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Burnley had to settle for a point again at the Turf last night with Hull City, as was the case with Luton Town ten days earlier, holding us to a 1-1 draw.

We again had to come from behind last night to earn that point in a game that we totally dominated; on this occasion, Jay Rodriguez, on his first start of the season, drawing us level some nine minutes after we’d conceded to allow Hull to go in front.

There’s nothing like a midweek fixture to announce a return to the Championship. I know we had them in the Premier League, more last season because of Covid postponements, but this season’s fixture list is littered with them and this was the first, although we’ve become used to evening kick offs with the Friday night games.

There’s always something a bit special I think to these games, more so in the winter months when the entire game is played under the lights but I’ve always enjoyed them and there’s always something of an opportunity when a home midweek game is followed by another home fixture on the Saturday.

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In my preview, I predicted that Jack Cork would return, probably at the expense of Dara Costelloe. As our group gathered pre-match, that was confirmed with two other changes to digest. Jay Rodriguez, having recovered from injury and been used as a substitute at Watford, was preferred to Ashley Barnes up front while there was a first Burnley start for Vitinho who came in for Manuel Benson. The three deposed players took their place on the bench.

The game started just as those at Huddersfield and Watford had done, with Burnley grabbing the initiative and dominating the ball. If only we could have got a goal but it just didn’t come. Ian Maatsen fizzed a superb low cross across the box that no one could get a touch on while Rodriguez saw one shot go just wide and then he forced a save from goalkeeper Matt Ingram from a tight angle after a Hull defender had slipped and allowed him in.

Hull seemed to have no real answer other than slow the game down, often illegally with lots of time wasting, as they tried to get a foothold in the game. They really hadn’t been in the game at all but then got more than a foothold by taking the lead with almost their first show of any attacking intent.

It really was simple too. A ball knocked forward saw a Hull player in the centre circle head it on for Ozan Tufan who got between our two central defenders. Connor Roberts, the player guilty of playing Tufan onside, stood appealing for offside as the Hull player moved forward before placing a shot into the corner of the net.

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For the third successive game we’d gone 1-0 behind and the home crowd was silenced. Thankfully, this time, it didn’t take us too long to level things. Cork played a short ball to Josh Cullen who then found Maatsen with an outstanding forward pass. Maatsen moved down the flank before finding Rodriguez with an inch perfect pass from the left wing and Jay Rod made no mistake as he fired home from close range.

Cue the daft stat after the match. When we played Luton recently, Sky TV was telling everyone that they hadn’t won at Burnley since 2000. It was the case but they hadn’t lost at Burnley since 1995. After this game, Jay Rod was reminded that it was the first Championship goal he’d scored for Burnley in over ten years. What a shock! The last time Jay had started a Championship game for Burnley prior to last night was in March 2012, almost ten and a half years ago.

But he’d got us level and we might just have sneaked in front before half time but Cullen headed just wide from a left wing cross.

Hopes were high as we kicked off the second half although it was Hull who were first to come close but Taylor Harwood-Bellis was quick off the park to prevent an Óscar Estupiñán effort from going in, clearing the ball from almost on the line into the grateful hands of Arijanet Muric.

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From that point on, it was a case of whether we could score as we just about controlled possession for the remainder of the game. Hull dropped deeper and deeper to deny us space, they slowed the game down at every opportunity, but there were still chances. Both Vitinho and Josh Brownhill should have done better with shots from the right hand side of the box but the former fired straight at the keeper with the latter failing to hit the target.

Rodriguez had another chance that he hit straight at the goalkeeper as the frustration in the crowd grew. We made a couple of changes midway through the half and for the last seven minutes plus stoppage time, Barnes came on for Rodriguez.

The home crowd roared on the team but Hull did defend well, denying us the space to play in and chances were few and far between. It was probably one of those halves of football that, had we scored once, would have seen us go on to win comfortably, but we didn’t score the first of them and had to settle for a draw which might have been even worse with Hull having one late chance to win it against all the odds.

There was a real sense of frustration among the fans as they left. This was a game everyone thought should have been won but Hull weren’t the first team to play like this against us and they won’t be the last. The real test for some of these sides will come when we get ourselves in front rather than seeing them go 1-0 up. As the game wore on, they were clearly happy with what they’d got, and their manager said just that at the end, and it all led to them denying us the space and that left us looking slow and laboured.

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Vincent Kompany says there is more to come from this team and it is hard to disagree, it is virtually a new team after all and one that the players are clearly enjoying playing in with a manager they are clearly enjoying playing for. It’s so different than what we’ve seen in recent years and it is going to take some getting used to, we are, after all, only a goal or two short.

The teams last night were;

Burnley: Arijanet Muric, Connor Roberts, Taylor Harwood-Bellis, Charlie Taylor, Ian Maatsen, Jack Cork, Josh Cullen, Josh Brownhill, Samuel Bastien (Nathan Tella 67), Vitinho (Manuel Benson 66), Jay Rodriguez (Ashley Barnes 83). Subs not used: Bailey Peacock-Farrell, CJ Egan-Riley, Luke McNally, Dara Costelloe.
Yellow Card: Josh Brownhill.

Hull: Matt Ingram, Lewie Coyle, Tobias Fugueíredo, Jacob Greaves, Callum Elder, Alfie Jones, Regan Slater, Allahyar Sayyadmanesh (Randell Williams 55), Ozan Tufan (Andrew Cannon 77), Benjamin Tetteh (Mallik Wilks 64), Óscar Estupiñán (Vaughn Covil 76). Subs not used: Nathan Baxter, Sean McLoughlin, Callum Jones.
Yellow Cards: Benjamin Tetteh, Alfie Jones, Callum Elder.

Referee: Bobby Madley (Ossett).

Attendance: 18,209.

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