Turf Moor - Photo-Getty Images

Stephen McManus started his first Boro game since October 6, allowing George Friend to return to left-back.

Marvin Emnes started up front with Nicky Bailey at right-back in a 4-1-4-1 formation that saw Rhys Williams set up as a holding midfielder.

Sean Dyche made three changes from the Clarets' last game against Bolton, David Edgar, Ross Wallace and Danny Ings making way for George Friend's former Doncaster team-mate Brian Stock, Martin Paterson and Irish defender Kevin Long, who was making just his third appearance of the season for Burnley and first since the middle of December.

An open start saw Burnley cut out the early running and Williams needed to be alert to deal with Dean Marney.

Attacking down the left, Andy Halliday played in Friend without looking, knowing he would be there, but a thundering challenge brought that move to an early conclusion.

Determined to take an early advantage, Burnley won two corners in quick succession, one coming from an excellent save away to his right from Jason Steele as Stock struck from 22 yards.

Boro's fans were in good heart and their team showed no ill-effects from Saturday in the early exchanges. They were momentarily stretched as Burnley swept forward, but the outstretched right leg of McManus did the trick and Chris McCann shot over as he pounced on the loose ball.

Boro stood firm as Turf Moor watched the home side gain more and more possession and when Williams was caught out and McManus ran the risk of taking one for the team when bringing down McCann, Burnley had a free-kick in line with Steele's right-hand post.

Kieran Tripper lined-up the effort 24 yards out, but despatched it half a yard over.

Boro looked to go forward quickly, but Burnley were equally quick to get men back behind the ball, usually 10 of them, and it proved an effective barrier.

As a result the pass count was high. Neat and nearly always finding the right man, it needed to be crisper and gaps had to be found.

Had the referee been looking just to his left with half an hour played he would have seen Stock take out Halliday just off the ball, stopping the Scot's forward movement in what can politely be called a robust manner with an arm a little too high.

The event wasn't spotted and as a result for a while Halliday, who needed treatment, was soundly booed by sections of the home support.

Six minutes from half-time Burnley crafted a half-chance when Junior Stanislas whipped in a cross from out wide on the right and Steele had to react quickly to deal with a powerful header from Marney.

It had been a first half where Boro had been more resolute than in recent performances and more solid behind the ball, but going forward they had not been a threat, despite Emnes looking bright.

But the first thing you do when conceding the number of goals Boro have away from home is stop them and for the first 45 minutes they had done just that. And with game-changers on the bench, there seemed every chance that they could on to create more of a threat after the break.

Half-time: Burnley 0 Middlesbrough 0

Gary Parkinson's son Luke made the half-time draw, receiving warm applause from all corners of the stadium. His dad continues to fight and has the support from a strong family and, needless to say, everyone at the Boro.

There was a worrying moment for Burnley fans early in the second half when Trippier was hurt in a collision with Steele but fortunately he was able to continue after treatment.

Two more corners in quick succession from Burnley brought no reward as they continued to dominate possession.

With just nine minutes of the second half played Mowbray made a change, replacing Richard Smallwood with Muzzy Carayol.

Boro fans had an increasing sense of wellbeing, possibly feeding off frustration levels which were increasing among the home fraternity.

When Williams back-heeled Boro into an attack just up from the edge of the centre circle in the Burnley half, Carayol took over. He darted straight at the centre of the home defence and was crudely stopped by Long on the edge of the box, a challenge that brought the first card of the game.

From the free-kick, Grant Leadbitter, set up by Andre Bikey, drilled low and just wide.

The second change of the game from Mowbray saw Emnes replaced by Curtis Main, before Dyche made two at once.

A third change from the Boro boss introduced Ishmael Miller at the expense of Halliday.

Boro had grown into the game and saw plenty of the ball in the closing stages and missed a great chance to make Lee Grant work with 88 minutes played as Carayol, who had been lively after his introduction, crossed first time and Miller miss-kicked.

Well into injury-time a deep cross picked out Main at an awkward angle and a spectacular effort saw his shot land on top of the net.

The final minute of the game brought Boro's first shot on target, Grant's first save and the visitors' first corner as Carayol delivered a dipping effort from the edge of the box which was going just under the bar.

Burnley: Grant; Trippier, Lafferty, Shackell (Capt), Long, McCann, Stock (Vokes 71), Marney, Stanislas, Paterson (Treacy 71), Austin. Subs: Jensen (gk); Mills, Richards, Edgar, Bartley. Order of subs. 1) Vokes 2) Treacy.

Middlesbrough: Steele; Bailey, McManus, Bikey, Friend, R Williams (Capt.), Smallwood (Carayol 54), McEachran, Leadbitter, Halliday (Miller 73), Emnes (Main 69). Subs: Leutwiler (gk); Haroun, Ledesma, L Williams.

Referee: Kevin Wright, Cambridgeshire.


Burnley: Long,
61, foul; Marney, 77, foul.
Middlesbrough: Bailey, 67, foul; McEachran, 90, foul.

Attendance: 12,394 (678 Boro)

Conditions: Cold and still.

Possession: Burnley 52% Middlesbrough 48%

Website Boro Man of the Match: Stephen McManus




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