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Burnley 1 Newcastle United 2

Clarets fightback falls short as Newcastle hang on to make it three in a row

26 November 2018

Sam Vokes’ fifth goal of the season was not enough to spare a fourth home league defeat of the campaign for the Clarets as their brave fightback fell just short.

Two goals in the opening quarter of the game were enough to give Newcastle their first away win of the season and third victory on the spin to move further away from the bottom three of the Premier League.

The Clarets remain just one place and one point above the relegation places as their winless run extended to six games.

But Sean Dyche’s men didn’t go down without a scrap as they showed the commitment and desire needed for the mid-winter battles that may be to come.

Vokes’ stunning header just before half-time lifted the mood around Turf Moor.

And in a stirring finish the Clarets several times went close to completing a comeback and earning what would have felt like a big point.

Following a half-hour delay to kick-off after the collapse of former top-flight official and referee coach Eddie Wolstenholme prompted a medical emergency, it was Newcastle, without a win at Turf Moor since December, 1975, who were quickest out of the blocks with a goal inside the opening five minutes.

The Clarets were guilty of not properly clearing a DeAndre Yedlin cross following a short corner, although the visitors still needed a large slice of luck to score only their four goal away from home this season.

After Robbie Brady – starting only his second home game in a year as a replacement for the unwell Johann Berg Gudmundsson – had tackled Kenedy, the ball dropped for central defender Federico Fernandez, whose curling shot was heading wide before Ben Mee deflected the ball inside the post when attempting to block.

It was not the start the Clarets needed as they sought only a second win in eight league games at Turf Moor.

And with 23 minutes gone their task was made even harder when the rearguard switched off and allowed Ciaran Clark to mark his return to the Newcastle side by glancing another cross, this time from Matt Ritchie, into the bottom corner to make it 2-0.

With some in the crowd beginning to show their impatience, the Clarets faced a major test of their character to avoid the prospect of another heavy defeat.

And it was one they passed with a gutsy response to get back into the game before half-time.

No club outside the top four had conceded fewer goals on their travels than Newcastle.

But Rafa Benitez’s back four had their hands full with Vokes and Chris Wood.

Wood had almost caught out United keeper Martin Dubravka with a rasping long-range drive which bounced off the face of the Slovakian international before the visitors had scored their second goal.

And five minutes before the break Vokes found a way through with a brilliant header.

Mee’s ball from the back was perfectly delivered for Vokes to connect with a looping effort from almost 18 yards which arced beyond Dubravka and just under the crossbar.

Vokes’ aerial presence was a constant threat and in first-half stoppage time he almost laid on an equaliser for Wood, whose fierce first-time strike from his partner’s knock-down was touched over the bar by a relieved Dubravka.

Newcastle were glad to break the momentum and five minutes into the second half could potentially have put the game beyond the Clarets.

Again, Burnley didn’t help their cause with some sloppiness at the back but fortunately for them Ritchie delivered a remarkable reprieve by somehow missing the target from two yards at the back post.

And the Clarets gradually regained the initiative as they looked to make him pay and deny Newcastle a first win in Monday night football in 11 attempts.

Vokes continued to ask questions of the Newcastle defence and when he again cushioned the ball into the path of Wood, a strike either side of the goalkeeper would have seemingly produced an equaliser.

The persevering Wood was then denied by Dubravka as the Clarets wound it up further with 20 minutes to go before Brady dragged a shot wide after a Charlie Taylor cross had been cleared into his path.

The chances continued to come but Wood was off target from Aaron Lennon’s neat touch back across goal.

And the Clarets still had the opportunity of gaining some reward after Newcastle substitute Joselu had crashed a shot against a post when he looked a certain scorer after being slipped in by Ayoze Perez.

Dyche’s men threw everything at the visitors in the closing minutes with goalkeeper Joe Hart playing virtually as an outfield player in the four minutes of injury time.

But despite peppering the Newcastle box, Burnley couldn’t grab anything to show for their efforts with the outstanding Vokes heading a Taylor free-kick over the bar with the final touch.

Burnley: Hart, Lowton, Long, Mee, Taylor, Lennon, Cork, Defour (Hendrick 82), Brady (Barnes 82), Wood, Vokes. Substitutes: Heaton, Gibson, Westwood, Bardsley, Vydra.

Booked: None

Newcastle: Dubravka, Yedlin, Schar, Fernandez, Clark, Kenedy (Hayden 90), Ki, Diame, Ritchie, Perez, Rondon (Joselu 71). Substitutes: Woodman, Murphy, Shelvey, Manquillo, Atsu.

Booked: Yedelin, Ritchie

Referee: Anthony Taylor

Attendance: 20,628


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