Promotion glee for Clarets

21 April 2014 04:32

Goals from Ashley Barnes and Michael Kightly sparked a Turf Moor promotion party as Burnley secured Premier League football for next season with a 2-0 win against Wigan.

The Clarets knew before kick-off that victory would see them bounce back into the top flight, having been outside the elite since their 2010 relegation.

And they were taking no chances, starting the game brightly with Barnes and Kightly handing the hosts a comfortable lead - the latter with his second goal in as many games.

Wigan improved after the break but the outcome was never in doubt and Burnley's fans were left to celebrate, invading the pitch, as their team guaranteed a top-two finish.

The Clarets started brightly and after just two minutes Barnes attempted to slip Danny Ings in behind the Wigan defence, only for goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi to beat the striker to the ball.

Burnley, urged forward by the relentless home crowd, attacked again after 16 minutes as Kightly burst down the right channel before firing in a low cross towards Scott Arfield, only for a fine block from James Perch to cut the ball out.

But the pressure told in the 22nd minute as the deadlock was broken. Dean Marney's first-time cross found Barnes who turned the ball home from six yards for his third goal in Burnley colours.

Six minutes later the pair almost linked up again but a save from Al-Habsi prevented Barnes from doubling the lead.

Despite the pressure, the visitors almost levelled after 32 minutes with their first meaningful effort, Marc-Antoine Fortune heading Jordi Gomez's free-kick against the bar before Emmerson Boyce lashed over the rebound.

Burnley went 2-0 up in the 42nd minute as Kightly's free-kick from the left side of the box evaded everyone and flew into the corner off Al-Habsi's far post.

Just after the interval Wigan substitute Callum McManaman was immediately involved and did well to find space on the edge of the box but he could only shoot wide.

It was almost game over in the 49th minute as Kightly collected the ball on the halfway line and surged forward before lashing a 25-yard drive inches past Al-Habsi's far post.

The Latics refused to give up and could have got on the scoresheet through James McClean after his cross whistled past the post.

Another chance followed as a determined Fortune chased down a long ball into the Burnley box, but his effort was met by a fine save from Tom Heaton.

On the hour mark Ings went close to his 21st league goal of the campaign, the striker hitting the post from a tight angle following a composed run into the box.

Moments later Boyce should have made it 2-1 as his header from the six-yard box trickled wide.

The end-to-end action continued and in the 67th minute David Jones' 25-yard free-kick forced a fine save from Al-Habsi.

Barnes had another chance for his second 10 minutes from time, but Al-Habsi kept his 25-yard volley out, yet the margin of the victory mattered little to Burnley fans who poured onto the pitch at the final whistle.

Source: PA