Vaughan goal earns precious victory
James Vaughan added to his growing hero reputation amongst the Town faithful at Turf Moor on Tuesday night as the Terriers earned three precious points in their fight against relegation.
The striker notched his seventh of the season from literally a yard out after Lee Grant had failed to deal with Calum Woods’ effort.
It was a victory that the Terriers’ second half performance deserved – and it could have been more if Theo Robinson had done better when through on goal late in the second half.
Burnley weren’t without chances, though, with all three of their strikers spurning great opportunities. Danny Ings sliced wide from six yards; Charlie Austin chipped wide and Sam Vokes planted a header against the cross bar.
Robinson made his first start for the Terriers since returning to the Club last week in one of two changes by Mark Robins from the team that drew at Ipswich.
His other change was also in attack with Sean Scannell replacing Scott Arfield.
It was a first half a few chances at Turf Moor – well, just one really, which fell to the home team on the stroke of half time. Former Bournemouth striker Danny Ings will have been very disappointed not to have done better from six yards out after collecting Keith Treacy’s misdirected strike. Thankfully for Town, the striker couldn’t really get the ball from out under his feet and tamely poked it wide.
Following their last away game when the Terriers shipped six goals at Nottingham Forest, they looked far more resolute against a misfiring Burnley outfit. Mark Robins’ men enjoyed their fair share of possession during the opening quarter of the game, but rarely looked like testing Burnley ‘keeper Lee Grant.
The first save of the game came in the 22nd minute when Alex Smithies reacted well to parry clear Treacy’s low drive after the winger had done well to spin Calum Woods in the middle of the park.
Burnley continued to dominate from this point and looked particularly dangerous from set-piece situations; Town were lucky to escape on one occasion when Anthony Gerrard lost Charlie Austin in the box, but James Vaughan was on hand to spare the defender’s blushes.
Austin then hit a wild drive wide after substitute Scott Arfield – who had replaced the injured Oscar Gobern – was swamped in the centre of the park.
Robinson finished the half by summing up the Terriers’ attacking efforts when he ballooned over a shot when well-placed down Burnley’s right hand side.
Upon the restart of the second half, Austin had a brilliant chance to open the scoring for the home team. Burnley’s top scorer did well to evade the attentions of Gerrard before chipping just wide of Smithies’ goal – to the annoyance of teammate Dane Richards who was unmarked at the far post.
And did Town make them pay.
Vaughan was the goalscorer for Town in the 55th minute, but Woods will feel aggrieved that it wasn’t his name on the score sheet. After collecting Scannell’s cross, the right-back cut inside his marker and with his left foot smashed a shot on target, which Grant could only push goal bound. Woods was all ready to celebrate his first Town goal, but watched in horror as Vaughan tapped home his seventh of the season from a yard out.
Town survived a scare with twenty minutes remaining when substitutes Marvin Bartley and Sam Vokes combined down the right with the later smashing Smithies’ crossbar with a powerful header.
Vokes’ shear presence was causing the Town defence problems and he almost laid an equaliser on a plate for Austin, but his knock down header was just out of reach of the striker.
With ten minutes remaining Town had a great chance to seal the points. With Burnley pouring men forward, Scannell broke with pace and laid the ball into the path of the onrushing Robinson, who had a clear path to goal. After one touch – and with Jason Shackell – bearing down on him the on loan Derby man hit a shot with his left, which was easily gathered by Grant.
A goal mouth scramble was as much as Burnley could muster in the final ten minutes as the Terriers held firm to earn their first away league victory since November 10, 2012.
Town’s team (4-2-3-1):
Alex Smithies; Paul Dixon, Peter Clarke (c), Anthony Gerrard, Calum Woods; Adam Clayton, Oscar Gobern (Scott Arfield, 39); Sean Scannell, Neil Danns, Theo Robinson; James Vaughan (Lee Novak, 84)
Ian Bennett, Oliver Norwood, Alan Lee, Jack Hunt, Joel Lynch
Bookings Burnley: Brian Stock 45+1, Charlie Austin 61, Kieran Trippier 75
Bookings Town: Anthony Gerrard 3, Adam Clayton 79, Scott Arfield 90+3