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The good news yesterday was getting off the bottom of the table again but it was a day of what ifs after losing a two goal lead against West Ham United at the London Stadium and having to settle for a point from a 2-2 draw.

David Datro Fofana, whose two previous Burnley goals had seen us rescue a point at home against Fulham, hammered us into the lead in just the eleventh minute and as we moved into first half stoppage time that lead was doubled via a Konstantinos Mavropanos own goal.

West Ham pulled one back very early in the second half and went on to grab a point with their own stoppage time goal and from former Burnley striker Danny Ings no less who came on as a substitute and was perilously close to bagging himself his first ever hat trick.

A second successive away game in London meant another early start made even earlier with the 2 p.m. kick off. It was the first X43 out of Burnley at 6:50 for a pick up at Prestwich for the journey to Epping before the underground journey into Stratford. It all went very smoothly; no hold ups worthy of a mention and we were there in good time to learn that Vincent Kompany had named the same team that had lost to Bournemouth; the only change was on the bench where available again Josh Brownhill replaced Hjalmar Ekdal.

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I don’t think we could have known what a treat was in store for us in the first half but potentially our best half of football on our travels this season alongside the second half at Fulham on the Saturday before Christmas.

We had a couple of concerning moments but with not much over ten minutes gone the game changed. Sander Berge found Fofana who might have had some fortune with the ball coming back to him off a defender. There was no luck to follow; just a nice move forward to see off all of Nayef Aguerd, James Ward-Prowse and Kalvin Phillips and then a sensational strike from not much short of thirty yards that flew past the helpless Alphonse Areola and into his net to put us in front.

Generally, throughout the first half, we looked dangerous. James Trafford had nothing more than a routine save to make and probably the most concerning moment came when Konstantinos Mavropanos got in on the left before shooting wide.

As we moved closer to half time, I dared to suggest we needed to ensure we went in with a one goal lead. We didn’t; we doubled it and then almost got another. Berge moved forward and played the ball out to Jacob Bruun Larsen on the left. Josh Cullen made a terrific run and when Larsen found him he crossed the ball where Mavropanos turned the ball into his own net to become the first Greek to score a Burnley goal since Dimi Pap over two decades ago.

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Two might have been three too when Berge again moved forward. His seemed to scuff his shot but it was deflected out for a corner which we weren’t able to take having gone well over the three extra minutes.

The away end was full of stunned Burnley fans. It wasn’t just the scoreline but the way we’d played. Could we go out and repeat that in the second half we thought? We all certainly thought so. David Moyes reacted with two changes ahead of the restart, replacing Phillips and Ward-Prowse with Edson Álavrez and Michail Antonio. More significantly, we brought on Brownhill for Larsen, a change I found, and still find, difficult to fathom.

We needed to keep it tight for the opening period of the second half. We needed to ensure they didn’t get back into the game. Those hopes lasted no more than thirty seconds and it was another shocker of a goal to concede. Lucas Paquetá beat Dara O’Shea in the air before Muhammed Kudus did likewise against Lorenz Assignon. Paquetá then got the better of Maxime Estève before stroking the ball into the corner to reduce the arrears.

It was poor, poor defending from Burnley yet again and suddenly there was a real nervousness about us. We had a couple of moments, usually because of the excellent work from Fofana who seemed to be running the right channel, the left channel as well as playing down the middle in undoubtedly his best Burnley performance yet.

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But, at the other end, we seemed to be coming under threat far too often. Both Kudus and Paquetá blazed shots over. We needed to try and get forward to relieve the pressure but we did the opposite by bringing on another defender with Hannes Delcroix replacing an admittedly ineffective Wilson Odobert. That sent the signal that we were just going to try and defend our slender one goal lead but we got another escape when a Vladimir Coufal cross hit the top of the bar.

With just eight minutes of the ninety to go, Moyes made nis third and final substitution, bringing on Ings. He’s not the player he was and hadn’t scored a Premier League goal in over a year. He’d offered precious little for them when he made a rare start on the Turf back in November. But this is Ings and this is a player who found it easy enough to score against us even when we had a good defence.

It took him less than three minutes to score. We’d come so close to a win but he’d ended our hopes we thought. But hang on, Mr VAR was looking for an offside toenail and two minutes later found one on Antonio much to the delight of the away end.

We were still in front and we were when the board went up for eight extra minutes. Those extra minutes provided enough to almost fill a night’s Match of the Day but crucially the first of those incidents proved the costliest. Kudus got past Assignon to play the ball in; Ings turned and shot home past Trafford. It was 2-2 and now I was wondering whether we’d even got a point. We’d lost a lead against West Ham late in the game on the Turf and then conceded another to lose 2-1 and here against we’d conceded in stoppage time against them.

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Now, suddenly, we went forward and when Brownhill laid the ball back for Berge, his shot went just over. Ings then went closer; his shot smashed against our bar. Then they had a penalty shout for handball against Berge. I’ve seen them given but like most people now I’m totally baffled as to what is and what isn’t handball.

It still wasn’t over. Assignon, who had already received a yellow card, had a rant at referee Darren England who, somewhat surprisingly, took no action. That would have been a certain yellow without the first one.

There was one more big moment to come. Fofana crossed the ball only for Areola to parry it straight to Berge. Quite why he didn’t take a shot I don’t know but he moved it left for Brownhill who hit his effort straight at the goalkeeper who had come out to try and block it.

That was the final moment of an enthralling game but it was a game that we should have won having taken that two goal lead. That’s twenty points dropped from winning positions and eleven of those points have been dropped with goals scored from the 76th minute onwards.

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Once again a late goal has cost us points as we continue to give away far too many goals and far too easily. That’s where we are in the table and the only real positive with the result was climbing back off the bottom of the league to go back ahead against Sheffield United on goal difference.

All that was left was the journey home and this time we hit long stretches of motorway with roadworks and speed restrictions and also a couple of accidents. From leaving home for the first X43 out of Burnley, it was finally back with the last one home.

At least only two more London trips to go before the season comes to a close.

The teams were;

West Ham: Alphonse Areola, Vladimir Coufal, Konstantinos Mavropanos, Naved Aguerd (Danny Ings 82), Aaron Cressell, Tomáš Souček, Kalvin Phillips (Edson Álvarez ht), Mohammed Kudus, James Ward-Prowse (Michail Antonio ht), Lucas Paquetá, Jarrod Bowen. Subs not used: Lukasz Fabianski, Ben Johnson, Kurt Zouma, Angelo Ogbonna, George Earthy, Divin Mubama.
Yellow Cards: Tomáš Souček, Lucas Paquetá.

Burnley: James Trafford, Lorenz Assignon, Dara O’Shea, Maxime Estève, Charlie Taylor, Vitinho (Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson 90+3), Sander Berge, Josh Cullen, Jacob Bruun Larsen (Josh Brownhill ht), Wilson Odobert (Hannes Delcroix 68), David Datro Fofana. Subs not used: Arijanet Muric, Jack Cork, Mike Trésor, Manuel Benson, Zeki Amdouni, Jay Rodriguez.
Yellow Cards: Lorenz Assignon, Hannes Delcroix, Sander Berge, Maxime Estève.

Referee: Darren England (Doncaster).

Attendance: 62,441.

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