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Burnley secure playoff place with emphatic win

Burnley made sure of a playoff place yesterday after an impressive win against Bristol City ensured a top 6th finish.

A penalty brace from Graham Alexander and a goal each from Elliot and Gudjonson secured a big win for the Clarets in a game where Burnley knew a win would secure that precious playoff place.

Beforehand the Clarets were lying in 6th place, two points above local rivals Preston in 7th, and one point behind Cardiff City  in 5th, which meant that even if Burnley lost they could still clinch 6th place provided Preston lost.

Burnley made no changes to the starting 11 as Owen Coyle announced the same team that drew at Southampton, the only change was on the bench where the Clarets welcomed back lanky striker Steven Thompson who had been out for 6 weeks due to an ankle injury

The Clarets were the team that set the pace early on as they came out of the starting blocks on a mission. A corner was forced after just 20 seconds, and Clarke Carlisle headed just over the bar as he met Robbie Blakes outswinging ball.

Two chances in two minutes for Chris McCann soon followed, the was first was headed straight at the City goalkeeper, and the second was unfortunately headed just wide.

Minutes later the Clarets came close yet again. Wade Elliot was the provider again who did well out wide and then played in Chris Eagles who hit his shot from just eight yards out, but unfortunately he saw it crash against the crossbar.

The Clarets failed to make their early 20 minute dominance count and Bristol City reminded us all that they werent just there to make up the numbers as Izzy Iriekpen fired a low shot across the face of goal which was just begging for a City leg to tap it home.

Then news began to filter through to Turf Moor that a bizarre goal from Jon Parkin had given Preston the lead, and as it stood at that point, Burnley were to finish 7th.

However, Burnleys drop below the playoff line lasted less than five minutes. Yet again that man Wade Elliot surged into the Bristol City box after taking on several defenders and was then fouled by McAllister which gave the referee no option but to point at the penalty spot.

Graham Alexender inevatably stepped up, who hasn’t missed from the spot in over four years. Alexander wasnt about to break his record and he fired high into the top corner to edge the Clarets into the lead.

Minutes later and the Clarets doubled their lead. After a corner from Blake the ball broke to Elliot on the edge of the box who fired hard and low through a mass of bodies and into the net and put Burnley in the driving seat.

Football - Burnley v Bristol City Coca
Wade Elliot celebrates his goal

The two quickfire goals made sure the Clarets fans had a relaxing half time interval, but there was no doubt that there was still plenty of work to do against a Bristol City side who showed plenty of quality at times.

The second half started at alot quieter pace as Burnley tried to slow the game down and prevent any Bristol City chances and kept as many men as possible behind the ball.

Chances became rare for both sides and it wasnt until 10 minutes into the second half that one was produced when Elliot ended a mazy run with a shot straight at the Bristol City goalkeeper Basso.

After such a fantastic performance Elliot picked up a knock and was replaced by Joey Gudjonson, Elliot was then sent straight down the tunnel into the medical room, hopefully that was just a precaution.

Minutes later Clarke Carlisle suffered the same fate and the Clarets had to regroup in defence with Alexander slipping into right back and Rhys Williams was forced to play at centre back.

After several minutes of a slow paced game the Clarets began to get forward again, and it wasnt long before they were 3-0 up.

Chris Eagles played a high ball into the box towards Martin Patterson, but Bradley Orr bizarrely handled the ball and the Clarets were awarded their second penalty of the game.

Alexander stepped up and yet again fired past the keeper who was rooted to the spot, this beig his tenth goal of the season.

Football - Burnley v Bristol City Coca
Alexander Celebrates his penalty

Minutes later the Clarets made that playoff spot an absolute certainty. Chris Eagles broke into the box and fired a shot hard and low towards the goal, Basso saved well but Joey Gudjonson was quick off the mark and got to the rebound and made the score 4-0.

The full time whistle went and sparked celebrations in the stands at Turf Moor.

My BFC man of the match: Wade Elliot

Final Score
Burnley 4-0 Bristol City

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  1. I*T*P*L

    5 May, 2009 at 19:21

    Congratulations, great review.

    I hope either you or Preston (that probably sounds weird to you) gets up, as both are good, proper, northern clubs with good support that it would be good to have playing at the top level.

  2. joered

    9 May, 2009 at 13:15

    Yes you are correct that does sound rather weird to me! The thought of PNE going up just makes my stomach turn!

    However, thanks for the comments.

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