Skip to main content


17:04 9th April 2012


Charlie Austin has Jay Rodriguez in his sights in the chase for the Clarets' top scorer prize after his winner at the Keepmoat Stadium took him to within five goals of his striking pal.

Rodriguez's tally of 21 might take some catching with just four games to go.

But with the Clarets' talisman still on the injured list, Austin took the chance to narrow the gap further by taking over Rodriguez's spot-kick duties and converting the match-winning penalty 15 minutes from time to give him his fifth goal in four games.

Burnley needed Austin's contribution to finally wrap up a third win in four games after Doncaster, seemingly headed for League One, had made a fight of it.

Josh McQuoid's first goal for Burnley, superbly struck late in the first half, looked likely to give the Clarets a comfortable afternoon.

But Chris Brown's headed equaliser forced the Clarets to dig a little deeper before deservedly securing a tenth away win of the season for the first time since the 2001/02 season, when Stan Ternent's side missed out on the play-offs by a single spot, and a place back in the top half of the table.

With Marvin Bartley missing with the hamstring injury he sustained in the Clarets' Good Friday win over Brighton, Dean Marney returned to starting duty as the only change to Eddie Howe's side.

And there appeared to be little sign of tiredness as Burnley started pretty much as they pleased against the division's bottom club.

Ross Wallace crashed an early effort wide from 30 yards and Danny Ings mis-cued from the old corner routine as the Clarets dominated possession.

But Burnley were guilty of not testing goalkeeper Gary Woods as Junior Stanislas and Ings spurned further shooting chances and David Edgar headed wide from Marney's excellent cross.

And Doncaster almost made them pay with a bolt out of the blue after 20 minutes, Simon Gillett accepting Chris Brown's lay-off with a powerful low drive which Lee Grant did well to get down to and turn around the post.

That effort gave Rovers, missing their sprinkling of former Premier League names and forced to replace injured midfield play-maker Brian Stock early in the piece, added belief and Gillett tried his luck again with an effort which was well blocked by Edgar.

Fabien Robert also lifted an effort over the top from a promising position but the Clarets always looked as though they had another gear to go up and after continuing to threaten on the break grabbed the lead nine minutes before half time.

McQuoid's influence on proceedings has increased in recent games and the on-loan Millwall man capped his improvement with a perfectly placed volley which arced beyond Woods and into the top corner from 25 yards out after a clearance from Grant had been helped perfectly into his path by Ings.

Josh on target

With that lead at the break, a second goal was always likely to kill it and within two minutes of the re-start Charlie Austin and Stanislas both had chances.

From Marney's through-ballAustin elected not to shoot but pulled the ball back via a defensive mistake to Stanislas who took too long to pull the trigger.

And having been let off the hook, Doncaster struck back to equalise after 55 minutes as substitute James Coppinger crossed for local favourite Brown to rise and nod home at the far post.

Suddenly sensing the possibility of the win they needed to have any chance of beating the drop, Doncaster nearly got a second four minutes later as the Clarets' complacency almost cost them dear.

Kieran Trippier's foul after being caught in possession by Robert allowed Coppinger to swing in a dangerous free-kick, met by a header from Giles Barnes which might have flown in had it gone either side of a grateful Grant.

Trippier looked to make amends at the other end with a fine cross which Austin thought had brought him his 16th goal of the season.

But Woods, having made a more routine save from the striker moments earlier, pulled out a magnificent stop low to his left to keep out Austin's powerful downward header as the Clarets raised the tempo again in a bid to regain the advantage.

Austin would not be denied for long, though, and 15 minutes from time his first penalty for the Clarets put Burnley 2-1 up.

Adam Lockwood's trip on Ings as he raced onto a Stanislas through-ball gave Austin the opportunity to extend his current purple patch.

And on the ground where he made his Burnley debut 15 months ago, Austin showed the composure necessary to send Woods the wrong way and roll in the winner.

Howe then took the opportunity to blood another of the Clarets' youth team squad in the final minutes with Shay McCartan coming off the bench.

And thanks to a tremendous late save by Grant, tipping over a shot from George Friend, the teenager joined his senior colleagues in pocketing another win bonus as Burnley continued their late climb up the table to move within six points of the play-off places.

Burnley: Grant, Trippier, Edgar, Duff, Wallace, McQuoid, McCann ,Marney, Stanislas (McCartan 90), Ings, Austin. Subs: Jensen, Lafferty, Howieson, Hewitt.

Booked: Austin 50, McCann 83

Doncaster: Woods, O'Connor, Friend, Hird, Lockwood, Stock, (Barnes 22),Gillett, Robert (Oster 87), Hayter, Brown, Bennett (Coppinger ht). Subs: Bagayoko, Sullivan.

Booked: Lockwood 75

Referee: Nigel Miller

Attendance: 8,350

    Data provided by Press Association