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Match Reports

Burnley 2-0 Rotherham United

20 February 2016

Burnley 2-0 Rotherham United

Goals from Sam Vokes and Scott Arfield lifted the Clarets up to second place with an important 2-0 victory over Rotherham United

Vokes’ fifth goal in eight outings put the Clarets ahead from the spot before the break, before Arfield clinched the win with five minutes remaining.

The win extended Burnley’s impressive league form to six wins in nine, remaining unbeaten in that spell.

And with it the Clarets climbed back into the automatic promotion spots for the first time since November.

Sean Dyche named an unchanged side for the sixth successive league game.

The game’s opening quarter was a period of few chances, with both sides failing to find the target.

The closest Burnley came was when Matthew Lowton’s whipped ball in from the right was headed out to David Jones who, on the volley, struck harmlessly across goal.

Greg Halford’s dangerous long-throw into the box was then half cleared to Richie Smallwood, but the former Middlesbrough midfielder again struck wide with a volley.

But the game kicked into life midway through the half as the Clarets took the lead!

Stephen Ward’s pinpoint ball forward found George Boyd at the edge of the box, and the wide man superbly turned Lloyd Doyley.

Rotherham’s midweek signing could only clip the winger’s ankle, leaving Vokes to step up to the spot to put the Clarets ahead.

The dominant hosts almost doubled their advantage 10 minutes before the break!

Lowton was again the provider, finding Andre Gray six-yards out with a fabulous cross on the run that the striker headed against the crossbar.

Following a heavy knock to the head, defender Michael Keane was forced to make way, meaning January signing James Tarkowski came on for his Burnley debut.

The visitors were then forced to make a change of their own, with Grant Ward replacing his namesake Danny following another head injury.

Ward ambitiously fired over from 25 yards with the Millers’ only opportunity of the half.

But Burnley were back in the ascendency as the interval loomed, with Ward firing over with an audacious attempt with the outside of the foot.

The Clarets continued their dominance from the restart, with Joey Barton pulling the strings in the heart of Burnley’s midfield.

The former QPR man’s stunning cross from the right found the outstretching Vokes, who could only get a toe to the delivery as it trickled wide.

Tarkowski was enjoying a solid debut at the back alongside the impressive Ben Mee, and he almost created the Clarets’ second.

His raking ball down the right flank again found Gray, who drove at goal before unselfishly crossing to strike partner Vokes at the far post, only for the delivery to evade the Welshman’s outstretched foot.

It was a frustrating afternoon for record signing Gray, who was then twice denied by Camp.

And with 10 minutes remaining hearts were in mouths as Warnock’s side had a clear chance to bring the game level.

Joe Newell’s first touch put him clear on goal with just Tom Heaton to beat, but sliced his effort wide as the Clarets breathed a sigh of relief.

And the hosts made the Millers pay five minutes from time to seal the points.

Gray’s persistence paid off, as the striker found Arfield to his right, and the Scotsman clinically rifled Burnley’s clincher into the top corner.

Burnley were back in the top two… the task now is to stay there.

BURNLEY: Heaton, Lowton, Mee, Keane (Tarkowski 32), Ward, Arfield, Jones, Barton, Boyd (Taylor 89), Gray (Hennings 89), Vokes.
Subs: Robinson, Darikwa, Ulvestad, Kightly.
Goal: Vokes 26’, Gray 86’
Yellow: Gray 64’, Mee 68’

ROTHERHAM: Camp, Halford, Richardson, Broadfoot, Doyley (Best 73), Burke, Newell, Green, Smallwod, Ward (Ward 38), Jonson.
Subs: Kenny, Collins, Derbyshire, Shinnie, Thomas
Yellow: Burke 20’, Smallwood 85’

REF: T Robinson
Attendance: 15,849 (644)

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