Burnley 4, Derby County 1

Jason Shackell's return to Turf Moor proved to be the defender's worst nightmare as the Clarets thumped Derby County 4-1 to climb to third in the Championship.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 25th January 2016, 9:59 pm
Updated Monday, 25th January 2016, 10:44 pm
Sam Vokes celebrates scoring from the spot
Sam Vokes celebrates scoring from the spot

The former Clarets skipper, who made an unceremonious move back to the IPro Stadium in July, had a hand in two of the home side's goals as the visitors paid the penalty.

Richard Keogh's own goal had given the home side the lead but Jacob Butterfield brought County level with a stunning strike little over a minute later.

But a ruthless and vastly improved display after the break saw the Clarets take command. The Championship's leading scorer, Andre Gray, took his tally to 17 for the season when converting from the spot while Sam Vokes found success with another penalty moments later.

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Sam Vokes celebrates scoring from the spot

And Scott Arfield capped off a fine evening in front of the Sky cameras with his sixth goal of the term

It was the visitors who settled in to the game quicker and showed more purpose in their search for a first Championship win in five games.

The Rams, who had picked up a couple of points from fixtures against Leeds, Boro, Reading and Birmingham, probed early on and enjoyed ample possession around the Burnley box.

Chris Martin was the first to test Tom Heaton, sending the England international sprawling to his left hand upright once Keogh had miscued from Jason Shackell's header.

Andre Gray strokes home from the spot

Tom Ince, a £4.75m signing from Hull City in the summer, then forced the Turf Moor skipper to spill his speculative strike after cutting infield past Stephen Ward to shift the ball on to his left boot.

George Thorne was then lucky to find the David Fishwick Stand with a wayward attempt from the edge of the box while Shackell's header from Cyrus Christie's delivery dipped just over the bar.

The Clarets, in the meantime, were struggling to get a foothold in the match and failed to find a rhythm to expose Paul Clement's side.

However, the hosts stunned their opponents in the 29th minute as the breakthrough arrived. Andre Gray was the intended target for Matt Lowton's magnificent cross but Keogh got the vital touch that diverted the ball beyond Scott Carson.

The Clarets celebrate the opening goal

That advantage, though, lasted just 73 seconds as the visitors hit back in emphatic fashion. Martin cleverly lifted the ball in to Butterfield on the edge of the box and the midfielder's spectacular volley fizzed across Heaton and in to the corner.

It was the 25-year-old's third goal in four outings against the Clarets, having netted for both Barnsley and Boro previously.

The hosts looked for an immediate response and they almost got it through Gray. The striker raced goal side of Shackell to meet Joey Barton's hopeful pass but flicked the ball wide of the target on the stretch as Carson went to meet him.

With the half petering out, County had two opportunities to take the lead in to the interval with both falling for new man Nick Blackman.

Sam Vokes celebrates scoring from the spot

The former Reading forward manoeuvred the ball away from Lowton to create an opening inside the box before rifling an effort just over the bar via a deflection.

Shortly after the 13-goal man turned over the top with an outstretched boot as Martin's flick on from Ince's centre found him in acres of space at the back post.

And in the final action of the half Vokes did well to get a shot away on the turn from the edge of the box but Carson was equal to the attempt.

After the interval the fixture turned on two penalty decisions and Oliver was spot on with both.

Having turned Shackell inside out inside the penalty area, Gray was then sent tumbling to the turf under the challenge of Keogh.

The £6m summer signing from Brentford then picked himself up and confidently stroked the spot kick home, sending Carson the wrong way in the process.

Andre Gray strokes home from the spot

And only a few minutes later, in the 57th minute, Burnley were gifted another chance to score from 12 yards out.

Lowton's pass in to Gray was inexplicably handled by Shackell and this time it was the responsibility of Vokes to beat Carson. The Welshman obliged, firing the ball down the middle to net his sixth of the campaign.

The Rams were then sent to slaughter with 66 minutes on the clock with Shackell, yet again, providing a helping hand.

Following a lovely passage of play in their own third, Lowton applied the incision needed to release Arfield and the Scotsman's seemingly tame strike fortuitously looped up off the leg of Shackell and over the head of Carson.

Ince pulled an effort wide of the far post when working the ball past Ben Mee from Thorne's assist but that was as close County would get for the remainder of the fixture.

Instead the home side continued to dictate the second half, toying with the away side when in possession of the ball.

Carson beat away Gray's attempt as the Clarets pressed again but the game had already been won.

Sean Dyche's men have now taken 13 points from their last five games, scoring 16 times in that sequence.

The Clarets celebrate the opening goal