NOT only is Richard Chaplow keeping his feet on the ground - he's taking everything in his stride!

The Clarets midfielder might have thought the most remarkable week of his relatively young life had peaked in midweek when he pulled on an England shirt.

But after Turf Moor rose to acclaim their local hero, Chaplow rewarded them with something else to celebrate in the form of a goal of the season contender.

And all this after vowing to improve his goalscoring tally. It seems we can add psychic powers to his long list of talents.

Sometimes you have to remind yourself that Chaplow is still only 19. The kid is a whirling dervish; a non-stop, Duracell-driven footballer who packs a mean punch.

But that iron fist is wrapped in a velvet glove because boy, can this kid play. All afternoon long, he hassled and harried and fetched and carried.

And you only needed to glance back to the centre circle in stoppage time, as Robbie Blake was placing the full stop at the end of a breathtaking game, to see the evidence of a tumultuous seven days for the Accrington teenager.

While Blake wheeled away to celebrate Burnley's fourth goal and many of his team mates huddled together to celebrate a vital victory, Chaplow sunk to the ground utterly exhausted.

As he finally rose, he could hardly walk as referee Mike Dean thankfully called time on the proceedings. A man of the match award was a fitting reward for his efforts and no-one was more delighted than midfield partner Tony Grant, who firmly believes Burnley have unearthed a star in the making.

Grant, also a former England Under 21 ace, insisted: "Richard could be the all-round midfielder if he keeps going. He's got a chance because he's only 19.

"I see some players in the Premiership who are the same age, or slightly older, and he is just as good as them. It's just that they are getting the limelight because they are at big clubs.

"Looking at the Under-21s the other day, there were midfielders there who were playing for big teams and getting recognition, but I don't see any difference.

"Some of those kids don't even play week in and week out, but they get tipped to be the next big thing. Richard plays every week and he is actually doing it in front of people, which is the hardest thing."

Grant, whose rich vein of form also continued against the Tractor Boys, added: "He is showing absolutely no fear and what you see now is what people have seen all season.

"His energy is brilliant and there ain't many players who can do box-to-box any more, so it's great to have someone alongside you who can get in the box and run and run and run.

"But Richard has much more to his game than just running. Some players can get in the box and get the odd goal, but he can play and that will come out in the next couple of years. You will see him getting the ball down and pinging balls everywhere.

"He will learn because he has good people around him and this is a good club. I don't see any reason why he can't go all the way and some day a big club will buy him and put him straight in their team.

"Until then he should just carry on doing what he's doing."

If that includes walloping home a stunning volley to add to his growing reputation, hear hear! The fourth goal of his career - all coming at Turf Moor - arrived on the hour to finally kill off Ipswich - or so we thought.

The Clarets had survived a nervy opening to open up that seemingly unassailable three-goal lead. Shefki Kuqi, John McGreal and Drissa Diallo - mercilessly booed throughout the first half by unforgiving Burnley fans - all missed genuine opportunities to put the visitors in the driving seat.

Paul Weller also should have scored, drilling a weak effort at Kelvin Davis after Robbie Blake has nonchalantly dummied Glen Little's low cross into the box.

But Weller more than made amends in the 26th minute to finally open the floodgates. The injury-dogged midfielder, making his first start in over a month, saw his rising drive parried by Davis and Little stroked home the rebound.

Two minutes later, it was 2-0 as David May stole in unchallenged to head home Blake's corner. Clearly Joe Royle was having defensive problems, and Diallo made way for the more attack-minded Pablo Counago at the break as Town switched to 4-4-3.

But Burnley's bandwagon shunted the Tractor Boys further off the road on the hour as Chaplow smacked home a terrific volley after capitalising on a half-clearance from Blake's free kick.

That should have been it, despite Little being refused a clear penalty after weaving his way into the box only to be unceremoniously tripped by McGreal.

But in the 65th minute, Town kick-started a revival that came within a whisker of them taking a point back to Suffolk.

Ian Westlake squeezed a shot under Brian Jensen's body to reduce the arrears and, after Ian Moore failed to kill the game off following a sweeping move upfield involving Blake and Little, it was suddenly 3-2.

"He usually finds the top corner from here". piped up an Ipswich colleague in the press box seconds before Martijn Reuser did exactly that with a curling 25-yard free kick two minutes from time.

Now nerve ends were jangling and Burnley almost hit the self-destruct button in the final minute, allowing Matt Richards the freedom of the penalty area and breathing a sigh of relief as his angled effort cannoned out off the inside of Jensen's right hand post.

By now, Town had long since thrown caution to the wind, and their brave effort was thankfully quashed with the last action of the afternoon.

Little - who was back at his mesmeric best - galloped freely up the right and picked out Blake in the six-yard box for the striker to drill home his 18th goal of the season.

The relief was tangible.


Scorers: Little 26, May 28, Chaplow 61, Blake 90


Scorers: Westlake 65, Reuser 88

Turf Moor Att: 12,418