Big Sam Allardyce brought his West Ham United side to Turf Moor knowing that a victory could catapult his team into the automatic promotion places. But with four consecutive draws a victory was essential to keep the pressure on Brian McDermott’s Reading
The game got off to a bright start for the Clarets when left back Ben Mee found space for a cross that Martin Paterson should’ve really converted, but some how managed to put it aimlessly wide.
It was then the turn of West Ham to get amongst the action, and when Carlton Cole used all his ability to round Lee Grant his legs unfortunately disowned him and he scuffed the shot into the side netting.
But in the 24th minute it was the Clarets who stole the lead with some great play by Marvin Bartley. He found space to drift in past Danny Collins to fire in a low drive beyond the despairing Robert Green.
Then if it couldn’t get any worse for the Hammers, Burnley scored a second. Ben Mee yet again fired in a ball from the left that was eagerly met by the energetic Martin Paterson, leaving Big Sam to scratch his head whilst the travelling contingent of irons supporters stood silently bewildered.
At half time, Allardyce made some changes to the West Ham line up when he brought on Nicky Maynard and Sam Baldock for the departing Carlton Cole and Matthew Taylor.
Straight away West Ham began chipping away at the Clarets with ball after ball making it’s way into the Burnley area. In the 68th minute the Hammers hard work paid dividends when a fantastic ball by Gary O’Neil was met by Kevin Nolan, who in turn lobbed Burnley’s Lee Grant with great precision.
At this point the irons were in the ascendance, and within a minute of Kevin Nolan’s strike Burnley’s Grant was picking the ball out of the net a scond time. A great delivery by Noble found the head of Nicky Maynard who flicked on for the clinical Tomkins to make the game 2-2.
West Ham continued to dominate the young inexperienced Clarets, and like so many times during this season they were desperately digging in to keep the game level.
And finally when referee Hayward blew for time it was the Clarets who were relieved to hear the whistle, leaving Big Sam Allardyce kicking himself at two points lost.
The result did very little for West Ham’s promotion hopes, as Reading beat Blackpool 3-1 at the Madejskiand took the gap to four points. The Hammers do have a game in hand on Reading, but Sam’s boys will definitely have to step up their game in order to have any chance at all of competing with Brian McDermott’s side for that second automatic place.
As for the Clarets it’s been a extremely difficult learning curve for some of the younger members of the side. A lack of consistency has been the team’s major downfall during a eventful season. And i can’t help but think that the inclusion of several more experienced campaigners would’ve given the squad that added ingredient necessary to take them into the play-offs.