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16:55 14th January 2012


Eddie Howe celebrates a year in charge of the Clarets next Monday and it will be a happy anniversary for the Burnley boss after watching his side outplay promotion fancies Middlesbrough to enhance their own top-six credentials.

First-half goals from Jay Rodriguez and new permanent signing Kieran Trippier capped one of Burnley's best away performances of the season as Boro were beaten at the Riverside for only the second time this term.

The Clarets never looked like surrendering the points once Rodriguez struck an early blow to claim his 14th goal of the season and with another clean sheet added to their recent collection, a seventh win in nine Championship games became almost a formality.

Burnley were superior in every department against a side that had hopes of going to the top of the table - and which won easily in the return meeting in September - and having put his stamp on Turf Moor, Howe can reflect on a successful first 12 months with the promise of even better to come.

With Trippier and Michael Duff returning to the starting line-up in what appears to be a first-choice back four, the Clarets had a solid base to build on and within six minutes had given themselves a lead to protect.

Burnley had already threatened through Rodriguez with an opportunity he over-ran when the Clarets' top scorer pounced to make it 1-0.

Jay-Rod fires the Clarets in front

Boro had been sunk by the Clarets' favourite corner routine at Turf Moor at the tail end of last season and although the personnel providing the build-up were different this time, the end result was the same.

Ross Wallace's corner received the trademark dummy from David Edgar and once again Rodriguez was on the mark with a powerful drive into the bottom corner.

Apart from the occasional threat from Faris Haroun, it was virtually all Burnley as they took the game to the Teessiders in positive fashion.

Dean Marney, outstanding in dominating central midfield alongside skipper Chris McCann, sent a thumping volley just wide and following another long throw from Ben Mee, Rodriguez again exploited Boro hesitancy with a shot which flew just past the post.

Come in number two for Kieran Trippier

The Clarets posed a major threat almost every time they went forward and when Junior Stanislas burst clear his low cross was poked just wide by Martin Paterson at full stretch.

But the second goal wasn't long in coming as the Clarets went 2-0 up with almost half an hour gone.

Trippier's absence through a one-match ban was keenly felt in Burnley's FA Cup exit at Norwich a week ago and he announced his return in spectacular style as the full-back let fly with a dipping drive from 35 yards which squeezed under the body of rookie goalkeeper Connor Ripley.

The 18-year-old son of former Boro and Blackburn winger Stuart, given a late call-up after former Burnley keeper Danny Coyne joined Jason Steele on the injured list, was a picture of despair on his first senior start.

Man of the moment Dean Marney

And the mood of the home supporters wasn't helped when Scott McDonald missed Boro's best chance of the first half three minutes before the break, mis-cueing in front of goal from Justin Hoyte's cross as Boro hinted at a possible comeback.

That prospect would have been snuffed out immediately had Rodriguez made more of a half chance a minute into the second half when he was allowed to reach a long clearance from Lee Grant and screw a shot wide.

And it took a goalline clearance from former Burnley loanee Rhys Williams to stop Wallace scoring direct from a corner as the Clarets pressed for a third goal.

Howe was forced into a change when Marvin Bartley replaced the injured Stanislas and opposite number Tony Mowbray waited only until the 57th-minute to throw on new signing Lukas Jutkiewicz to try and find a way back into the game.

Junior Stanislas feels the pain

And the former Coventry City striker should have made an instant impact as Burnley almost gifted him the dream start.

Grant's poor touch and hurried clearance after being put under pressure from a Trippier throw presented Jutkiewicz with a clear sight of goal on the edge of the penalty area but fortunately for the Clarets his first-time strike was sliced horribly wide.

Grant made amends with a fine block from Tony McMahon with a minute to go as Boro mounted some late pressure and Paterson limped off at the other end.

Sad ending for Martin Paterson

But in truth the Clarets were given few real scares as a performance full of energy, discipline and control deservedly secured a seventh away win of the season.

Burnley: Grant, Trippier, Edgar, Duff, Mee, Marney, McCann, Stanislas (Bartley 55), Paterson (Austin 86), Rodriguez, Wallace. Subs: Easton, Vokes, Jensen.

Booked: Paterson 49, Marney 60

Middlesbrough: Ripley, Hoyte, Williams, Bates, Bennett, Smallwood (Jutkiewicz 57), Haroun, Thomson, Emnes, McDonald (Zemmama 76), Arca (McMahon 68). Subs: McManus, Martin.

Booked: Williams 43, Haroun 71

Referee: Robert Madley.

Attendance: 17,001 (Burnley 1,213)

    Data provided by Press Association