Bristol City 1, Burnley 2

The competition between defenders Michael Keane and Ben Mee escalated as the pair scored in Burnley’s win over Bristol City at Ashton Gate.

Saturday, 29th August 2015, 4:57 pm
Michael Keane celebrates his goal

In the aftermath of victory over Brentford last weekend, where England Under 21 international Keane netted the winner, Mee revealed that the duo have a bit of a ‘wager’ on who will bag the most goals this term.

Mee closed the deficit after the half hour when flicking a glorious header from David Jones’s corner past Ben Hamer.

But Keane’s two goal cushion was restored when the former Manchester United man netted his third of the campaign from another Jones corner.

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But for half-an-hour the Clarets were made to feel second best against the Robins, who beat Middlesbrough at the Riverside seven days ago.

Sam Vokes volleyed wide with an audacious attempt early on once Scott Arfield and record signing Andre Gray had combined.

City, managed by Steve Cotterill, had a glorious opportunity to open the scoring moments later but Bobby Reid was denied by a spectacular last ditch block from Tendayi Darikwa after the attacking midfielder had beaten Michael Duff and capitalised on Keane’s slip.

Heaton allowed Aden Flint’s header to dip over the bar from Marlon Pack’s corner as the hosts threatened again while danger man Jonathan Kodjia fired against the recovering Mee after spinning Keane inside the area.

Michael Keane celebrates his goal

The hosts were pressing high up the pitch and they almost benefited from Mee’s error as Reid collected possession, drove towards the edge of the box and forced Heaton to turn around the near post with a stinging right footed shot.

Heaton, awaiting news of Roy Hodgson’s England selection, was then equal to Flint’s header as the defender moved goal side of Keane to meet Reid’s in-swinging delivery.

And as the home side’s failure to break the deadlock continued, Kodjia flicked wide from Aaron Wilbraham’s assist.

Then came the breakthrough. Jones delivered from the corner of the stadium’s building site and Atyeo Stand and Mee rose to flick a header beyond Hamer and in to the far corner - his first goal since his equaliser against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Ben Mee heads the Clarets into the lead

City sought an immediate response and Heaton had to be alert to plunge to his left to turn Kodjia’s stinging strike to safety after the striker was allowed to travel with the ball.

However, five minutes before the interval, the visitors applied the next sucker punch from another corner. Jones delivered from the opposite side and this time Keane towered above his marker to power a header in to the roof of the net.

Kodjia should have halved the deficit seconds before the break after wriggling free inside the area but the Frenchman lacked the conviction to beat Heaton.

The home side probed again in the second half but again their profligacy caused frustration. Wilbraham’s deflected effort was gathered by Heaton as the striker danced in to the area before Derrick Williams’ tremendously thumping drive smashed the upright.

Burnley boss Sean Dyche opted to withdraw Vokes and debutant Gray as Lukas Jutkiewicz and Jelle Vossen were introduced and both substitutes went close to etching their names on to the score sheet.

Jutkiewicz showed good feet to turn Flint on the edge of the box before slicing wide while Vossen saw his effort from close range blocked, with Jutkiewicz in acres of space to his right.

It looked as though the Clarets would secure a second clean sheet in succession, until Kodjia bundled the ball over the line from Smith’s cross as referee Mike Dean had his whistle pressed to his lips.