Con­nolly own goal com­pletes come­back

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Matt Lloyd

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.”

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Im­ages

CALAMITY: Cardiff’s Matthew Con­nolly scores a late own goal Inset: Aron Gun­nars­son (C) heads home City’s opener

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