Huddersfield’s Wilson Walkers take a point home
Everything looked set for another win yesterday when Sam Vokes gave us a first half lead, but Huddersfield Town, by far the better side in the second half, scored an equaliser and moved off the bottom of the league with a 1-1 draw.
This was not Burnley at our best, not by any stretch of the imagination. It was another disappointing performance overall and, in the end, we were thankful for the point we did get which has kept us in 12th place in the Premier League.
Without anyone getting carried away, the two successive wins against Bournemouth and Cardiff, despite the second of them being considered fortunate, had given everyone a lift and a look at the league table suggested we might be able to cast Huddersfield aside without any problems.
Hopes of a return for Steven Defour were dashed when Sean Dyche reported that he had personal matters to deal with. We know what those matters were now with his dad having passed away and our thoughts are very much with Steven and his family.
James Tarkowski was passed fit and continued alongside Ben Mee in the centre of defence. Sean Dyche made just the one change and it was a surprise one for me; he left out Matěj Vydra to bring in Ashley Barnes to partner Sam Vokes up front.
We certainly didn’t have our own way in a first half that saw us take a lead into the break and we were grateful to Huddersfield looking very unlikely in front of goal. Twice they were presented with chances when Ben Mee gave the ball away, rescued on both occasions by James Tarkowski, but to be fair to the captain, both he and his defensive partner went on to defend well with a number of blocks from the pair.
Vokes looked as though he should have given us the lead when he headed a ball in from Ashley Westwood straight into the arms of the grateful Jonas Lössl, but there was absolutely nothing the Danish goalkeeper could do on twenty minutes when Vokes scored his goal.
It all came from a free kick on the left hand side, just over the half way line, taken by Charlie Taylor who played it over to the right. Mee flicked it on for Jόhann Berg Guðmundsson. His left foot cross was perfect for Vokes who headed back across and right into the corner.
At that point I expected us to settle down and go on to win the game comfortably, but football often doesn’t go to plan or as you expect. Huddersfield continued to cause us problems and we constantly gave the ball away and conceded possession far too easily.
Still, we got to half time at 1-0 and that’s when I thought we’d get things sorted but the second half proved to be a very difficult watch for us.
I don’t think we really threatened their goal once but we certainly had a lot of defending to do although, in fairness, we did it well and restricted Huddersfield to next to nothing in terms of chances.
They did force Joe Hart into one save to deny Aaron Mooy and that led to the appalling dive from Laurent Depoitre. The Match of the Day pundits and Sky’s called it a disgrace. Don Goodman, for Sky, referred to it as an absolute disgrace. He said: “Shame on you, embarrassing and appalling,” and then said the football authorities should ban him.
It was just like last season with Rajiv van La Parra and again the same referee Chris Kavanagh got it absolutely right and yellow carded the Huddersfield player. Sean Dyche has, apparently, been told to stop referring to it. I don’t think he will, but I certainly won’t, that was cheating of the worst kind. Yes, Depoitre, shame on you. Why oh why won’t the authorities take the correct action and ban these people?
David Wagner got him off the pitch very quickly. He then saw our one half chance of the second half when Vokes nearly deflected a Guðmundsson effort in to the goal and his own team’s equaliser when Christopher Schindler headed home.
Schindler was then involved in another incident when he went down in his own penalty box. Kavanagh strangely allowed play to continue until Huddersfield got a shot in at goal before stopping play. We had a long delay with the stretcher on but thankfully he was fine to continue having changed his shirt.
That injury led to eight minutes of stoppage time but, in truth, it looked set for a 1-1 draw long before the end. If anyone was going to win it then that team would have been Huddersfield, but they just couldn’t create chances despite dominating the play.
We simply have to play better than this and I’m sure we will. But, despite everything, we’re still 12th in the Premier League. This afternoon it was reported that Southampton, who have just lost against Chelsea, have won 15 points from their last 19 Premier League games. We’ve got 26 points in our last 19 so all is not as bad as some would have you believe.
And finally to the headline and the Wilson Walkers. Over 150 of their supporters walked it from the John Smith’s Stadium to Turf Moor yesterday. They were raising money for Yorkshire Air Ambulance and, in memory of former Huddersfield and England World Cup player Ray Wilson, the Alzheimer’s Society.
The walkers, who left at 4 a.m., included ex-manager Peter Jackson, current chairman Dean Hoyle and another director, former player Andy Booth and eleven members of Wilson’s family. Booth said: “Every single one of us made it to Burnley safe and sound. It was a tough challenge, nearly 28 miles, so for everyone to complete that is a massive achievement for them all.”
He added: “Having so many of our senior club people take part is what makes this club apart from any other. To have the chairman, a director, an ex-manager and former club captain do it, there’s no other club in the Premier League that has that. That’s what makes Huddersfield Town different from any other club.”
A big well done to them although I am disappointed they had a point to take home with them.
Another break now and then it’s Manchester City and Chelsea, hopefully with some players returning.
The teams were;
Burnley: Joe Hart, Matt Lowton, James Tarkowski, Ben Mee, Charlie Taylor, Jόhann Berg Guðmundsson, Ashley Westwood (Jeff Hendrick 73), Jack Cork, Aaron Lennon, Ashley Barnes (Chris Wood 61), Sam Vokes (Matěj Vydra 90). Subs not used: Tom Heaton, Phil Bardsley, Kevin Long, Dwight McNeil.
Yellow Cards: Ben Mee, Matt Lowton.
Huddersfield: Jonas Lössl, Chris Löwe (Florent Hadergjonaj 86), Christopher Schindler, Mathias Zanka, Erik Durm, Rajiv van La Parra (Steve Mounié 59), Philip Billing, Jonathan Hogg, Aaron Mooy, Alex Pritchard, Laurent Depoitre (Isaac Mbenza 59). Subs not used: Ben Hamer, Jon Gorenc Stanković, Elias Kachunga, Adama Diakhaby.
Yellow Cards: Laurent Depoitre, Mathias Zanka.
Referee: Chris Kavanagh (Manchester).
Attendance: 20,533 (including 2,452 from Huddersfield).
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