‘CRAZY’ CLARETS SALVAGE A POINT
Connolly own goal completes comeback
SEAN DYCHE believes Burnley made their own luck after snatching a “crazy” equaliser at Cardiff City.
Matthew Connolly’s 93rdminute own goal handed Burnley a share of the spoils to extend the Clarets unbeaten run to nine.
The Bluebirds looked set to clinch a fourth win in five games at home following goals either side of half-time by Aron Gunnarsson and Sean Morrison.
But Michael Keane’s header deflected off Connolly in injurytime to claim a share of the spoils at Cardiff City Stadium.
It capped a late comeback by the Clarets who only scored their first in the 85th minute through Rouwen Hennings.
Dyche insisted Burnley deserved to extend their unbeaten run after they were denied a penalty shout in either half.
He said: “The mentality to see through all the decisions that went against us and focus on the game was outstanding.
“We were denied what looked like an absolute handball which should have been a red card as well as a penalty. I know these balls move in the air but not as much as that shot deviated from its course towards the net.
“But the players kept going on a really poor surface for the Championship at this stage of the season.
“It’s my job to never think the game is over and I’m pleased that my players don’t either. We showed belief to keep going.
“Cardiff are very good at home but we knew a goal would rattle them and it did.The whole stadium was rattled.
“Then we had a moment of skill for first goal and then made our own luck for the second by finding a way to come back. It’s not a fluke because we’ve done it before and we earned that point.”
Cardiff kept their former goalkeeper Tom Heaton busy.
He tipped efforts from both Morrison and Craig Noone onto the cross-bar.
And Tony Watt gave the Bluebirds a glimpse of his abilities after arriving on loan from Charlton with an early run and shot that was narrowly wide.
Burnley twice saw efforts cleared off the line. Andre Gray teed-up Boyd whose effort was cleared by Connolly.
To make matters worse, Cardiff struck moments later when Gun- narsson headed his first of the season from Joe Ralls’ free-kick.
Cardiff grabbed a second on 64 minutes as Morrison out-jumped Keane at a corner.
But Burnley dominated the final quarter and found a way back when Hennings turned and fired home from Boyd’s pass before the late drama.
It was torrid luck for Cardiff and for Connolly, otherwise outstanding all game.
And manager Slade admitted even a point against promotionchasing opposition was scant consolation.
Slade: “It is really, really hard to take. We were the better side for long periods and the better side didn’t win.We should have defended the first goal better and David is disappointed he didn’t save that.
“But the second goal was just bizarre. It was going a mile wide but then it came off Matthew and rolled right into the net. It was crazy.
“You could see how much it hurt the players who had worked so hard to get the better of a very good team. That goal is the difference of being between sixth and tenth and it’s tough.
“We did not see out our strategy to keep going with what gave us success in the game.
“It is another reminder that you have to keep going, sometimes for 94 minutes.”
CALAMITY: Cardiff’s Matthew Connolly scores a late own goal Inset: Aron Gunnarsson (C) heads home City’s opener