PHOTOS: Burnley FC 3, Blackpool 1
BURNLEY made it four wins from six with a comprehensive derby day victory over rivals Blackpool.
The two sides had both embarked on their maiden Premier League voyage since their last encounter where Christian Kalvenes scored the only goal at Bloomfield Road in March 2009.
The Clarets marked their dominance from referee Michael Oliver's first whistle and could have taken the lead early on. Charlie Austin retrieved a weak clearance from Seasiders defender Ian Evatt and broke in to the penalty area and squaring for Jay Rodriguez who lurked outside the six-yard box. However, Craig Cathcart made the crucial block to deny the Burnley striker.
From the resulting set-piece, Ross Wallace's drilled centre was dummied by the impressive David Edgar but Rodriguez failed to take advantage of the training ground routine, scuffing his shot much to the delight of the visiting fans.
But Eddie Howe's side persevered and had their reward in the 20th minute, and it arrived in style. A well-worked short corner between Wallace and Junior Stanislas saw the latter's sublime cross powered in to the roof of the net at the near post by the head of Austin.
Skipper Chris McMann blazed an effort over the bar from 20 yards out with an unmarked Austin screaming for the ball to his left but the second goal came soon after, though it followed controversy from referee Oliver.
The match official could and maybe should have issued Stephen Crainey with a red card after deliberately handling Austin's flick. The Tangerine's stopper was the last man but Oliver refused to give the defender his marching orders.
But justice was delivered by Wallace's left foot. After a brief disagreement between the Burnley winger and Andre Amougou over who would strike the set-piece, the former Preston North End man swept the ball past the wall and in to Matthew Gilks's top left corner.
Evatt almost added insult to injury for Ian Holloway's side as he glanced Stanislas's beautiful cross with the outside of his boot wide of the far post. Jonjo Shelvey was next to be given the benefit of the doubt by Oliver after going over the ball on a challenge with make-shift left-back Ben Mee, debutising for the injured Brian Easton. Again he entered the referee's book.
The driving wind and rain almost acted as a 12th man for Blackpool in the second half and veteran striker Brett Ormerod almost halved the deficit as he beat the offside trap before watching his low effort tipped around the near post by Lee Grant.
In a desperate bid to restore some respectability Holloway made a triple substitution, replacing Kevin Phillips, Ormerod, and Tom Ince with Daniel Bogdanovic, Lomano Lua Lua and Callum McManaman.
The latter posed a threat for the visitors in the immediate aftermath of his introduction. Lua Lua's clever flick paved the way for McManaman's first opening but Edgar was on hand again to make a superb last-gasp block. The tricky midfielder then dragged a shot wide before squandering another opportunity after beating Kieran Trippier and bending a shot towards the far corner which Grant pushed to safety.
But the damage was done in the 79th minute as Austin latched on to Trippier's ball over the top, broke in to the box and squared the ball to an unmarked Marvin Bartley who deservedly added his name to the scoresheet, sliding the ball in to the corner despite Alex Baptiste's best efforts to thwart him on the line.
Keith Southern studded the ball wide after a good break from the away side in the closing stages before Austin somehow missed from close range with the goal gaping after Rodriguez threaded a pass across the six-yard box.
And just as it seemed that the Clarets were going to claim only their second clean sheet since the victory over Hull City at the KC Stadium in March last year Shelvey pounced to stroke the ball beyond Grant in time added on.
There was a few tricks during the 90 minute clash but the 3-1 win was certainly a treat for the Clarets in this Hallowe'en Championship fixture.