Burnley 2-4 Wednesday
Turf Moor, Burnley
28/02/09 - 3pm
TURF Moor has become somewhat of a lucky ground for Wednesday fans, and the trend continued on Saturday as the Owls put four by Burnley for the second time this season.
Doubles for Marcus Tudgay and Leon Clarke gave the Owls a comprehensive victory over the play-off hopefuls, and in truth it could, and probably should, have been more.
Chris McCann and former Wednesday loanee Chris Eagles pulled goals back for the Clarets, but it was too little too late for the hosts, in front of a poor crowd of 12,449 - including a strong following from S6.
Wednesday boss Brian Laws threw Clarke back into the starting eleven at the expense of Francis Jeffers following his performance last week, while Lewis Buxton returned at right-back to replace Frank Simek, who dropped to the bench.
Burnley spoke of their desire to make amends for the opening day 4-1 thumping at Hillsborough prior to the match, and they looked hungry in the opening ten minutes, forcing the pace through winger Wade Elliott, who was causing Tommy Spurr problems at left-back.
Martin Paterson also came close as the chances were few and far between in the opening exchanges.
The visitors took a while to get into their stride, but once they did, Wednesday went on to look the better of the two sides throughout.
Too many times in recent matches Wednesday have struggled to create many clear cut chances in front of goal, and lack confidence when passing the ball in the middle of the park.
But with Sean McAllister continuing to impress in midfield, and Jermaine Johnson having one of his 'on' days in the blue and white stripes, Wednesday looked threatening.
The Burnley midfield was almost non-existent on occasions as Johnson was allowed to run the ball across the midfield and the fiesty McAllister was given too much room on the ball to pull the strings.
Clarke fired the Owls first effort on goal before Tudgay opened the scoring.
Spurr was sent sprinting down the wing from a fine ball from Michael Gray before crossing for Tudgay to get a neat first touch before firing his effort by Brian Jensen to break the deadlock.
And the Owls could, and should, have gone on to add to their tally as the enjoyed a superb spell of pressure immediately after Tudgay's opener.
It was the same duo at it again for the visitors as Spurr put Tudgay in for his second, only to be thwarted by Jensen, before Clarke had another golden opportunity to double Wednesday's advantage but Jensen was again equal to the effort to keep the hosts in it.
But Wednesday were left thanking lady luck, and Lee Grant, for keeping the Clarets from levelling before the break.
A dangerous cross in the 34th minute saw Mark Beevers' attempted clearance sliced towards the Owls' goal, but Grant managed to get down to tip the effort wide to the relief of the travelling Owls' fans behind the goal.
Half-Time: Burnley 0-1 Wednesday
Wednesday were given a standing ovation from the Wednesday fans behind the goal at the break, but Burnley came out all guns blazing on the restart.
For the hosts, they'll have been looking at a must-win to keep any hopes of a play-off finish alive, and they certainly looked to up the tempo on the resumption.
Steven Thompson had a good chance but blasted his effort straight over the bar when he should have done better.
But it wasn't long before the home fans were celebrating the leveller.
Grant made a rare error when coming for, and missing, a free-kick from former Leeds United man Robbie Blake, and McCann was well positioned to slot the ball into an empty net.
But while it may have seemed Burnley were ready to take the ascendancy following the goal, it was exactly the opposite as Wednesday responded brilliantly to the set-back.
McAllister came close to regaining the advantage for the visitors before Clarke came even closer when crashing an effort back off the woodwork from inside the box.
But Tudgay grabbed his second to put Wednesday back into the lead with a powerful low shot from a Potter free-kick to the delight of the blue and white army of fans behind the goal Wednesday were attacking.
As Burnley looked desperately for a way back into the game, they left gaps all over the place, allowing Wednesday to look dangerous on the counter-attack, and eventually, wrap the game up.
Clarke had deserved a goal all through the game and he finally got his reward with eleven minutes to go, this time making a volley pay off in superb fashion by lashing his effort beyond Jensen.
And there was still time for more, again from Clarke, as the former Wolves man raced away from the half-way line before providing a brilliant finish by the on-rushing Jensen to put the icing on the Owls' cake.
Both Tudgay and Clarke were desperate for their hat-tricks, Clarke having an effort ruled out for offside.
But the Clarets managed to grab a consolation strike before the end, substitute Chris Eagles placing a fine free-kick by Grant to give the hosts a glimmer of hope for something from the game.
Wednesday held out though, and could have added to their tally, to record a superb victory at Turf Moor.
Full-Time: Burnley 2-4 Wednesday
Wednesday (4-4-2): Grant; Buxton, Hinds, Beevers, Spurr; Johnson (Small 87), McAllister (O'Connor 90), Potter, Gray (Jeffers 90); Tudgay, Clarke. Subs not used: Simek, Wood.
Burnley: Jensen; Williams (McDonald 73), Caldwell, Duff, Jordan; Elliott (Eagles 65), Alexander McCann, Blake; Thompson (Rodriguez 73), Paterson. Subs not used: Penny, Gudjonsson.
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