Town lose out in entertaining encounter
Town were on the wrong end of a 3-2 score line at Turf Moor, as the Terriers began the New Year profitless.
Danny Ings gave Burnley a sixth minute lead before the Terriers pegged them back courtesy of Martin Paterson’s third goal in as many games.
Ings and Keiran Trippier scored either side of half-time to give Burnley a two goal lead, but there was still time for Paterson to steal in at the far post and grab a second.
Town’s start to the year was identical to 2013 – they were behind after a sixth minute goal.
Last year it was Chris Wood at Leicester, whereas at Turf Moor it was Danny Ings. There was a hint of offside about the goal, but after collecting David Jones’ long ball the striker despatched it via a flick off Alex Smithies.
Burnley – who held the Championship’s only unbeaten home record before the game – had Town pinned back for much of the opening quarter with both Sam Vokes and former Terrier Scott Arfield shooting wide from decent opportunities.
Town’s knack of scoring from set-plays had improved in recent weeks though, and it was from an Adam Hammill corner, which he had won, that supplied the equaliser in the 20th minute.
Murray Wallace kneed the ball across the box to where former Claret Martin Paterson was stood, who nodded it into the roof of Tom Heaton’s net.
It was Burnley who continued to be the dominant team though, and deservedly went in at the interval ahead. Jones had twice gone close; forcing Smithies into a full length save and hitting the bar with a curling free-kick, before Ings netted his 19th of the season.
Town were disjointed at the back and after failing to deal with Kieran Trippier’s cross, the former Bournemouth man expertly fired into the far corner.
The home team started the second 45 on the front foot and had it not been for a couple of last ditch tackles, they could have had the game sewn up by the hour mark.
Wallace denied Ings at the front post, Clayton chased back superbly to deny Arfield before substitute Anthony Gerrard threw himself in the way of Dean Marney’s low drive.
The Clarets’ flow of pressure continued after the hour mark with Marney hitting wide from Vokes’ powerful cut back before Ings wasted a glorious chance to seal his hat trick, blasting over from just inside the area.
Burnley’s misses were keeping Town alive and with Duane Holmes on the pitch, the Terriers were starting to cause them problems.
The youngster almost teed up for Hammill for the equaliser after skipping past Arfield and Jones, but his far post cross was just too high for the winger. He then found Norwood with 16 minutes to go, but his drive from 18 yards was straight at Heaton.
Town’s attempting of salvaging a draw were well and truly sunk with 11 minutes to go, when Burnley right-back Trippier raced onto Vokes’ pass and finished via the underside of the bar after rounding Smithies.
That wasn’t the end of Town though, and it was Paterson again who gave the Terriers a faint lifeline. The striker wasn’t picked up at the far post and guided home Dixon’s drilled cross with still a minute of normal time remaining.
Tommy Smith almost grabbed a dramatic equaliser, but he failed to bundle home at the far post.
Town’s team (3-5-2):
Alex Smithies (c); Joel Lynch (Anthony Gerrard, 33), Murray Wallace, Tommy Smith; Paul Dixon, Jonathan Hogg (Duane Holmes, 52), Adam Clayton, Oliver Norwood, Adam Hammill (Sean Scannell, 85); Martin Paterson, Danny Ward
Ian Bennett, Calum Woods, Oscar Gobern, Jon Stead
Bookings Burnley: Dean Marney 71
Bookings Town: Murray Wallace 39, Martin Paterson 58