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17:41 25th September 2010


Veteran goalkeeper David James rolled back the years with a masterful performance as Burnley's own golden oldie for once found his Midas touch deserting him.

James stood firm to repel everything the Clarets could throw at him as Brian Laws' men were restricted to a second successive goalless draw in the Championship.

The best chance to extend their 100 per cent home record fell to Graham Alexander but for the first time as a Burnley player he missed from the penalty spot.

That came mid-way through the first half and for the next hour his team-mates did everything they could to bale out their skipper, who has so often been the match-winner.

But a limited City side defended in numbers and when the Clarets did pierce the wall of white shirts, James - and on two occasions the woodwork - blocked their way with a handful of fine saves.

The 40-year-old has not has the easiest start to his Robins' career since dropping out of the Premier League but unfortunately for Burnley chose this moment to prove that he still has plenty to offer.

David James repelled the Clarets

The first half had been a tale of frustration and set the tone for the afternoon for the Clarets, who dominated territorially but without being able to find top gear lacked the venom to force the break-through.

Jay Rodriguez, having been booked inside the first 30 seconds, forced James to save an early header and Jack Cork cracked a volley just over the top.

But Burnley, and particularly the hitherto impressive Andre Bikey, were hesitant at times at the back to give City some cause for optimism

However, they failed to test Brian Jensen as they relied heavily on trying to play through the willing Jonathan Stead on the break in an effort to try and force only a second win of the season.

And James remained the busier keeper , even though he didn't need to do anything to keep out Alexander's spot-kick as the Clarets' skipper sliced his effort wide in the 26th-minute.

Alexander had successfully converted his previous 18 penalties for Burnley, including two against the Robins in May, 2009 as the Clarets clinched their play-off place.

Yet all good things must come to an end and after Tyrone Mears had been bundled to the floor by Danny Haynes, following a clever pass from Chris Eagles, his perfect record was finally blemished.

Mears goes down for the penalty....

In an effort to make amends Alexander fired in a free-kick ten minutes later which was spilled by James. Cork pounced on the loose ball and looked a certain scorer but James recovered well to block his close-range effort with his left hand.

The City goal was under pressure again at the start of the second half as Clarke Carlisle just failed to connect with a Danny Fox corner.

But having kept themselves in the game City grew in confidence and had chances to go ahead.

Albert Adomah's cross gave Marvin Elliott a shooting chance, which he hit against team-mate Danny Rose in an off-side position in front of goal, and Liam Fontaine then planted a free header wide of the target from Jamie McAllister's floated free-kick.

However, Burnley were also getting closer with Cole Skuse poking the ball against his own bar after Rodriguez looked to reach Alexander's quick free-kick.

But for once Alexander misses

And Eagles then came alive, first creating a chance for Chris Iwelumo, forcing James to save at full stretch and then curling a shot just inches wide as the Clarets cranked up the pressure.

Laws threw on Steven Thompson and Ross Wallace in a bid to force a winner as the Clarets committed to all-out attack.

But James continued to underline his enduring class with another flying save to keep out a Fox thunderbolt ten minutes from time.

The keeper almost provided the platform for an unlikely win as City countered late on with Stead bringing a sharp save out of Jensen as he shot low towards the bottom corner.

But that would have been daylight robbery and in the last minute the Clarets were only inches away from three points as Wallace crossed superbly and Wade Elliott headed against the bar.

Burnley: Jensen, Mears, Fox, Carlisle, Bikey, Alexander (Marney 62), Cork, Elliott, Iwelumo (Thompson 75), Rodriguez (Wallace 79), Eagles. Subs: Duff, Paterson, Cort, Grant.

Bristol City: James, McAllister, Fontaine, Carey, Elliott, Haynes (Campbell-Ryce 56), Skuse, Ribeiro, Adomah, Stead, Rose. Subs: Stewart, Jonson, Clarkson, Sproule, Pitman, Gerken.

Referee: Scott Mathieson

Booked: Burnley: Rodriguez 1, Bikey 13, Thompson 75

Bristol City: McAllister 37, Campbell-Ryce

Attendance: 14,540

Chris Eagles and Chris Iwelumo sum up the frustration

    Data provided by Press Association