Blues 2 Burnley 2 #bcfc | |

Blues began their festive campaign with a deserved 2-2 home draw against Burnley.Curtis Davies headed his side into a first half lead, but the Clarets hit back with two second-half strikes in the space of just two minutes. The visitors looked to be heading for all three points before Nikola Zigic scored with just one minute of normal time remaining.   A host of injuries meant that Lee Clark was forced into making seven changes to his starting line-up.  Leading scorer Marlon King missed out with a knee problem, Papa Bouba Diop with a hamstring injury and full-back Paul Robinson was taken ill on Friday.  To compound matters Peter Lovenkrands sustained a calf injury in the warm-up, meaning that Nathan Redmond was promoted from the bench and Josh Hawker was added to the squad as a last-minute substitute. Consequently the Blues boss named seven teenagers in his first X1 - six 19-year-olds and one 18-year-old. Blues were given an early warning as Martin Paterson found space in behind their defence but fortunately his low strike went just the wrong side of Jack Butland’s upright. The same Burnley player then forced the Blues keeper into making a brilliant left handed save, before Dean Marney blasted the ball over the bar. Although Sean Dyche’s side were having the majority of the early play, Blues were still managing to look a threat on the counter-attack.   Ravel Morrison went on a surging run directly through the middle but was brought down by Chris McCann 25 yards out, and the Burnley man earned himself a booking for his troubles. Unfortunately Blues failed to take advantage of the opportunity and the free-kick went to waste.  Having weathered the early pressure Clark’s side began to gain the upper hand and were consistently forcing Burnley back into their own half of the field.  With 30 minutes on the clock Joseph Mills was fortunate to escape with just a caution after a crude challenge that left Rob Hall writhing on the ground. The resultant free-kick was crossed in by Hall, but cleared back to him. He sent a second ball in, which was met by Curtis Davies who directed a fine glancing header into the back of the net.   Burnley had a glorious opportunity to level things after 38 minutes, but somehow Michael Duff managed to lift the ball over a gaping Blues goal from just four yards out. With half-time approaching Nathan Redmond let go with a fierce left-footed drive from distance, but his shot was superbly tipped behind by Burnley keeper Lee Grant for a corner. Then Hall tested Grant with a stinging shot after he had cut into the box from the right. Half-time: Blues 1 Burnley 0  The second began with Blues kicking towards the Tilton Road end and heavy rain beating down on St. Andrew’s. Just minutes in Blues went close to doubling their advantage as Redmond curled a shot just the wrong side of the far post. Blues picked then picked up two bookings in quick succession. Ravel Morrison was cautioned for encroaching at a free kick and Mitch Hancox received a yellow for bringing down Kieran Trippier.  The foul and booking were fortunate for Blues, as Charlie Austin put the ball in the back of the Blues net from the same passage as play, but the linesman had already flagged in the build up. Burnley made their first substitution of the game with just over an hour played as Keith Treacy replaced Martin Paterson. Burnley found themselves right back in the match when they levelled the scores on 66 minutes. Slack defending allowed Danny Ings to get in between Davies and Butland and turn Dean Marney’s cross home. Disaster struck two minutes later as Burnley fired home a second goal direct from a free kick. Ings was brought down by Davies as he ran through at the Blues defence, which earned the centre half a booking. Ross Wallace stepped up and fired a brilliant ball into the top left hand corner of the net, leaving Butland with no chance of stopping it Scottish winger Chris Burke was sent on for Morrison after 71 minutes and then five minutes later former Burnley favourite Wade Elliott replaced Rob Hall. Redmond fashioned a chance for himself when he chipped the ball over Lee Grant, but there was not enough pace on the effort and it was cleared just before it found the back of a an empty net. With the game heading into its closing stages Blues threw everybody forward, but the Burnley defence was standing firm. That was until the 89th minute when Nikola Zigic found a yard of space inside the Burnley area and drilled a shot underneath Grant to send the home support into raptures. 

Full-time: Blues 2 Burnley 2 


Blues: Jack Butland, Will Packwood, Curtis Davies, Steven Caldwell, Mitch Hancox, Rob Hall (Wade Elliott, 76), Callum Reilly, Hayden Mullins, Ravel Morrison (Chris Burke, 71), Nathan Redmond, Nikola Zigic.Subs not used: Colin Doyle, Pablo Ibanez, Emmitt Delfouneso, Morgaro Gomis, Josh Hawker.Bookings:  Morrison (50), Hancox (57), Davies (67), Mullins (74).Goals:  Davies (31), Zigic (89).  


Burnley: Lee Grant, Kieran Trippier, Daniel Lafferty, Michael Duff, Jason Shackell, Dean Marney (Sam Vokes, 90+3), Chris McCann, Danny Ings (Marvin Bartley, 88), Charlie Austin, Martin Paterson (Keith Treacy, 64), Ross Wallace. Subs not used: Sam Vokes, Junior Stanislas, David Edgar, Kevin Long, Brian Jensen.Bookings: McCann (15), Mills (30).Goals: Danny Ings (66), Wallace (68). 


Referee: Eddie Ilderton


Attendance: 17, 284 (735 Burnley fans)