort blocked as he enjoyed one of his most productive halves in a Burnley shirt.

Doncaster had barely threatened with James Coppinger firing high and wide from their best opening but the Championship strugglers could count themselves unfortunate to go behind nine minutes before the break.

McCann's route towards goal was blocked by Sam Hird but the Doncaster defender appeared to do little more than stand his ground and the Clarets' skipper seemed as surprised as anyone when referee David Webb pointed to the spot.

Rodriguez duly accepted the gift to drive home his 12th goal of the season but rather than deflate Rovers, the goal stung them into life and twice they went close to levelling.

Martin Paterson makes it 2-0

Leading scorer Billy Sharp had been a largely anonymous figure in partnership with the less retiring El Hadji-Diouf but the striker never needs more than a glimpse of goal to come alive and he was only inches away from his tenth of the season when his header from a Brian Stock cross came back of the inside of a post.

Giles Barnes then side-footed wide when he should have done better from Simon Gillett's pull-back and with the Clarets sensing they probably needed a second goal, Rodriguez almost provided it seven minutes into the second half.

Released in space by the hard-working Wallace, Rodriguez let fly with a low shot from outside the penalty area which Gary Woods managed to beat away diving to his right.

And a warning that one might not be enough came from Coppinger when he almost caught out Grant and forced the Clarets' keeper into a flying save as he retreated after missing a punch on the edge of his penalty area.

Sam Hird diverts a Jay Rodriguez header home for the third

The Clarets were then forced into a defensive re-shuffle when Michael Duff limped off with almost half an hour to go as Mee moved inside to accommodate Brian Easton at left back.

But as Doncaster pushed for an equaliser, Burnley did have opportunities on the break and after being picked out by Rodriguez, Wallace might have made more of a chance which he drove into the side netting with his right foot.

Kieran Trippier then forced Woods to save as the full-back burst from the back to pick up a pass from Paterson and drill a low shot towards the bottom corner.

And although Howe's concern were evident in the replacement of the fading Stanislas with Bartley to tighten things up in midfield, any potential late nerves were spared when Paterson pounced seven minutes from time to make the points safe.

Happy Christmas!

Rodriguez was inches away from his second of the game with a stinging long-range which bounced down off the bar and onto the line for the lively Paterson to react quickest and nod home to notch a warmly welcomed first goal at any level since January.

No-one could have begrudged Paterson his moment of glory and Rodriguez was there again in stoppage time when his towering far post header went in off the outstretched leg of the luckless Hird as the Clarets underlined a deserved, if slightly flattering, win.

Burnley: Grant, Trippier, Mee, Duff (Easton 62), Edgar, Marney, McCann, Wallace, Rodriguez, Paterson (Austin 85), Stanislas (Bartley 70). Subs: Vokes, Stewart.

Booked: McCann 55, Paterson 84.

Doncaster: Woods, O'Connor, Ilunga, Beye, Hird, Stock, Sharp, Barnes (Hayter 86), Gillett (Bennett 78), Coppinger, Diouf (Goulon 86). Subs: Friend, Chimbonda.

Referee: David Webb.

Booked: Stock 29, Beye 36

Attendance: 16,756

    Data provided by Press Association