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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
17:14 18th March 2012

CARDIFF CITY 0 BURNLEY 0

Without a draw away from Turf Moor in 27 matches and more than a year, it perhaps came as no surprise that the opposition to end that run for the Clarets was Cardiff City.

Burnley's last stalemate away from home came in the Welsh capital last February and the sides have now chalked up four successive draws in the Championship.

There was again nothing to separate the two as each enjoyed superiority for 45 minutes without really threatening to turn the initiative into goals.

Cardiff's David Marshall was the hardest worked of the keepers as Burnley battled to overcome the absence of injured top scorer Jay Rodriguez and snap a run of four games without a win.

Despite the efforts of Martin Paterson and Danny Ings in a new-look attack they couldn't quite do it.

But bringing to an end a sequence of three successive away defeats was a step back in the right direction for Eddie Howe's men who got back to their miserly best with a welcome clean sheet from a defence which included for the first time Danny Lafferty.

The former Derry City left-back handled the step up well after a nervy start, bringing an extra dimension as an attacking outlet and defending well when required to help nullify a Cardiff side who found no way through to resuscitate their faltering play-off hopes.

Danny Ings and Martin Paterson try to break the deadlock

The Welshmen were again unable to shake off their Carling Cup final hangover, while the Clarets, with no Rodriguez for the first time this season, needed others to step forward and take over the goal-scoring mantle.

Ross Wallace was the first to take responsibility as Burnley sought to rediscover their winning touch away from home with a postiive first-half performance.

Cutting in from the right, the winger's early strike from 25 yards out almost surprised Marshall, who was happy to turn the ball round the post as he scrambled across his goal.

After Ings had volleyed over, Wallace was then involved again when he helped the ball round the corner for Paterson to produce a fine angled strike on the volley which forced Marshall to make a fine save after 20 minutes.

And the Cardiff keeper was becoming a key figure for his side as Burnley grew in stature and took a firm grip before half time.

Danny Lafferty makes his first Burnley start

His reaction save from Junior Stanislas, back in the side for the first time since January in place of Rodriguez, denied the Clarets again after half an hour as the Bluebirds found their brief bright start an increasingly distant memory.

But even Marshall was a spectator as David Edgar headed wide from a Kieran Trippier free-kick and the impressive Ings shot low into the side netting following another incisive run into the box.

At the other end, Lee Grant had been a virtual spectator bar one early scare when Joe Mason, the match-winner here in last October's Carling Cup tie, rounded the Clarets' keeper before running out of room from Aaron Gunnarsson's flick-on.

Grant also had to gather a low shot from Kenny Miller but after successive home defeats City's confidence quickly ebbed away. And as their wait for a first goal on their own ground moved towards four hours, Malkay Mackay's men were booed off at the break.

Charlie Austin tries to win it late on

Cardiff responded by coming out with more purpose at the start of the second half with Liam Lawrence making his presence felt further up the pitch as they began to crank up the pressure.

But the Clarets defended resolutely with Dean Marney and Chris McCann offering further protection in front of the back four to protect Grant's goal superbly.

With most of the possession going the Bluebirds' way, Burnley's openings were now limited to sporadic opportunities on the break and occasional set-pieces, Stanislas blasting one free-kick over the top before making way for the fresh legs of Marvin Bartley for the final 20 minutes.

Cardiff also made changes to try and force the victory they needed to climb back into the top six with Rob Earnshaw, whose 200th career goal came at Turf Moor in August, sent on in place of Miller.

Backin business: Eddie Howe

Earnshaw had one sniff of a chance in added time which stretched to almost eight minutes but it was Bartley who almost created the winner, driving into the box before picking out Paterson whose effort was blocked by Mark Hudson just as the striker prepared to pull the trigger.

Burnley: Grant, Trippier, Duff, Edgar, Lafferty, Marney, McCann, Wallace, Ings (McQuoid 90), Paterson (Austin 85), Stanislas (Bartley 73). Subs: Mee, Jensen.

Booked: Marney 70, Trippier 74, Lafferty 87

Cardiff: Marshall, McNaughton, Taylor, Hudson, Turner, Whittingham, Cowie (Conway 63), Lawrence, Gunnarsson (McPhail 85), Miller (Earnshaw 78), Mason. Subs: Blake, Heaton.

Referee: Iain Williamson

Attendance: 21,276

    Data provided by Press Association