Burnley staged another second half fight to draw 3-3 at Newcastle as the hosts started life without Alan Pardew in frustrating fashion on Thursday.
Sean Dyche’s side had shocked champions Manchester City by scoring twice in the second half to draw 2-2 in their previous game and they were again on target twice after the interval through Danny Ings and George Boyd as they earned a valuable point in their fight to avoid relegation from the Premier League.
The Clarets, whose initial equaliser in the first half had come through Newcastle defender Paul Dummett’s own goal, remain second bottom of the table, but Dyche will be encouraged by their recent battling displays.
Newcastle led three times through goals from Steven Taylor, Jack Colback and Moussa Sissoko, but could not hang on for a win that would have meant so much to John Carver in his first match as their caretaker manager following Pardew’s decision to enter talks with Crystal Palace over their vacant managerial position.
With Palace target Pardew watching his prospective new side against Aston Villa, Carver made changes, with Steven Taylor replacing Mike Williamson in defence and Emmanuel Riviere taking over from the suspended striker Papiss Cisse.
There was also a tactical rethink as Yoan Gouffran and Moussa Sissoko were given far more freedom to link up with Riviere.
It meant Newcastle dominated the first half, but only after surviving a major scare in the first minute when Cheick Tiote lost the ball to Ings, whose through-ball presented Ashley Barnes with a chance that he put against a post.
It would have a nightmare start for Carver, but his side soon took control as Gouffran found space for two shots and Riviere headed over before another header from Taylor put them ahead after he outjumped Jason Shackell in the 15th minute.
The lead lasted for only four minutes, however, before Burnley were gifted an equaliser by Dummett’s carelessness when he tried to head back to Jak Alnwick, but only succeeded in directing it over the head of the stranded goalkeeper.
– Brief interruption –
It proved to be a brief interruption to Newcastle’s authority and they went in front again after 26 minutes when Colback collected a pass from Daryl Janmaat and drilled a powerful 25-yard shot inside a post.
Burnley’s difficult task was made even harder as they had to use all their substitutes inside the opening 37 minutes as Jason Shackell, Dean Marney and Kevin Long all had to go off.
It was particularly cruel on Long, who made his Premier League debut when he replaced Shackell in the 17th minute, but lasted only 20 minutes before he was injured and taken off on a stretcher.
The early exits of those players disrupted Burnley’s plans, but this is a team with formidable spirit as they showed at City earlier in the week.
And, just as in the opening half, they were so close to an early goal after the restart.
This time they hit the frame of the goal on two occasions as Ings shot against the underside of the bar and Barnes headed the rebound against the post.
Dyche’s side were again so close to an equaliser when Ben Mee headed against the bar before they did level when Ings got the faintest of touches to Michael Kightly’s cross in the 66th minute and the ball drifted inside the far post.
Newcastle responded in the 78th minute when Sissoko drove United back into the lead, but Boyd ensured the right result to an entertaining match with an angled shot past Alnwick four minutes from the end.