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Match Reports

Bolton 1 Burnley 2

27 February 2016

Bolton 1 Burnley 2

Andre Gray sensationally struck twice in the final 16 minutes to fire Burnley to the top of the Championship.

The league’s top goalscorer took his tally to 20 for the season with an opportunist equaliser to cancel out Liam Feeney’s shock opener midway through the second half.

That was the first goal conceded by the Clarets in 471 minutes!

But they shrugged off the shock of falling behind to level through Gray within five minutes.

And the former Brentford striker, who had gone a rare four-game run without finding the net, doubled his tally with a stunning second five minutes from the end to settle a breathless derby.

The Clarets named the same side that beat Nottingham Forest in midweek to record back-to-back home wins.

That meant there was no room for Michael Keane, following the head injury sustained a week ago against Rotherham.

And in a lively start, Joey Barton drilled a long-range effort at former Clarets loanee Rachubka, before Ben Mee headed over from a corner.

Feeney was a bright spark throughout for the hosts, firing over several early crosses that required intervention from the alert Burnley back line.

And in the 18th minute, with the Clarets a man light as Mee changed his boots, Wanderers almost took advantage.

Feeney again picked out a cross from the left that eventually dropped to Josh Vela, who screwed his 12-yard effort across goal and wide.

But Burnley suddenly got their passing game right 25 minutes in as Scott Arfield, David Jones and Barton combined quickly to send George Boyd clear, only for a defensive block to send his low effort into the side netting.

Barton’s vision then picked out Gray in the right channel, but the striker fried over on the turn as the angle quickly narrowed.

And following clever improvisation from Tarkowski, as the Clarets slowly began to find their rhythm, Stephen Ward’s cross was flicked wide by the head of Vokes.

It was now a much more even contest after the hosts’ early endeavours, and things heated up ahead of the interval as a few late challenges began to fly in.

But from the restart, Bolton upped the ante and should have been ahead after carving out their best opening to date.

Mark Davies drove at Burnley and from Dean Moxey’s resulting low cross from the left, the unmarked Zach Clough scooped his 12-yard effort over.

Jay Spearing and Emile Heskey both fired over before the hour mark as Neil Lennon’s side continued to push Burnley back.

But just after the hour, it was the Clarets who almost struck first.

Jones’ free kick pinballed around the box and Tarkowski swung a leg and saw his bobbler cut through a ruck of bodies and just wide of the left hand post.

And midway through the half, the hosts finally struck. Jones was robbed of possession 30 yards from goal and from Darren Pratley’s ball into the right channel and substitute Gary Madine’s low ball across goal, Feeney tapped home the easiest of openers.

Matt Taylor replaced Boyd in the 71st minute as the Clarets looked for a way back.

And within three minutes the scores were level.

Lowton fired over a cross from out wide on the right and when Gray’s first time effort was superbly parried by Rachubka, the Clarets’ top scorer reacted first to prod the ball over the line.

And things got even better for Gray and Burnley with the clock running down, as sub Fredrik Ulvestad’s ball over the top was controlled and smashed home by the Clarets striker to complete the incredible turnaround.

There was still danger to avert, with Tom Heaton making a magnificent point-blank save in the final minute to preserve the lead.

And that proved priceless as the Clarets rode out four minutes of added on time to go top of the Championship pile.

BURNLEY: Heaton, Lowton, Mee, Tarkowski, Ward, Arfield, Barton, Jones (Ulvestad 83), Boyd (Taylor 72), Vokes, Gray (Hennings 90+3).
Subs: Robinson, Kightly, Darikwa, Long.

BOLTON: Rachubka, Moxey, Vela, Feeney, Spearing, Clough (Dobbie 81), Osede, Davies, Heskey (Madine 65), Pratley, Holding.
Subs: Campbell, Danns, Silva, Wilson, Woolery.

Ref: S Martin

Att: 17,484 (3,877)

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