When news happens, text LT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
Yeovil 1 Burnley 2
THERE are no longer enough superlatives to describe the Sam Vokes-Danny Ings partnership.
The pair struck again on Saturday – the first a spectacular finish from top scorer Ings, the second slotted in by Vokes at the end of a well-worked move around the hour.
It was the sixth time this season the Clarets’ leading marksmen have scored in the same game – and an immediate response to the signing of Ashley Barnes, who admired from the bench before emerging for his debut late on to ensure that what should have been a comfortable win did not slip away from Burnley.
But it was the team’s pressing game – one of the key ingredients to a successful first half of the season – which ultimately led to a first away win in seven in the league and kept them on course in the top two.
Midfielder David Jones set the tone for others to follow, using his relentless engine to snap at the heels of the opposition inside their own half.
Central partner Dean Marney did the same, while Vokes and Ings continued to defend from the front and offer protection to the back line, which included Michael Duff once more – on his 36th birthday – after being rested for the FA Cup last weekend.
It was all hands to the pump by the end as struggling Yeovil threatened a grandstand finale in their battle against the drop.
A bizarre goal for substitute Kieffer Moore set up what Burnley boss Sean Dyche described as a “cup tie” last 10 minutes, in which the Glovers threw everything forward, including the gloves, with goalkeeper Marek Stech twice venturing into the opposition box for stoppage time set pieces.
The Clarets held firm to confirm their position in the top two for yet another week.
They should have been out of sight in the second half. Vokes hit the post before doubling the lead and later had a good shot saved.
“I thought we were good value for it,” said Dyche of the win, which took the Clarets to the landmark 50-point mark with 21 games to go.
“Some of the football in the second half, on a very tough pitch, was excellent I felt.
“Their keeper’s made a few great saves and we've hit the post. We’ve done everything but score the third, which would have killed the game off.
“They’ve worked very hard to get themselves back in with a scruffy one by our standards, and then it turns into a cup tie for 10 minutes where they’re throwing all sorts forward, even their keeper.
“Overall I’m very pleased, I think it’s a tough place to come, and credit to what they’ve achieved here because their group of players are still going hard.
“At 2-0 up I think we did have it by the scruff of the neck, we were controlling the game but they kept going, they forced a goal and then it gets uncomfortable for us for the last 10 minutes.
“But overall I thought we were well deserving of the three points.”
After an indifferent start by the Clarets, with half chances at either end, Ings made the breakthrough – in some style – after benefiting from Jones’ relentlessness.
An overhead effort had earlier dropped onto the roof of the net, but everyone in the ground knew the ball was in the second it left the striker's foot in the 19th minute.
Jones had just had the sting taken out of a good shot from distance by a deflection, which carried it through to Stech. But the former West Ham keeper was rendered helpless to keep out Ings' unstoppable strike.
Jones pressed purposefully from the word go and his endeavour paid off in winning possession from right back Luke Ayling well in the Yeovil half and laying off to the top scorer, who fired a rocket into the top left corner for his 21st Clarets goal, in all competitions.
Shane Duffy, who had an unsuccessful loan with Burnley from Everton in 2010/11 but is enjoying his spell with Yeovil this term, almost had some joy on the half-hour.
The Glovers had tried a few times to catch the Clarets on the counter, and Marney had to head behind the Irish defender’s shot from inside the box.
Gary Johnson's side rallied, with Joe Ralls – a new signing on loan from Cardiff – a regular threat down the right, and Joel Grant a handful. But Burnley almost had a second thanks to Jones reapplying pressure on Yeovil high up the pitch.
The midfielder combined with Scott Arfield, who shifted the ball on, but Ings’ softer strike narrowly cleared the bar.
The Clarets were more assertive after the break, with Arfield asking more of the defence with an early angled run and shot blocked by Duffy.
Keith Treacy went close with a free kick around the wall, saved by Stech, while Ings and Vokes were even livelier in and around the box.
Yet spirited Yeovil refused to wave the white flag.
Danny Lafferty tried to muscle Grant off the ball but the striker was able to turn in the box. Just as he was about to pull the trigger, Duff came from nowhere to stop the strike and turn ball behind. Grant's header then clipped the top of the crossbar.
Burnley took control again. Another Arfield attempt proved comfortable for the keeper low down, but Burnley were able to mount an immediate attack when Yeovil gifted possession back. Arfield cut the ball back for Vokes, whose instinctive effort bounced off the near post and behind.
Burnley’s second and Vokes’ 12 of the season was not far away, however.
Marney’s pressing mission led to Duffy being robbed of possession. The midfielder linked with Ings and would have been well within his rights to shoot from inside the box after taking the return pass. But he selflessly rolled the ball on for Vokes to slot in at the far right post.
Game over, surely, despite another good Vokes chance saved after combining with Ings.
Yeovil had other ideas, and the Clarets found themselves with some serious defending to do.
Ralls had a dipping header tipped over by Tom Heaton, who then watched a similar effort from substitute Moore drop onto the roof of the net.
But his vision was blocked when the 21-year-old's cross came in from the left.
Jason Shackell and Lafferty were in front of him, but missed the chance to clear and the ball sneaked past the keeper.
The Glovers went in for the kill.
But Shackell got in the way of most things, heading a dangerous free kick into box behind, with Ed Upson blocked from follow-up corner before his ambitious 35-yard effort was watched wide.
Shackell suffered a bloody lip after heading out Ralls’ ball in from the left and being clattered by Moore.
But no pain, no gain, and even the sight of Stech coming up for two stoppage time set pieces, after Barnes had made his bow, stopped Burnley from securing a welcome win on the road.
Comments are closed on this article.