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Burnley soar into top 6

Football - Burnley v West Bromwich Albion FA Cup Fourth Round Replay

Burnley came from 2-0 down to secure an impressive win that sends them cruising into the playoff places.

The Clarets showed fantastic fighting spirit to turn the game around and went on to score 3 goals in the last ten minutes to secure a 4-2 win over Neil Warnock’s Palace.

 The game started evenly. Both teams were defending quite well, and neither keeper was seriously tested within the first 15 minutes or so.                                                                                                                            Steven Thompson

That was until Burnley put together a beautiful move. Fast, flowing and precise passing between McCann and Alaxander left Wade Elliot with the ball to the right of the defence. He drove his shot straight at Speroni. Maybe hitting it across goal for a Claret shirt would have been the better option.

Burnley were going forward but they had no cutting edge. Palace also offered nothing within the first 20 minutes, a long range shot from Stokes was all they had to offer.

Then, right on cue, a mix up in the Burnley defence handed the Eagles the lead. One long ball from the Palace back line had the Burnley defence crumbled. The long ball ended up behind the Burnley defence, and Shefki Kuqi charged the ball down. Carlisle seemed to have the situation in control until Kuqi powered his way in front. Jensen should have mopped things up and should have come for the ball and cleared the danger. He didnt, he was indecisive and was caught in no-mans land. Kuqi then took full advantage and gleefully nipped the ball over Jensen’s head to give them the lead.

The goal lifted Palace and destroyed the confidence in Burnley’s defence. Palace were now on top and they made their dominance count and soon found themselves 2-0 up. Palace drifted in a corner which again wasn’t dealt with properly by the Burnley defence. The ball fell to Ifill on the corner of the box who hit a hard, low shot towards the Burnley goal. The shot deflected off Carlisle and bounced past Jensen and into the Burnley net.

The game was now starting to come to life. Burnley again began going forward and won a corner in the 39th minute. Robbie Blake swung in a corner and was met by the right boot of Wade Elliot. Elliots shot hit the crossbar and landed on the head of Clarke Carlisle. Carlisle was 6 yards out, he couldn’t miss. He didn’t.

Burnley came back to life and now it was their turn to dominate. They wanted the equaliser before half time and they rallied forward in an attempt to succeed. Elliot skipped past the Palace defence as though it wasn’t there before he hit a weak long range shot. The shot was spilled by Speroni and fell delightfully to Martin Paterson. Paterson was six yards out, he couldn’t miss. But he did.

The second half started a lot quieter than the first half finished and no team created any clear cut chances.

However, a long punt up field from Jensen left Steven Thompson in behind the Palace defence, only for him to be brought down by the last defender. Tempers flared in the stands and on the pitch as the Clarets bayed for blood. The referee consulted his linesman and eventually only managed to brandish the yellow card, much to the disbelief of Owen Coyle who had to be calmed down by the fourth official.

The next Burnley chance fell to Eagles, but the substitute saw his effort turned round the post. Five minutes later another chance for Eagles, but he failed to rise high enough to meet Alexander’s cross and Eagles saw his header fly over the bar.

Soon after Alexander fired another ball into the box towards Thompson who was pushed by Clint Hill, and the ball seemed to strike Hill’s arm. The referees assistant flagged and gave a penalty to the home side. Alexander had to wait several minutes as the visitors protested, but he kept a cool head and slotted home to bring the scores level with just 7 minutes of normal time remaining.

The Clarets now well and truly had their tales up and they were now going for the win. Eagles flew past 3 defenders with ease only to have the ball cruelly taken off him by a last ditch tackle from Hill.

Burnley continued forward and got their reward. Rodriguez fed Eagles down the right had side who swung in a low cross to Steven Thompson, who received the ball at his feet with his back facing the Palace goal. Thompson remained strong and saw off the attention from the defenders, turned beautifully, and fired home.

The Clarets were in front but they weren’t finished. Palace left gaps at the back as they threw men forward in a last ditch attempt to rescue a point. One hit forward and Rodriguez was one-on-one with Speroni, with Eagles in close range. The youngster showed the composure of a veteran as he ignored the bellows of Eagles and slotted past Speroni with the outside of his boot in the dying seconds to put the game out of reach for Palace and capped off a magnificent turnaround for Coyle’s men

Final Score
Burnley            4 – 2             Crystal Palace
Carlisle (39)                                   Kuqi (26)
Alaxander (83)                               Carlisle (OG 35)
Thompson (88)
Rodriguez (90+3)

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