Burnley 1-1 MK Dons: Burnley win 4-3 on penalties

A calmly taken Phil Bardsley penalty edged the Clarets past MK Dons in a dramatic late FA Cup shootout at Turf Moor. 

Sean Dyche went with a strong starting eleven and that team looked to impose themselves on the game from the start. Goalkeeper Lee Nicholls had to be on top of his game.

The stopper did well to deny Ashley Barnes one-versus-one, as the striker looked destined to fire Burnley into an early lead. 

Nicholls was quickly called into action once again, making a smart save to deny Barnes on the volley before getting down to save a header from Ben Mee

Amid those saves, Dale Stephens fired a long-distance effort wide of the target and Chris Wood saw his fierce shot deflected behind. It was only a matter of time before the deadlock was going to be broken. Surprisingly, it wasn’t from a player in claret and blue!

The visitors had looked to threaten on the counter and their veteran forward, Cameron Jerome, made no mistake when the opportunity came his way. 

Scott Fraser had a lot of time to weigh up a cross and Jerome ghosted into the box before guiding the delivery back into the far corner. Will Norris could only stand and watch. 

James Tarkowski should have snatched an immediate equaliser but he inexplicably hit the post from three-yards after latching onto a loose ball in a crowded penalty area. 

The first-half ended with controversy when Richard Keough handled an aerial ball with Wood looking to power in on goal. Jon Moss originally dismissed Keough for denying a clear goal-scoring opportunity but the referee then overturned his decision after VAR inspection. 

Burnley really struggled to create too much in the second-half against their resolute opponents. 

Barnes surged in behind but his low drive was brilliantly tipped onto the post by Nicholls; replays suggested that the goal may have been chalked out for offside. 

It was a debut for young Joel Mumbongo, who looked to put his name in the headlines in the final few minutes of normal time. The striker sprinted in behind but Nicholls made a smart reflex stop to block Mumbongo’s scuffed effort. 

The FA Cup curse looked set to continue until two substitutes combined in the final minute of added time. Mumbongo flicked Robbie Brady’s free-kick across the box and Vydra was alive to the situation, diverting the ball home from point-blank range. Extra-time beaconed.

Penny for Dyche’s thoughts. Another thirty minutes in a relentless season. 

30 more minutes

Momentum was with Burnley and Vydra, after scoring, was eagerly seeking another goal. 

Ben Gladwin wasn’t closed down and his 30-yard howitzer crashed off the post. 

At the other end, Nicholls foiled Vydra. The Czech forward looked destined to put the Clarets ahead but the goalkeeper remained tall and managed to block Vydra’s two bites of the cherry. Mombongo was available for a tap-in but Vydra only had eyes for goal, despite the narrow angle. 

Burnley continued to probe and Stephens’ nonchalantly stroked strike was blocked on its path to goal. 

The lottery of penalties came into effect and Vydra was once again denied by Nicholls. But Norris, who had been relatively untroubled throughout, became the hero, making two saves against Gladwin and Lasse Sorensen, before Bardsley rolled in the winning spot-kick. 

Player Ratings

Burnley: Norris 7; Bardsley 7, Tarkowski 6, Mee 6, Pieters 6; Gudmundsson 6, Stephens 6, Cork 6, Brady 7; Barnes 7, Wood 6. 

Subs: Benson 6, Vydra 7, Glennon 6, Mumbongo 7, Lowton 6. 

MK Dons: Nicholls 9; Williams 7, Keough 6, Lewington 7; Poole 6, Sorenson 6, Gladwin 7, Fraser 7, Harvie 6; Walker 6; Jerome 7. 

Subs: Mason 6, Laird 6, Sorionola 6, Johnson 5. 

Star Men

Will Norris (Burnley): Had very little to do before becoming the Burnley hero in the penalty shootout. 

Lee Nicholls (MK Dons): Save after save for the Dons goalkeeper. He even denied Vydra from the spot. Very unfortunate to be on the losing team.

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