Burnley 3 Huddersfield 2
New Year, same old story as Danny Ings was back among the goals in the Clarets’ thrilling and heart-stopping victory over Huddersfield at Turf Moor.
The Clarets striker bagged a brace to take his tally to 19 for the season, either side of a Town strike for ex-Claret Martin Paterson.
Ings slotted past Alex Smithies after only six minutes and then, after Paterson levelled with his third goal in as many games, the Clarets striker restored the lead before half time with a sublime finish.
Kieran Trippier sealed a fabulous attacking display by the Clarets with the killer third 11 minutes from time.
And after Paterson struck again in the 88th minute, Tommy Smith missed a sitter in a heart-stopping few minutes to confirm the Clarets’ ascent back into the top two spots.
Burnley welcomed back Ben Mee following two games out with a thigh strain.
The defender replaced Danny Lafferty in the only change to the starting line-up that drew 0-0 at Wigan three days earlier.
And it took just six minutes for the Clarets to take the lead as Ings pounced.
David Jones’ flighted ball down the left, over a high and square back line, released the top scorer and with the flag staying down, Ings advanced and slotted past Alex Smithies to get the New Year off the best possible start.
Lovely approach play from Scott Arfield and Ings soon set-up Sam Vokes, whose first touch forced a hurried second with a volley that he skied into the ranks of Town fans behind the goal.
And when Town’s back line failed to clear Trippier’s ball into Vokes on the edge of the box, Arfield was just off target as he looked to find the target against his former employers.
But out of the blue, from their first attack, Town were level as Paterson struck.
A left wing corner from Adam Hammill caught on the wind and from Murray Wallace’s knock-down, Paterson grabbed his third goal in as many games with a simple header from four yards.
That rocked Burnley, but the response was immediate and as the half hour approached Jones came close to putting the hosts back ahead,
Trippier did the donkey work and fed a square ball to Jones ,who spun on the edge of the box and forced Smithies into a terrific save to his right with a curling g effort.
And Jones was even closer six minutes before the break as he struck the woodwork, curling a delightful free kick off the face of the crossbar after Ings was upended 25 yards from goal.
However, the Clarets did not have long to wait for the second as Ings struck in devastating style four minute before the break.
Trippier cut-back Dean Marney’s threaded pass into the danger zone and Ings took control on the right side of goal to rifle a magnificent shot across Smithies from 12 yards.
Burnley began the second half as they ended the first; in control.
Vokes might have headed for goal instead of chesting down Trippier’s cross and then, from a lightening break, a last-gasp tackle stopped Arfield setting up another goalscoring chance for the Welshman.
Marney’s snapshot was then blocked by more desperate Town defending - and it seemed a matter of time before the third goal arrived.
Soon, the tireless midfielder almost got on the end of Vokes’ cut-back after the striker put more pressure on the Terriers back-line.
But the best chance or the Clarets’ purple patch fell to Ings midway through the half, when he latched onto Arfield’s flick, but blazed over with the hat-trick in his sights.
That gave Mark Robins’ side renewed hope that they may still get something from the game.
And with Burnley regrouping as Mee was replaced by Lafferty, following what appeared to be a recurrence of his thigh injury, suddenly Town sensed a second reply.
Substitute Duane Holmes, who had been lively since his introduction just before the hour, teed-up Norwood for a shot that was well held by Heaton.
Ings though, was a man on a mission, and as the game entered the final quarter he found the side netting from an acute angle from Trippier’s precise through ball.
Moments later though, the sense of relief was palpable as Trippier himself sealed the victory.
Ings and the influential Arfield were again involved and when Vokes lifted the ball over a ragged defence, Trippier raced clear, took a touch around Smithies and slotted home from a tightening angle with the help of the crossbar.
Heaton had to protect that lead with a terrific low save from Paul Dixon.
But man of the match Ings was agonisingly close to that first senior hat-trick as full time approached, cushioning a header from Trippier’s arrow-like delivery just wide of the far post with Smithies scrambling.
Paterson made it a nervy final few minutes with his second of the game in the 88th minute.
And hearts were in mouths when Tommy Smith somehow screwed his point-blank effort wide at the far post at the start of four extra minutes.
But the Clarets held out to move back into second spot at the expense of Derby County.
BURNLEY: Heaton, Trippier, Duff, Shackell, Mee (Lafferty 71), Arfield, Jones, Marney (Stock 84), Treacy (Stanislas 84), Vokes, Ings.
Subs: Cisak, Edgar, Kightly, Long
Booked: Marney 72
HUDDERSFIELD: Smithies, Hogg (Holmes 54), Hammill (Scannell 85), Ward, Clayton, Dixon, Norwood, Wallace, Smith, Paterson. Lynch (Gerrard 25).
Subs: Bennett, Woods, Gobern, Stead, Gerrard.
Booked: Wallace 39
Ref: D Coote
Att (amended): 14,105 (1,902)