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23:28 15th March 2011


Burnley spurned a chance to put real pressure on the play off pack with a frustrating 2-2 home draw against Coventry City at Turf Moor.

Jay Rodriguez earned the Clarets a point with a late header after his first half opener had been cancelled out by second half strikes from Lukas Jutkiewicz and Gary McSheffrey put the managerless Sky Blues ahead.

Jay at the double!

And after a disappointing second half display that let the visitors gain the upper hand, boss Eddie Howe was left contemplating whether this could be one point gained in the long run, rather than two points surrendered.

Howe showed faith to name the same starting 11 that slumped 3-0 at home to Millwall at Turf Moor at the weekend.

And the edginess around Turf Moor caused by that hiccup returned four days later following a bright start by City.

Twice in the opening few minutes Jutkiewicz forced fine saves from Lee Grant with shots, the second coming from a half volley on the turn that the Clarets keeper palmed around the post.

Eastwood then ripped a rising drive into the side netting as City broke following Burnley's first real passage of play in the opposition half seven minutes in.

However, in the 19th minute a moment of class from Rodriguez broke the deadlock and gave the Clarets the ideal start.

Receiving Tyrone Mears' slide rule pass 40 yards from goal, the England U21 striker dinked the ball past the last defender and coolly lobbed the advancing Keiren Westwood from the edge of the box for a class finish.

Burnley quickly went in search of a second, but in the end were thankful for some generous refereeing to deny the visitors a route back into the game just before the half hour mark.

Chris Eagles clearly bundled McSheffrey over inside the penalty area as he tried to shepherd the ball to safety.

However, referee Mike Naylor and his assistant both rules the tackle had occurred just outside the box and a free kick was scant reward for the incensed Sky Blues.

However, the Clarets were now moving up though the gears and, following another slick move, Nathan Delfouneso wriggled himself into a few yards of space to sting Westwood's gloves from 18 yards.

City emerged from the interval though to step things up themselves.

And when Sammy Clingan tested Grant with a low free kick in the 53rd minute, the warning signs were there.

The pressure was now mounting on the Clarets and it took a combination of Grant and Duff to deny Jutkiewicz and smuggle the ball for a corner after Eastwood slid him in on goal.

But in the 61st minute City's pressing finally told when Jutkiewicz headed home at the second attempt inside the six-yard box after his initial attempt had cannoned back off the crossbar.

The goal had certainly been coming - and things almost got worse in the 66th minute when Wood stole in unmarked to flash a header wide inside the six yard box from a dangerous corner.

Grant then denied Baker at his near post with a crucial touch around the post after the City midfielder cut in from the left and went for the near post.

However, it only delayed the inevitable and McSheffrey compounded Burnley's misery in the 76th minute, completing the turnaround with a delightful chip over Grant from the right side of the area that floated underneath the crossbar.

Howe instantly replaced Jack Cork with Chris Iwelumo as the Clarets found themselves once again staring down the barrel of a costly home defeat.

And with 10 minutes remaining, Rodriguez dramatically hauled the hosts' level at the far post, diving in to meet Danny Fox's left wing corner and seeing the ball deflect off Aron Gunnarsson and into the net.

In a breathless second half, McSheffrey soon drilled another short corner low and right across goal as two City players opted to dummy rather than apply the killer touch.

Wade Elliott, a first half substitute for Dean Marney, could not keep his volley down as Burnley bounced off the canvas to go for the victory that would haul them onto the coat tails of the top six.

But it was not to be and the Clarets remain just outside a coveted spot in the top six ahead of the weekend trip to Bristol City.

Burnley: Grant, Eagles, Duff, Marney (Elliott 41), Fox, Wallace (Bartley 66), Delfouneso, Cork (Iwelumo 77), Rodriguez, Mears, Carlisle (c). Subs: Jensen, Alexander, Bikey, Edgar.

Coventry: Westwood, Clarke, Keogh, Wood (c), O'Halloran (Hussey 57), Gunnarsson, Baker, Clingan, McSheffrey, Eastwood, Jutkiewicz. Subs: Quirke, Bell, Ruffles, Cameron, O'Donovan, McIndoe.

Referee: Mr. M Naylor

    Data provided by Press Association