PHOTOS: Bristol City 3, Burnley 1
PRIOR to kick-off at Ashton Gate Bristol City were one of two teams of the 92 in the Premier and Football League not to have registered a home victory. That statistic inevitabvly changed at the sound of referee Gary Sutton's full-time whistle.
Former St Johnstone boss Derek McInnes has installed new life in to the Robins and a 3-1 victory over Eddie Howe's side ensured his seventh point in three games since his arrival. The Clarets, on the other hand, faced going in to the international break on the back of a below par performance and disappointing outcome.
In a first half void of invention or goalmouth action, with both side's matching each other's 4-5-1 approach to the game, it took an inexplicable moment for the deadlock to be broken. On-loan Manchester City defender Ryan McGivern's freak cross deceived Lee Grant at his near post leaving Stephen Pearson with the simple task of pushing the ball across the line from close range on his debut on loan from Derby County.
Clarets striker Jay Rodriguez, now without a goal in seven games, had the best chance earlier in the half when he swapped passes with Charlie Austin on the edge of the box but his scuffed effort was turned around the post by former England international David James.
But it was the home side who finished the half in the ascendency. Nicky Maynard, reportedly earning a swish Ł25,000 per week at Ashton Gate, poked wide at the far post following David Edgar's mistake from a Pearson centre. Then Grant made a sublime save to keep the scores even when Pearson broke in to the box but couldn't scoop the ball past the out-stretched arms of the Clarets stopper. The industrious Marvin Elliott then forced the Clarets keeper to turn his volley past the post before the opening goal arrived.
The Clarets made an immediate impact in the second half as within two minutes of the re-start they were level. Ross Wallace sweeped the ball in to the roof of the net following good work down Burnley's right to make it four goals in consecutive games. The intrepid midfielder, who has been the Clarets most consistent player to date this season, became the first Burnley player to register that feat since Garreth O'Connor in the 2005/06 campaign.
And then the home side took the lead again, on the hour mark. Substitute Brett Pitman, who worked under Howe at Bournemouth, profited from Burnley's failure to clear as he stroked the ball home from close range courtesy of Pearson's piercing pass.
Then it was game over. With Burnley pressing for a leveller, Neil Kilkenny broke from Wallace's poor set-piece before threading the ball in to the path of the explosive Albert Adomah who ran at Burnley's backline and unleashed a right-footed rocket past Grant from the edge of the area.
The Clarets had little response and the introductions of Zavon Hines, Keith Treacy and Dean Marney in place of skipper Chris McCann, Junior Stanislas and Marvin Bartley failed to inspire or revitalise a faultering Burnley outfit.