Match Reports

Adingra on target but keeper Trafford defies Albion

Brought to you by...

Burnley's James Trafford produced some outstanding saves as Albion were held to a 1-1 draw at the Amex.

By Bruce Talbot • 09 December 2023

By Bennett Dean
What a sight! Simon Adingra celebrates after equalising for Albion.

Simon Adingra’s fourth Amex goal in the Premier League earned Albion a point which would have been three had it not been for the brilliance of Burnley keeper James Trafford.

Behind at the break to Wilson Odobert’s deflected strike, Albion laid siege to the Clarets’ goal in the second half. Trafford was eventually beaten when Adingra headed in Pascal Gross’s cross with 14 minutes to go but he defied Albion with a series of saves, notably stoppage-time efforts to frustrate substitute Jack Hinshelwood and Kaoru Mitoma.

Six Albion changes had seen Bart Verbruggen, Lewis Dunk, Mahmoud Dahoud, James Milner, Adam Lallana and Evan Ferguson return to the starting line-up.

Johann Gudmundson curled a left-foot shot just wide in the 10th minute as Burnley settled quickest and the first glimpse of Albion’s attacking prowess didn’t come until nine minutes later when it needed Charlie Taylor to stretch out his leg and prevent Adingra from latching onto Lallana’s pass.

By Bennett Dean
Simon Adingra (no 24) heads home Albion's equaliser.

Lallana’s turn and pass created space on the left for Joao. He teed up Milner for a cross which Gross headed onto the roof of the net as Albion, and the German went even closer on 28 minutes when a right-foot shot which might have crept inside the near post was diverted wide by Trafford’s outstretched right boot - a sign of things to come. 

Disciplined Burnley got everyone behind the ball when danger threatened but Albion then enjoyed their best spell of the half and it needed a fine save diving to his right by Trafford to keep out Milner’s drive after good work by Joao. Jan Paul van Hecke was next to threaten, flashing a header from Adingra’s superb cross just wide of the right-hand post.

A goal seemed to be coming but when it did just before the break it was Burnley who struck. Odobert cut in from the left and when his shot clipped Milner it flew into the top corner, giving Verbruggen no chance.

Mitoma and Billy Gilmour came on at the break with the instruction to help up the tempo but Jay Rodruiguez nearly added a second for the Clarets but had close-range shots blocked by Verbruggen and van Hecke.

By Bennett Dean
Pascal Gross is denied by Burnley keeper James Trafford in the first half.

Igor and Hinshelwood appeared just before the hour and although Albion were dominating possession they struggled to penetrate Lancashire’s version of the yellow wall. It was clear patience would be required but suddenly Mitoma found some space for a first-time shot that was always drifting over before Ferguson headed van Hecke’s cross wide.

Mitoma then raced into open space and threaded a ball across the face of goal but Ferguson got his feet in a tangle and flicked his shot wide. Trafford flew across goal to block Adingra’s volley after Joao flicked on Gross’s left-wing cross as Albion laid siege.

Finally, they levelled on 76 minutes. Gross’s drag back on the left created a yard of space and Adingra rose above Taylor to head home from six yards at the far post for his fifth goal of the season and fourth at the Amex.

By James Boardman
Jan Paul van Hecke went inches wide with this header.

Could they find a winner? Trafford tipped over Gross’s free kick from 25 yards at full stretch and in eight minutes of stoppage time Facundo Buonanotte slipped when he seemed certain to lash the loose ball into the net before Hinshelwood, in a similar position to where he scored against Brentford, guided a header onto the roof of the net from Gross’s cross. The teenager went even closer with another header from Adingra’s pull-back but Trafford produced another superb save.

There was still time for Trafford to claw away Mitoma’s shot at full stretch before the final whistle sounded. Frustration for Albion but it’s another point on the board.

Albion: Verbruggen; Gross, Dunk (Buonanotte 84), van Hecke, Milner (Hinshelwood 59); Dahoud (Gilmour 45), Baleba (Igor 59); Adingra, Joao Pedro; Lallana (Mitoma 45), Ferguson.

Subs not used: Steele, Moder, Baker-Boaitey, O’Mahony.

Referee: Simon Hooper

Attendance: 31,511