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Match Reports

Millwall 2 Burnley 2

2 November 2013

Millwall 2 Burnley 2

Burnley underlined their credentials as worthy league leaders with a fabulous fight back from two goals down at Millwall.

The under-par Clarets trailed to Scott McDonald’s stunning volley and a deflected Danny Shittu strike with 37 minutes gone of a fractious affair at the Den.

But within a minute Sam Vokes’ ninth goal of the season gave Sean Dyche’s men a foothold in the game.

And, following the Lions’ stroke of luck with their second, Burnley were level before the hour with their own slice of good fortune as Michael Kightly’s low shot was turned into his own net by substitute Shane Lowry.

Things could have got even better as Scott Arfield’s drive then cannoned back off the post.

But in the end Burnley had to settle for a valuable point that keeps them a point clear at the summit.

Dyche made four changes to the starting line-up that was knocked out of the Capital One Cup in midweek.

Midfielder David Jones returned from suspension to play alongside David Edgar, who again deputised for the injured Dean Marney.

Michael Kightly and Scott Arfield also returned to the side, with Michael Duff stepping up for Kevin Long.

But it was a lively start from the hosts, roared on by a crowd aggrieved by several innocuous refereeing decisions going the Clarets way.

Nicky Bailey had Tom Heaton at full stretch with a low drive from distance and Martin Waghorn forced the Clarets keeper to turn his audacious effort from the by-line behind at his near post.

After 20 minutes absorbing pressure, Burnley mounted their first threat in the 20th minute as Danny Ings broke down the right channel, cut into the box but saw his goalbound effort well blocked by Lions skipper Paul Robinson.

But two minutes later, Burnley were behind for only the second time this season in the league as Scott McDonald rifled home a loose ball in the box, giving Heaton no chance with a stunning volley.

Burnley’s response was predictable, as Ings stung the gloves of David Forde with a 25-yard effort.

But McDonald continues to be a thorn in the Clarets side and after his shot was deflected over, the resulting corner brought the second goal.

Heaton looked to have cleared the danger with a punch out of his area, but Danny Shittu’s drive struck Sam Vokes and flew into the bottom corner past Heaton.

The striker made amends though within a minute. Trippier fifed across a right wing cross and after Edgar’s near post flick header looped up off a defender, the unmarked Welshman to nod home from six yards.

That goal sent Burnley in at half time right back in the game.

And within 10 minutes of the restart the Clarets were level. Referee Philip Gibbs deserves credit for allowing an advantage to be played after Edgar fed Ings in midfield and was clattered by a late challenge.

But as play went on, Ings fed Kightly on the left and the winger cut in and saw his deflected shot turned into his own goal by a retreating Shane Lowry.

And with Millwall now rocking, the Clarets almost completed the turnaround when Arfield rounded Forde and, form the tightest of angles,  chipped the ball across goal with no white shirt on hand to convert.

They were even closer in the 65th minute when Arfield found room on the edge of the box and smashed a shot off the inside of the post.

Vokes was first to the rebound and looked to have been tripped from behind, but referee Gibbs was unimpressed and in the ensuing melee Vokes and Bailey were booked for squaring up to each other.

Burnley were now pounding the Lions goal in search of that crucial third goal and Arfield headed over at the far post after Trippier again raided the right flank.

But the clear-cut chance would not come and the seven-game winning streak came to an end on a day when Burnley had to show all their fighting qualities to extend their unbeaten run.

Burnley : Heaton, Trippier, Duff, Shackell, Mee, Kightly (Stock 84), Edgar, Jones, Arfield, Ings, Vokes. 
Subs: Cisak, Hewitt, Lafferty, Long, Stanislas, Noble. 

Booked: Edgar 62, Vokes 66, Stock 89

Millwall: Forde, Smith, Robinson, Shittu, Malone (Lowry 7), Derry (Feeney 57), Bailey, Waghorn (Morison 68), Trotter, Woolford, McDonald. 
Subs: Bywater, Dunne, Easter, Keogh. 

Booked: Bailey 66, McDonald 71

Ref: P Gibbs

Att: 10,168

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