PHOTOS: Bristol City 3, Burnley 4

CHRIS McCann's looping header in the dying seconds saw the Clarets snatch maximum points in a seven-goal thriller at Ashton Gate.

Wednesday, 24th October 2012, 9:30 am

Bristol City substitute Paul Anderson had levelled for the home side in the final minute of normal time, after Terry Pashley's side had surrendered a 3-1 lead, but with one last throw of the dice, in the fifth minute of stoppage time, Kieran Trippier's deep free-kick from the left was met by McCann at the back post and his header beat Tom Heaton before nestling in the back of the net, sending more than 350 Clarets supporters in to raptures.

Clarets goal machine Charlie Austin opened the scoring in the ninth minute, latching on to McCann's clever defence-splitting pass to round Heaton, despite taking a heavy touch, and firing home, equalling a club record in the process.

That strike made it eight consecutive games the 23-year-old has got on the scoresheet with Ray Pointer initially setting the record during the 1958/59 season where he scored 12 goals in that run of league and FA Cup games between November, 1958 and January the following year on his way to 29 goals for the season.

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But Austin has bettered Pointer's purple patch, scoring his 14th goal in that eight-game period later in the fixture, while already toppling his tally from last season in all competitions with 18. Austin timed his run to perfection, McCann's pass penetrating an unsuspecting City backline, as the deadlock was broken following a tentative start to the fixture.

The game ebbed and flowed for a matter of minutes, neither side threatening in the final third, but Michael Duff paved the way for the home side's equaliser on the 20-minute mark when unnecessarily felling City dangerman Steven Davies. City's creative playmaker picked himself up, dusted himself off, before lashing a left-footed drive from the edge of the box in to the top corner.

Davies proved the orchestrator of City's pursuits and wasn't far off moments later when drilling a 30-yard drive just over the angle of Lee Grant's goal. Junior Stanislas floated an effort wide and Dean Marney tested Heaton from distance as the Clarets looked to restore their lead before Davies carved another opening for the hosts, forcing Kieran Trippier to lift his dangerous inswinging cross to the back post over the bar.

With Ross Wallace injured in the warm up, Martin Paterson stepped in to the starting XI while Danny Ings made a welcome return to the bench following injury. However, Paterson was often wasteful down the right following various intricate passages of play to work a route beyond full-back Richard Foster as Heaton all too often gathering his crosses.

Instead, as play switched to the left, Austin found himself in the channel and it was his delightful centre that picked out Paterson, but the striker's header from close range was tame and Heaton foiled him once more. City skipper Liam Fontaine blazed over after defensive partner Stephen McManus had nodded down Cole Skuse's set-piece before opposite captain Jason Shackell forced Heaton in to another decent save, heading goalwards from a stanislas corner as the half came to a close.

Early in the second half, as City continued to lack the craft or invention to break through Burnley's defensive barrier, both Brian Stock and Marney impermeable once again, Davies's deflected effort bounced wide of the post while Grant smothered a speculative effort from Jody Morris.

Minutes later, as the Clarets broke, referee Lee Collins pointed to the spot once Mark Wilson had handled McCann's header from Marney's cross. Austin stepped up and coolly slotted in to the corner, sending Heaton the wrong way in the process.

And within 60 seconds, on the hour mark, the Clarets made it 3-1 with arguably the move of the match. Pashley's men worked the ball directly and with authority from the back, Mee in to Austin, who cleverly turned a pass around his marker in to the path of McCann and the Dubliner's foray forward resulted in a cross to the unmarked Paterson who lashed an effort beyond Heaton at the keeper's near post via a deflection off Foster.

At this point the Clarets were in full control, getting bodies behind the ball to restrict the home side's advances, plugging the space in-between defence and midfield. Skuse fired over the bar after the ball broke to the midfielder outside the box after a double substitution from Derek McInnes, with Davies and Joe Bryan replaced by Ryan Taylor and Anderson respectively, Albert Adomah glanced wide.

However, Collins awarded another penalty when Duff fouled McManus from Wilson's corner and Sam Baldock reduced the deficit from the resulting spot kick. Marney's ferocious drive from inside the box whistled over the crossbar as the Clarets pressed but yet again the away side shot themselves in the foot when conceding another set-piece on the edge of the box. Adomah lifted the dead ball over the wall, Grant tipped on to the crossbar, but the Clarets defence were slow to react and Anderson was on hand to slot home.

Both sides went for the jugular in the final moments, Heaton saving substitute Vokes's header from the angle of the six yard box before Grant gathered Baldock's right-footed effort at the second attempt. But there would be double joy for Pashley's men, with Danny Ings returning to the fray, replacing Paterson in the 78th minute, while McCann's late, late show helped the Clarets to 14th in the Championship, just three points off the play-off spots.

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