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Match Reports

Blackburn v Burnley

17 March 2013

Blackburn 1 Burnley 1

Burnley’s long wait for a victory over Blackburn Rovers goes on after David Dunn struck a dramatic late equaliser at Ewood Park.

The Clarets looked to have ended their 34-year wait for a victory over Rovers when Jason Shackell rifled home from close range just after the half hour mark.

But following the sending off of Ben Mee for two bookable offences early in the second half, the ten-men were pushed deeper in the closing stages.

And with five of the six allotted extra minutes played, Clarets' nemesis Dunn struck a dagger through Burnley hearts with a low drive into the bottom corner following a penalty box scramble.

Martin Paterson and Marvin Bartley both started in an adventurous starting line-up for Burnley, replacing David Edgar and Keith Treacy, who both failed to make the 18.

Paterson started in attack alongside 26-goal Charlie Austin, with Bartley operating as a shield in front of an unchanged back line.

And as predicted, there was a barnstorming start to the derby. Ross Wallace earned a lecture from referee Andy D’Urso for a blatant foul on Martin Olsson, while Austin fired over on the turn form Burnley’s first attack of note in the eighth minute.

Proceedings were halted for a few comical minutes when a rogue chicken was released onto the pitch, causing much merriment around Ewood Park.

And when the action resumed, an even better chance arrived in the 19th minute when Burnley again carved Rovers open down their right. 

Chris McCann’s dummy from Mee’s slide-rule pass released Alex Kacaniklic and when he cut the ball back Paterson saw his goalbound shot brilliantly turned over by Jake Kean.

From the resulting training ground corner routine, Austin blazed over as Michael Duff dummied Ross Wallace’s low ball.

Wallace was next to test Kean as Burnley looked to make their first half dominance count, forcing Kean into a sprawling save with a wickedly dipping drive from 30 yards

But the breakthrough deservedly arrived in the 32nd minute. 

Wallace’s perfectly flighted free kick picked out Shackell and when his firm header smacked against the foot of the post, the captain was first to react to lash home the loose ball.

Burnley were inches away from doubling their advantage six minutes later from another set play. This time Wallace lined up a 25-yard free kick after Grant Hanley was booked for a blatant foul on Paterson and his curling effort clipped the outside of Kean’s right hand post with the keeper beaten.

In a half they controlled, the only real moment of danger to the Burnley defence was a speculative shot from distance by Dunn, which flew harmlessly over the bar as the interval loomed.

Rovers duly made one change at the break, with on-loan Josh Morris replacing the ineffectual Leon Best.

But despite a Rhodes effort from distance that was far too high to trouble Lee Grant, there was little to worry Burnley until Mee, booked in the 58th minute for a foul on Dunn, saw red for a late tackle on Hanley in the Blackburn half as he chased down a bobbling ball on a pudding of a pitch.

That led to an immediate reshuffle as Wallace limped off following a heavy challenge and Danny Lafferty resumed left back duties.

However, the pressure was now mounting on the Clarets’ backline, who formed an impenetrable barrier as Rovers throw a succession of hopeful balls into the box.

With Austin tiring and the release valve of an out-ball less likely, Danny Ings replaced the lone striker to provide fresh legs for the final push.

However, that didn’t stop the tide as Burnley constantly cleared their lines, only to see the ball returned with interest.

And just when it appeared that Rovers had finally ran out of ideas, Dunn struck five minutes into stoppage time to extend Burnley's long wait for a victory.

BURNLEY: Grant, Trippier, Duff, Shackell, Mee, Bartley, McCann, Kacaniklic, Wallace (Lafferty 70), Paterson (Vokes 84) Austin (Ings 81).
Subs: Jensen, Long, Stock, Stanislas.

BLACKBURN: Kean, Martin Olsson (Gomes 87), Lowe, Dunn, Best (Morris 46), Rhodes, Dann, Kane, Hanley, Stewart, Jones.
Subs: Sandomierski, Givet, Pedersen, Williamson, Rekik

Ref: A D’Urso

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