Vokes ends long wait for Burnley as derby rivalry with Blackburn refuses to die

Burnley 1 Blackburn Rovers 1

Turf Moor

As comments go, it was up there with the last words of the American Civil War general, John Sedgwick who said: "They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance..." Burnley were losing, time was almost up and their manager, Sean Dyche, decided to throw on his No 9, Sam Vokes, to a shout from behind him of: "Why is Vokesy coming on? What's he going to do in five minutes?"

What Vokes did was to score Burnley's first home goal in an east Lancashire derby since Boxing Day 1978. When his header from Junior Stanislas's free-kick struck the corner of the net, there was no sound like it.

A vast roar that seemed to come from the guts of the stadium, accompanied by a wave of V-signs, was directed at those who had travelled in fleets of double-decker buses past the no-mans land of Accrington and Oswaldtwhistle to what in Blackburn is regarded as the very heart of darkness.

To understand the noise and the standing ovation that followed the final whistle, you had to know that, although the East Lancashire derby is among the most intense Europe has to offer, it is also one of the most one-sided. It is 33 years since Burnley won it and this was a game they had dominated and appeared to be losing.

There are very few chants in this fixture that are printable or accurate but the song "Same old Rovers, beating Burnley" that rang out after Jordan Rhodes's 68th-minute diving header had deflected home Mauro Formica's cross would have seemed hurtfully true. Dyche had told his players before kick-off that they would never have a better chance to win this fixture. "We were dominant at every level," he said. "We thoroughly deserved the minimum of a point and probably three."

As Blackburn warmed up, the public address system played "A Town Called Malice" which The Jam released in 1982, three years after Burnley's last victory and the year before their fans attempted to smash up the terracing at Ewood Park in retaliation to Simon Garner's winner.

Except for the mile around Turf Moor, Burnley did not look especially malicious. From the top of the main stand, the sunlight shimmered off the slate roofs and beyond the chimney smoke, the Pennines were smeared with frost. The football, however, seldom threatened to match the beauty of the backdrop.

It had been so long since Burnley scored here in this fixture that every attack – and there were plenty – drew screams of anticipation when anything fancy was attempted. One by one the chances came and went; blazed into the Blackburn fans by Ross Wallace, driven into the body of Blackburn's immense centre-half, Scott Dann, or tipped away at full stretch by Paul Robinson. Eventually, the former England international was beaten by what Henning Berg called "one free-kick too many".

Their years among the elite have ensured the Blackburn manager was able to call upon ability not available to his opposite number. Charlie Austin's header would have beaten most goalkeepers in this division and Robinson's instincts, when saving Martin Paterson's long-range shot, were of Premier League quality.

At the other end, Rhodes may have sent his first shot of the day halfway to Skipton but he is a footballer who cost Blackburn £8m and the way he took his chance for his 13th goal of the season suggested why. The chants from the packed stands may have been raucous and deafening but the money also talked.

Match facts

Goals. Burnley: Vokes 89. Rovers: Rhodes 68

Burnley (4-1-4-1): Grant; Trippier, Duff, Shackell, Mee; Stock (Ings, 75); Wallace, Marney, McCann (Vokes, 86), Paterson (Stanislas, 75); Austin. Substitutes not used: Jensen (gk), Edgar,Laffertey, Bartley.

Blackburn (4-4-2): Robinson; Henley, Dann, Hanley, Martin Olsson; Formica (Vukcevic, 79), Lowe, Murphy, Pedersen (King, 55); Kazim-Richards, Rhodes. Substitutes not used: Kean (gk), Givet, Dunn, Markus Olsson, Rochina. Referee: L Mason (Northamptonshire)

News
news
Arts and Entertainment
British author Helen Macdonald, pictured with Costa book of the year, 'H is for Hawk'
booksPanel hail Helen Macdonald's 'brilliantly written, muscular prose' in memoir of a grief-stricken daughter who became obsessed with training a goshawk
Sport
footballLive blog: Follow the action from the Capital One Cup semi-final
Life and Style
food + drink
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy