Charlie Austin scored his 22nd goal of the campaign as Burnley
drew 1-1 at home to Watford in the Championship.
Nathaniel Chalobah fired the visitors into an 11th minute lead
with a well-taken volley from the edge of the area but Austin
equalised 17 minutes later from the penalty spot.
Burnley boss Sean Dyche made three changes, with David Edgar and
Kevin Long replacing suspended duo Chris McCann and Michael Duff,
while Danny Ings was handed a first start of the season in place of
Brian Stock, who dropped to the bench.
Watford welcomed back Almen Abdi to the side for his first start
since November due to injury, while Alexandre Geijo replaced Matej
Vydra in attack.
The visitors went ahead after just 11 minutes through on-loan
midfielder Chalobah. Burnley failed to deal with a succession of
Watford corners and, after the ball was partially cleared, Chalobah
volleyed in from edge of the area for his second Hornets goal.
And the Clarets were soon level. Referee Phil Gibbs had no
hesitation in awarding a spot-kick after Joel Ekstrand pushed Dean
Marney in the area and Austin calmly sent Almunia the wrong
Dyche’s side were on top and Kieran Trippier’s shot from the
edge of the area tested Almunia, who could only gather at the
second attempt. Then Danny Lafferty’s deep cross was headed
goalwards by Austin but the Spaniard saved well.
Just before half-time, Martin Paterson broke down the flank and
Austin was denied a tap-in by a crucial intervention from Tommie
Mark Yeates replaced Chalobah at half-time for the visitors to
make his 300th career appearance, and the Hornets started the
second half brightly with Deeney going close.
The striker, who was aiming to equal the club record for scoring
in seven successive games, was denied twice by Lee Grant as the
Burnley keeper saved the Deeney’s far-post header with his legs and
recovered quickly to block the follow up.
But Burnley soon found their rhythm again and almost went ahead
as Trippier’s dangerous cross was met by Austin, but his diving
header was held well by Almunia.
There were loud shouts from the home fans for a penalty with 16
minutes left as the ball struck Marco Cassetti’s arm in the penalty
area, but the referee decided it was not deliberate.
Watford were still a threat on the counter and Ekstrand came
within inches of a spectacular goal but his long range effort
crashed off the bar. But neither side was able to force a late
winner as the game ended all-square.