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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
18:00 2nd January 2016

Burnley 0 Ipswich Town 0

Burnley started 2016 with a stalemate in a frustrating draw with Ipswich Town at Turf Moor.

Ben Mee came closest to breaking the deadlock with a first half header from a corner that was mysteriously chalked off for a foul on the visitors’ keeper.

Mee goal disallowed

And Championship top scorer Andre Gray also could have edged it for the Clarets with a glorious first half effort that he slid wide.

Both sides remain fifth and sixth in the league after the share of the spoils, as Burnley recorded their ninth clean sheet of the season. and third in four games.

The Clarets were unchanged from the side that convincingly beat Bristol City 4-0 to end 2015 in style.

Fit-again George Boyd, however, returned to the squad, replacing Chris Long on the bench.

The game struggled to gain any fluency, largely due to Christophe Berra and then Gray both receiving lengthy treatment.

But the game finally settled and the visitors came the closest in the 10th minute.

Kevin Bru’s effort from the edge of the box landed perfectly for Tommy Smith, but the defender’s glanced header was straight at Tom Heaton.

Gray held

Two efforts from Stephen Ward and then Michael Kightly were wayward, before Town again came whiskers away from the opener.

Winger Ryan Fraser collected from midfield, driving forward before unleashing a venomous 25-yard strike that flew just wide.

But the best chance of the half soon fell to Gray, who was the beneficiary of a wonderful low ball in from Kightly on the left flank.

However, the usually clinical forward snatched at his effort, steering it wide of Dean Gerken’s bottom left hand post.

Barton fouled

Sensational vision from Joey Barton then found Kightly on the wing 15 minutes before the break, and the former Wolverhampton Wanderers wide man drove forward before bending an ambitious effort inches wide.

The Clarets then thought they had taken the lead 10 minutes later, as Ben Mee headed home from a David Jones corner, but referee Peter Bankes blew for an apparent foul on Gerken to cap off a frustrating half for the hosts.

And straight from the restart the Clarets and Gray came close once more.

The former Brentford hitman collected from a Sam Vokes flick on, before his strike partner went for goal from an acute angle, but the legs of Gerken once again denied the opener.

Gray shot saved

After that, neither side could pierce the watertight defences, with Kightly and Sears both, again, firing comfortably off target.

Both sides shuffled their packs, making changes, with Tommy Oar replacing Fraser in midfield, and Brett Pitman and former Blackburn forward Luke Varney giving Town a fresh duo in attack.

Meanwhile Sean Dyche replaced Kightly with Boyd and then a late double swap, with Matthew Taylor and Rouwen Hennings replacing Gray and Arfield.

And the Clarets had a chance to snatch it with the final kick of the game.

Lowton’s free-kick into the box fell to Hennings via a flick on, but the German smashed a volley just over the angle.

BURNLEY: Heaton, Lowton, Mee, Keane, Ward, Arfield (Taylor 89), Barton, Jones, Kghtly (Boyd 70), Vokes, Gray (Hennings 89)
Subs: Gilks, Darikwa, Duff, Ulvestad.
Yellow: Lowton 58’, Barton 90
Goals:

IPSWICH: Gerken, Knudsen, Chambers, Smith, Berra, Skuse, Murphy (Varney  73), Fraser (Oar 59), Bru (Pitman 64), Hyam, Sears.
Subs: Parr, Maitland-Niles, Malarczyk, Bialkowski
Yellow:
Goals:

REF: P Bankes

Attendance: 16,307 (885)