Burnley clinched promotion to the Premier League today after beating QPR 1-0 at Turf Moor and extending their unbeaten run to 22 games.
It was an edgy first half with the visitors thwarted on 5 occasions by goalkeeper and captain Tom Heaton, who deservedly got the man-of-the-match award.
The second half was a different matter and whatever manager Sean Dyche said in the dressing room paid off. The goal came in the 61st minute when Sam Vokes headed David Jones free kick into the net for his 14th of the season.
Burnley thought they had doubled the score a short time later but it was disallowed. Just as well that QPR could only hit the post after that.
With the other promotion contenders Middlesborough and Brighton only able to draw this weekend and playing each other next week it meant Burnley were promoted. Not champions yet but that’s a possibility in their last game next week away at Charlton.
As is traditional at the last home game of the season the manager and players come out onto the pitch to show the supporters their appreciation. As usual this is preceded by a pitch invasion!
This is the 3rd time Burnley have been in the Premier League and the second time under manager Sean Dyche (pictured above) who was appointed in 2012.
They were first promoted via the playoffs in 2009 when they beat Sheffield United 1-0 at Wembley through a stunning Wade Elliott goal. That after 33 years in the lower divisions.
That was something I thought I’d never see in my lifetime and I only went to Wembley because my two sons dragged me there.
We didn’t survive the season and had to wait until 2014 when we were promoted again as runners-up to Leicester City. This weekend’s opposition QPR also went up via the playoffs.
Again we only survived one season fighting relegation with QPR and Leicester (crowned Premier League champions today) at one stage. So to go straight back up is remarkable. It shows a lot about the team spirit and resilience that Sean Dyche has inculcated in the team in which he used only 25 players.
Burnley’s aim next season must surely be to stay in the Premier League.
FYI Burnley was a founder member of the Football League in 1888 and adopted claret and blue to emulate the top English team at the team, Aston Villa, now a shadow of its former self.
The home ground since 1883 has been Turf Moor and it is the longest continuously professionally used football ground in the world with a natural turf and the longest in the top tier in the world.