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Andrew Greaves column: Derby draw is a turning point
It is not often that I break press box etiquette and jump up and scream when the Clarets score but when Sam Vokes snatched the equaliser yesterday, it was the last thing on my mind.
I’ll be honest, the whole game was a bit of an ordeal.
It was a real game of two halves but we almost paid the ultimate price for not taking our chances in a first half in which we had just about the best of everything.
Rovers keeper Paul Robinson was by far the busier of the two all afternoon and he did superbly well to keep his side in it in the opening 45.
Chances from Charlie Austin, Ross Wallace and Jason Shackell all came and went and at half time you did sense that it may not be the Clarets’ afternoon.
The second half started in much the same way but the introduction of Joshua King for the visitors turned the game in Rovers’ favour long enough for it to matter.
The Burnley back four had never looked troubled by Jordan Rhodes – a wild effort into the top tier of the Jimmy McIlroy Stand the one and only effort the Scotland striker had mustered until then – but it was him who nodded those from down the M65 ahead.
In fairness it was a decent header, Rhodes stooping low to push the ball past Grant.
At 1-0 down it looked like all our fears at half time were going to be realised.
The Clarets though stuck to the task in hand and the introduction of Danny Ings and Junior Stanislas certainly helped give Burnley a bit of extra creativity.
But it was a third substitute, Vokes, who sent Turf Moor into raptures with his 89th minute equaliser.
The big man has had to wait for his chance but his glancing header, from a superb Stanislas free-kick, could allow him to write himself in Turf Moor folklore.
It was no less than we deserved and while a winner would have been beyond our wildest dreams, I don’t think any Claret will have left Turf Moor yesterday afternoon disappointed with the point.
East Lancashire derbies have not always lived up to their billing but yesterday afternoon’s affair, played in a fantastic atmosphere under a low winter sun, was a cracker.
A real Lancashire hotpot you could say.
It’s just a shame that the powers that be at Sky didn’t see its potential.
The whole world revolves around the over-priced superstars of the Premier League – or in yesterday’s case Scottish Third Divison giants Rangers – but in this corner of East Lancashire, the 22,000 or so inside Turf Moor were treated to a proper game of football.
I wonder how many of the armchair fans sat at home were wishing that the Sky cameras were here?
A lot of the talk before the game was of how this was just another game but no matter how much I tried to convince myself - and my Rovers-supporting other half - that it was, I never really believed it.
To beat Rovers would have been absolutely out of this world.
But I’ll settle for a draw on this occasion.
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