WARN­ING SHOT AT TI­TLE RI­VALS

Davies fum­ing as For­est crum­ble

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - To com­ment on this match go to http://boards.footy­mad.net/ By Chris Dunlavy

BRIL­LIANT Burn­ley blew pro­mo­tion ri­vals Not­ting­ham For­est away with a stun­ning first-half blitz at Turf Moor.

The Reds ar­rived at Turf Moor un­beaten in 14 league games, a run stretch­ing all the way back to Novem­ber 29.

But Billy Davies’ in­jury hit side – up­set 3-1 by Sh­effield United in the FA Cup in mid­week and miss­ing in­flu­en­tial play­maker Andy Reid – proved no match for a Burn­ley out­fit pro­tect­ing their own proud run.

Goals from Scott Ar­field and Sam Vokes – whose brace brought up 16 for the sea­son – made it 20 home games un­beaten for the Clarets and left Davies fum­ing at his play­ers.

“When you come to Burn­ley, you have to play a cer­tain way,” he said. “You have to pre­pare for a cer­tain type of game. And un­for­tu­nately, in the first 45 min­utes, my play­ers didn’t lis­ten to in­struc­tions.

“We weren’t ag­gres­sive enough, we didn’t put the ball in be­hind enough.We didn’t han­dle the head­ers, the sec­ond balls. We didn’t do what’s nec­es­sary when you play a good team away from home.

“Burn­ley are very phys­i­cal, very ag­gres­sive. They put you un­der pres­sure. And quite sim­ply, we never han­dled it.

“But they got us at the best time pos­si­ble. We’re miss­ing so many play­ers. We lost Andy Reid to a calf prob­lem on Fri­day. We lost Raddy Ma­jew­ski to a fam­ily is­sue.”

A hall­mark of Davies’ sides is their rip-roar­ing starts, but the ta­bles were turned in spec­tac­u­lar fash­ion at Turf Moor.

For­est were lit­tle more than a rab­ble for the first 40 min­utes, the or­gan­i­sa­tion and work ethic on which Davies prides him­self ut­terly ab­sent.

Shape­less and waste­ful, the Reds – ad­mit­tedly shorn of eight play­ers – were sec­ond to ev­ery loose ball and looked pow­er­less to pre­vent the waves of Burn­ley at­tacks that poured their way.

For­est’s left side – manned by loa­nee Danny Fox and the de­fen­sively woe­ful Djamel Ab­doun – was par­tic­u­larly weak and Ar­field had al­ready made sev­eral in­roads be­fore meg­ging Fox and shoot­ing un­der Karl Dar­low to give Burn­ley the lead.

Next it was Trip­pier’s turn to sear up the right, the full-back be­witch­ing Jamie Pater­son with a lovely sleight of foot be­fore un­leash­ing a cross that Vokes could not fail to con­vert.

It was Trip­pier’s 13th as­sist of a sen­sa­tional sea­son that will surely end – one way or the other – with a move to the Pre­mier League.

Un­sated, Burn­ley smelled blood and, af­ter Michael Duff saw a header ruled out for off­side, Vokes bagged his sec­ond, his low shot hit­ting Danny Collins and loop­ing crazily into the far cor­ner.

For­est’s sec­ond-half re­sponse was spir­ited, with Ja­maal Las­celles hit­ting the cross­bar and Rafik Djeb­bour see­ing his goal-bound header cleared off the line by the out­stand­ing Trip­pier.

Ab­doun, too, ap­peared at pains to atone for his wretched first half, drift­ing dan­ger­ously and caus­ing prob­lems for Bur­ney’s back four.

But it was to prove a brief respite be­fore nor­mal ser­vice re­sumed with Ings (twice) and cen­tre-back Ja­son Shack­ell both miss­ing de­cent chances to heap em­bar­rass­ment upon mis­ery. Ab­doun did even­tu­ally net a con­so­la­tion, nod­ding home af­ter see­ing his penalty well saved by Tom Heaton. And had Jamie Pater­son’s drive been a few inches to the right, an un­likely grand­stand fin­ish would have en­sued. Any­thing but vic­tory, though, would have been hugely un­just on Burn­ley.

“A game is never over at half­time, but I think it de­served to be based on the per­for­mance,” said Dy­che. “We played free-flow­ing foot­ball, we looked like we could score at will against a side un­beaten in 14 games.

“I thought we were out­stand­ing, first class. I just spoke to a cou­ple of people af­ter the game and they said it’s the best foot­ball they’ve seen at Turf Moor for a long, long time.

“I promised we’d play at­tack­ing foot­ball and that we’d give ev­ery­thing to win games. That first half was as good as it’s been.”

FAST START: Burn­ley’s Scott Ar­field scores their first goal

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