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Club News


2 October 2012

Austin hat-trick still not enough for home win.

Charlie Austin continued his remarkable goal glut with a second hat-trick in five games but this time there was no win to go with it as the Clarets three times surrendered the lead to allow Sheffield Wednesday to stop their rot.

Austin, the country’s leading goalscorer, took his total for the season to 14 goals in just 11 games with another striking master-class.

Two headers before the break gave Burnley a 2-1 lead at half-time and when he bettered those with a thundering finish six minutes from time Eddie Howe’s side finally looked to have clipped the wings of the persistent Owls.

But while Wednesday boast the most porous defence in the Championship, the Clarets also struggle to keep them out and within 60 seconds Michael Antonio had struck to consign Burnley to a second home draw in the space of four days as they were again found wanting at the death.

For a side that had lost its last six games, Wednesday didn’t look short of confidence as they gave as good as they got in a wide open start.

Charlie Austin celebrates putting the Clarets in front

The ball went from one box to the other and it was the Owls who created the first real chance when Nejic Pecnik headed down for the dangerous Antonio to shoot over on the turn.

But typical of the frenetic opening Burnley – with Brian Stock starting in place of the injured Chris McCann – swiftly countered with Martin Paterson curling an effort just wide before Austin put the Clarets ahead.

Again Paterson was involved as he held the ball up before releasing Ross Wallace to combine with Kieran Trippier on the overlap.

And when Trippier crossed inevitably there was only one man who was going to meet it as Austin jumped highest to head down and past Chris Kirkland.

Given their recent record the Owls might have taken on water on a rain-lashed night but within 45 seconds they were level.

Antonio’s pace always gave the visitors a threat and when he escaped down the left his cross was nodded in by O’Grady.

Suddenly the initiative was back with Wednesday and twice on-loan Everton midfielder Ross Barkley made his presence felt as he tested Lee Grant from long distance and then rounded the former Owls’ keeper from a Pecnik pass but ran out of room and steered an effort into the side netting.

Austin stoops to make it 2-1

The Clarets needed to re-assert themselves and seven minutes before half time Austin stepped up again to give Howe’s men a half-time lead.

Trippier was once more the provider as he swung over a driven cross which deceived defender Anthony Gardner.

Austin still had plenty to do, though, as he watched the flight of the ball superbly before stooping to head back across Kirkland to claim his 19th goal in his last 19 games.

Kirkland had barely touched the ball but twice the former England international had picked it out of the net and that might have been three times but for a sharp save from a David Edgar header as Burnley went in search of a third before half time.

The cushion of a two-goal lead would have been a welcome one as Jay Bothroyd gave notice that Wednesday wouldn’t go away quietly four minutes into the second half with a curling drive that Grant did well to parry round the post.

And with the visitors pushing Burnley back they got their reward with 63 minutes gone as O’Grady also got his second of the game, running onto a Bothroyd pass before going past Grant and rolling the ball home.

Howe made a change with 20 minutes to go as Paterson was replaced by Cameron Stewart and out of nothing Austin almost smuggled a third as he turned Gardner inside out before forcing Kirkland to save at his near post.

But Wednesday were not settling for a point and Antonio should have put them in front with a quarter of an hour to go, meeting a Rhys McCabe cross at the far post with a mis-cued effort which allowed Grant to make a vital one-handed save.

Lee Grant prevents the Owls going in front

When Austin then struck to complete his treble with a magnificent effort – controlling a long ball from Dean Marney and cutting inside Martin Taylor before lashing a shot beyind Kirkland from the edge of the box – the Owls must have been kicking themselves.

But with Burnley again unable to hold onto a lead for more than a minute Wednesday finally got their reward thanks to an equally classy finish from Antonio, whose curling effort from 30 yards gave Grant no chance to put the seal on another manic Turf Moor occasion.

Burnley: Grant, Trippier, Duff (Long 89), Edgar, Mee, Stock, Marney, Stanislas (Vokes 90), Austin, Paterson (Stewart 70), Wallace. Subs: Bartley, O’Neill, Mills, Jensen.

Booked: Marney.

Sheffield Wednesday: Kirkland, Johnson, Mattock, Taylor, Gardner, Barkley, Semedo, Bothroyd, O’Grady (Madine 82), Antonio, Pecnik (McCabe ht). Subs: Llera, Madine, Jones, Mayor, Rodri, Bywater.

Booked: Johnson 77

Referee: David Coote

Attendance: 12,122

The Clarets feel the agony of Wednesday's late equaliser

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