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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
21:30 3rd December 2013

Burnley 0 Watford 0

Burnley let Watford off the hook as they dominated at Turf Moor but couldn’t find the cutting edge to return to the Championship summit.

The Clarets were without Danny Ings for the first time this season after the 15-goal top scorer missed out with an ankle knock.

And despite controlling large parts of the game, Sean Dyche’s men had to settle for a frustrating point in a dour Turf Moor encounter.

Arfield header

Burnley made three changes to the side that lost to Huddersfield at the weekend. Kevin Long replaced the suspended Michael Duff, while Keith Treacy was preferred to Michael Kightly and Brian Stock took Ings’ place.

There was also a debut call-up to the bench for current youth team player of the year and Northern Ireland U19 defender Cameron Dummigan, as Sean Dyche reached into the Development Squad to fill the bench.

But despite missing top scorer Ings, the Clarets started brightly and could have taken the lead inside five minutes as Treacy just failed to get enough on Stanislas’s inswinging corner.

There followed Burnley dominance, without seriously troubling Jonathan Bond in the visitors’  goal until Arfield turned a right wing cross form Stanislas into the grateful arms of the Hornets’ stopper.

Kieran Trippier’s low cross then found David Jones, only for a last-ditch tackle to deflect the ball for a corner that Jason Shackell headed tamely over from eight yards.

And Burnley showed their cutting edge down the right four minutes before the break to come within a whisker of taking the lead.

Ben Mee released Stanislas and from his cross, Arfield stooped to make a headed connection that deflected off Joel Ekstrand and forced Bond into a fine sprawling save at his near post.

Kightly

And with the wingers interchanging, it was soon Treacy’s turn to cut in from the left and unleash a howitzer from 30 yards that Bond did well to grab at full stretch in the last action of the half.

Tom Heaton has been largely redundant in the opening 45 minutes, but 10 minutes after the restart the Clarets keeper was alert to the danger at his near post as Lewis McGugan met a left wing cross with a superb volley.

And as Watford sensed nervousness in the home ranks, it took a brilliant block from Mee to deny Murray after a deflected cross fell his way in the box.

stanislas appeal

Almost immediately, Mee was in the right place again as Trippier’s cross reached home at the far post.  

But at full stretch the right back just failed to make the all-important connection to open the scoring.

And incredibly, following treatment and a change of shirt for a cut suffered in the incident, it was the numberless Mee again perfectly placed between the posts to clear McGugan’s rising drive as Heaton was beaten to the angled drive.

Dyche replaced Stanislas with Steven Hewitt with 10 minutes to go as he shuffled his pack in search of the decisive breakthrough.

Hewitt

But  it was the visitors who came close to nicking it as McGugan's shot was deflected wide deep in stoppage time on a night of real frustration at Turf Moor.

Burnley: Heaton, Trippier, Mee, Shackell, Long, Stock, Jones, Stanislas (Hewitt 80), Arfield, Vokes, Treacy (Kightly 68). 
Subs: Cisak, Lafferty, Howieson, Edgar, Dummigan. 

Watford: Bond, Bellerin, Ekstrand, Battocchio, Deeney, McGugan, Murray (Fabbrini 76), Faraoni, Cassetti (Pudil 81), Thorne, Nosworthy. 
Subs: Forestieri, Acuna, Hall, Iriney, Woods. 

Booked: Cassetti 59, Nosworthy 90

Ref: M Naylor

Att: 10,910 (274)