ON the subject of simulation, Burnley manager Sean Dyche said he could not look himself in the mirror if such action was something he advocated to his players.

Perhaps that is why Clayton Donaldson emerged from the Turf Moor dressing room wearing a baseball hat back to front. The form of subtle disguise was in stark contrast to the dive that was so blatant.


The contentious spot-kick, converted by Paul Caddis, was not the reason why the Clarets are waiting to register their first win of the season.

As at Leeds United on the opening day they got themselves into good positions and created enough chances to be able to force a win had they put the goalkeeper under more pressure.

They again showed admirable qualities to come back from behind, twice on this occasion, as Michael Keane and Matt Taylor cancelled out Jon Toral’s opener and Caddis’ spot-kick with their first goals for Burnley.

But Donaldson’s dive and referee David Coote’s decision not to award a fifth-minute penalty to Lukas Jutkiewicz were two big turning points.

Jutkiewicz looks to have come back from the summer with a greater upper-body strength to fend off the attentions of the Championship’s most uncompromising centre-halves.

But he has been manhandled repeatedly, without either match official — at Elland Road or Turf Moor — batting an eyelid. Perhaps it is the observation that, in a physical battle, the striker can give as good as he gets that is preventing match officials from punishing his opponent.

But there is no comparison in Jutkiewicz being hauled down by Jonathan Spector and Donaldson practically running into Tendayi Darikwa and falling over, yet Coote had no hesitation in pointing to the spot for the latter.

Donaldson said: “I got the ball in the box and I felt a slight touch on my ankle. You get told if you get a slight touch go down, so I believe it was a penalty.”

But he was in a minority — and Burnley boss Dyche did not agree.

Dyche said: “The whole game would have been considerably different on a decision, unfortunately.

“I do not like to talk about them, but when it is that blatant, on Jutkiewicz, it is unfathomable to have someone pulled down and not get a penalty.

“I was a defender, the defender is done and he has panicked and pulled him down. It is not only a penalty but he goes off the pitch by the nature of the rules. We got on with it, as we do, and the second half was better. There was much more energy, more fluency and we created enough chances to win the game.

“Then you have the other contentious penalty where their lad runs in an unnatural manner and stands on our lad’s (Darikwa’s) toes and goes down.

“Two big decisions went against us. We had enough chances and enough of the ball, and enough dominant moments to win the match. Sometimes things go against you.”

That started early. Jutkiewicz got goal side of Spector to attack Ben Mee’s centre but was piggybacked by the defender and Tomasz Kuszczak. Coote carried on.

The referee did award a free-kick against Spector on the striker a few minutes later. Michael Kightly tried to steer it inside the right-hand post but it was a fairly routine save from the keeper. And from there Bimingham took the direct route to goal.

Donaldson outmuscled Keane to knock on Kuszczak’s long kick and Toral fired expertly, first time, past Tom Heaton.

Jutkiewicz got into good areas to hit back but the Blues were happy to soak up pressure and catch the Clarets on the counter. But for the goal-frame denying David Cotterill they would have capitalised, and Heaton stretched well to tip over Stephen Gleeson’s dipping 35-yard volley as the half drew to a close.

Dyche demanded more from his side in the second half after they were too methodical in the first.

Maikel Kieftenbeld gave them a scare on the volley but Burnley responded well. Kightly swung in a free-kick for a foul he earned, Jelle Vossen leapt to flick the ball on and Keane headed in at the far post to equalise. There might have been another for the former Manchester United centre-half when he met David Jones’ corner but he could not keep his header down.

Donaldson could not stay up at the other end. The 6ft-plus striker had given the impression of having an unbelievable centre of gravity in the first half. When he went to meet the ball further than 18 yards out, nothing floored him, despite the attentions of Michael Duff and Keane.

But something shifted in the second half. He struggled to stay on his feet in or outside of the box, and for obvious reasons once inside there was even more temptation to go to ground. Coote took the bait and Caddis took the spot-kick to restore Birmingham’s lead just after the hour. Perhaps by way of making amends the referee showed initiative to look for an advantage when George Boyd was fouled 25 yards out, then pulled play back for a free-kick.

Taylor, three minutes after his introduction, ended a three-year wait for a league goal with the most stunning free-kick, in off the underside of the bar.