Barnes strike sinks Saints

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Published: Saturday 13th December 2014 by The News Editor

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Tom Heaton and Ashley Barnes were the heroes as Burnley picked up their third win of the season against stuttering Southampton to climb out of the relegation zone.

Heaton saved Dusan Tadic’s penalty on the hour mark and with 73 minutes gone Barnes scored his second goal of the campaign to earn the Clarets a 1-0 victory.

After defeats by three of the biggest teams in the league, this looked an ideal chance for Southampton to get their top-four bid back on track, but they slipped to a fourth successive loss.

Saints boss Ronald Koeman gave a full debut to 18-year-old midfielder Jake Hesketh, who came off the bench in the defeat by Manchester United on Monday, while Toby Alderweireld was back from injury.

Burnley, who were unchanged, had a golden chance to open the scoring inside 30 seconds when George Boyd’s cross picked out an unmarked Danny Ings but he mistimed his header.

The home side’s leading scorer went close again a couple of minutes later, this time creating the chance for himself before shooting just wide from 20 yards.

Hesketh’s first real contribution was to slide in very late on Heaton in an attempt to get on the end of Sadio Mane’s low cross, earning himself a yellow card.

It was Hesketh who felt the force of a collision in the 26th minute but play carried on and Kieran Trippier’s long cross caused real problems for Southampton.

Barnes pressurised Nathaniel Clyne, who could only nudge the ball towards Fraser Forster, forcing the goalkeeper to make a scrambled save.

Forster could not hold onto the ball but the Saints defence just about came out on top of a goal-mouth melee.

Hesketh tried to run off his injury but had to admit defeat in the 32nd minute and was replaced by James Ward-Prowse, himself back after nearly three months out with an ankle problem.

Ward-Prowse tested Heaton five minutes before the break with a low shot but it was a comfortable save for the goalkeeper.

There was very little of the fast-paced, incisive football that Southampton showed earlier in the season but a one-touch move on the edge of the area in the 58th minute led to an opening for Mane, who shot over the bar.

Two minutes later Saints were awarded a penalty, Ryan Bertrand tricking his way past Boyd, who knew he had caught the full-back.

But Boyd’s blushes were spared in impressive fashion by Heaton, who got both hands to Tadic’s effort – the first time in 30 penalties that Saints had not scored.

The visitors’ pressure was growing, though, and Graziano Pelle will feel he should have done better with a shot from the corner of the six-yard box that flew well wide.

Burnley finally broke out of their own half and Ings produced their best effort to that point, forcing Forster into a diving save with a shot from the edge of the area.

But it was to get a lot better for the Clarets six minutes later as Barnes broke into the box from the left after Southampton had lost the ball from a throw-in.

Barnes, who also scored the winner against Hull, saw his shot take a slight deflection that wrong-footed Forster and went in at the near post.

The visitors had an immediate chance to hit back but Jose Fonte headed straight at Heaton while Clyne was desperately unlucky to see his superbly-struck effort graze the outside of the post as Southampton searched in vain for an equaliser.

The final chance went to Victor Wanyama deep into injury time, and he had could only bury his face in his hands after heading over the bar.

Published: Saturday 13th December 2014 by The News Editor

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