Burnley 1 Newcastle United 1
Burnley climbed out of the bottom three despite letting a half-time lead slip against Newcastle. With the teams just above them losing a win would have been of even greater value, but Papiss Cissé pounced to cancel out George Boyd’s opener early in the second half. The home side could also take satisfaction with merely extending their unbeaten run to four matches.
Mobile phones and the internet were new and barely-acknowledged inventions the last time these two sides met. This was not only the first-ever Premier League encounter between Burnley and Newcastle, thanks to the latter spending a season in the Championship when the Lancashire club came up last time under Owen Coyle, it was the first meeting of any kind since 1983, when both teams were in the old Second Division.
It was Burnley who were relegated 31 years ago, despite possessing players of the quality of Martin Dobson and Trevor Steven. Relegation has inevitably haunted the dreams of such occasional visitors to the Premier League this season too, though two wins and a draw in their last three games at least lifted Sean Dyche's side off the bottom and Danny Ings' goals have permitted a degree of optimism about the future.
The Burnley striker was quickly into the action here, reading Scott Arfield's reverse pass into the area in the opening minutes and bringing the first save of the game from Rob Elliot.
A clever pass from Kieran Trippier released Ings down the right shortly afterwards and Mike Williamson had to be alert to cut out his low cross. Burnley were enjoying the best of the opening quarter, finding each other well and working the ball across the width of the pitch, and instinctive interpassing between Dean Marney and Ings created a shooting chance midway through the first half that Ashley Barnes put just too high.
Newcastle attacks were more sporadic, though Tom Heaton had to make a save from Sammy Ameobi seconds after the Barnes chance and Cissé should have done better than fire high into the Jimmy McIlroy stand, when Yoan Gouffran's far-post knockdown presented him with a close-range opportunity. By the half-hour stage the running total of chances created was much more evenly shared, and it could be argued Newcastle should have taken the lead when a strong run by Mehdi Abied took him through Burnley's back line and all the way into the penalty area, only to place his shot too close to the goalkeeper.
Instead Burnley took the lead with a handsome strike on their very next attack. With his back to goal Ings guided a header back to Boyd from the edge of the visitors’ penalty area, and from just inside the D the midfielder looked up and beat Elliot with a perfectly-struck left-foot shot.
The Newcastle defence was guilty of standing off Boyd, if the truth be known, but the awareness from Ings was still creditable. The striker is out of contract at the end of the season and Newcastle are thought to be among the clubs monitoring his situation.
Ings and Boyd were also involved in the move right at the end of the first half that saw David Jones blaze a shot over the bar when clear on goal. A little more composure and Burnley could have turned around two in front.
Burnley were left regretting that profligacy when Newcastle scored right at the start of the second half.
Alan Pardew made a double substitution, sending on Steven Taylor and Remy Caballa,and the Frenchman struck lucky almost immediately.
From Cabella's blocked shot, the ball ran for Daryl Janmaat to cross from the right, and in the centre a flick from Gouffran helped it into the path of Cisse.
Burnley were sliced wide open in a way they had not been throughout the first half, and when the ball reached the striker there was never any doubt that he would find the target for his fifth goal of the season.
Predictably Newcastle began playing with more confidence and authority after that, and Michael Keane was booked for halting Massadio Haidara's flying run down the left wing by illegal means. Burnley suffered a further setback when Stephen Ward had to depart on a stretcher following a collision with Gouffran and spent most of the rest of the game on the back foot.
Marney put a shot over near the end but it was a hopeful, rather tired effort from distance. Newcastle too were tired at the close, Emmanuel Rivière conjuring a late chance for Cissé to steal a winner but seeing the striker fall over just as he was in the act of shooting.