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Match Reports

Burnley v Albion

1 September 2012

Burnley 1 Albion 3

A two-goal salvo from striker Craig Mackail-Smith, including a wonderful overhead kick for the winner, and one from Gordon Greer helped Albion to a terrific 3-1 win at Burnley.

Mackail-Smith's brace last week could be described as scrappy, but this week he conjured up two fabulous goals of real quality, either side of Greer's own-goal leveller for the hosts.

Now with four goals in four games, the former Peterborough man is fulfilling Gus Poyet's prophecy that he would be more prolific in his second season with the Seagulls.

Burnley employed a similarly robust approach to the one Albion encountered in the two games against Eddie Howe's side last season. The Clarets packed the midfield, with the onus on frustrating Albion.

Last season, Poyet's side perhaps lacked the punch to deal with the physical approach, however this season their quality told, and Mackail-Smith opened the scoring after a slick set piece in the 17th minute.

After a quick one-two with Gary Dicker, Liam Bridcutt picked out skipper Greer. He chested into the path of Mackail-Smith on the edge of the box, who unleashed a ferocious half volley past Lee Grant and into the bottom corner.

A neat interchange between Wayne Bridge and Mackail-Smith ended with the Albion striker putting in a teasing far-post cross, which Joseph Mills cleared under pressure from Ashley Barnes. From the resulting corner Barnes and Greer both had half chances before Burnley cleared.

Albion lost Andrew Crofts to injury shortly before half-time, limping out of the action to be replaced by Will Buckley, making his first appearance of the season.

Burnley offered little going forward, seemingly content to frustrate Albion, but the visitors were still creating chances. LuaLua's cross was miskicked by centre-back David Edgar and had home custodian Grant backpeddling to push to safety.

Mackail-Smith played in LuaLua on the right early in the second half, and a weaving run almost ended in a goal as the Seagulls winger's shot went across goal and just wide of the opposite post.

Charlie Austin was lucky not to be sent off ten minutes into the second half, for appearing to elbow Dicker in the face, but the Burnley striker went unpunished by referee Eddie Ilderton.

The former Bournemouth striker then had Burnley's first half-chance of the game shortly before the hour mark, with a looping header which dropped over the bar.

Burnley had offered very little in terms of attacking threat, and they levelled with a real stroke of fortune as Junior Stanislas's cross was diverted past a rarely troubled Tomasz Kuszczak by Greer.

The hosts, buoyed by their equaliser, became more adventurous and sub Ross Wallace brought the best out of Kuszczak, with Albion's Polish keeper flying to his left to produce an outstanding one-handed save - but Albion still looked the more likely to win the game, and Barnes saw a decent effort

deflected behind for a corner kick.

A brilliant end-to-end flowing move, which started with Greer winning the ball by Albion's goalline, ended with Grant pulling off a fine low save to divert Mackail-Smith's drive behind for a corner.

From the resultant corner, Mackail-Smith hit his wonder goal. The original corner from the left was deep, but Bruno picked up the ball on the right and put it back into the danger area, where Mackail-Smith did the rest with his stunning overhead volley.

Late on Greer put the result beyond any doubt with a powerful header from debutant Andrea Orlandi's corner in the 88th minute, to complete a productive 48 hours for the Albion.


Burnley: (4-5-1) Grant; Trippier, Shackell, Edgar, Mills; Stewart (Wallace 62), McCann, Marney (Vokes 83), Bartley (Paterson 46), Stanislas; Austin. Subs: Jensen (GK), Dyff, Stock, Mee.

Albion: (4-3-3) Kuszczak; Bruno, El-Abd, Greer, Bridge; Bridcutt, Dicker, Crofts (Buckley 39); LuaLua (Orlandi 79), Mackail-Smith, Barnes. Subs: Ankergren (GK), Dunk, Calderon, Harley, Agdestein.

Referee: Eddie Ilderton

Attendance: 11,413 (477 Albion)

Yellow cards: Wallace, McCann (Burnley); Bruno, Buckley, Kuszczak, Barnes (Albion)

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