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16:59 21st April 2012


While Blackpool anticipate a crack at the play-offs and the possibility of a second promotion in three years, Burnley can only look forward to the end of the season and the chance to re-group after defeat in the Lancashire derby.

Three second-half goals killed off the Clarets as their proud away record ended in disappointing fashion with a club record-equalling 11th away success of the campaign proving beyond them.

Despite falling behind to a Stephen Dobbie strike, Burnley were unfortunate to trail at the break with goalkeeper Matt Gilks keeping Blackpool's noses in front.

But Gary Taylor-Fletcher's header two minutes into the second half swung the game decisively the Seasiders' way.

And two disastrous goals, gifted to Stephen Crainey and Nouha Dicko, summed up an ultimately disappointing afternoon and, perhaps, a season which has seen the Clarets come up short and look on in envy at the play-off bound Seasiders.

With Blackpool chasing the prize of a top-six finish and the Clarets determined not to let them have it on a plate, neither side held back in a frenetic start.

Charlie Austin and Danny Ings go close for the Clarets

Following three corners in the opening seven minutes Burnley were the first to ask a question of the opposing goalkeeper with Chris McCann meeting a Ross Wallace cross with shot on the turn at the near post which was gathered by Gilks.

But Blackpool were quick to respond with Tom Ince testing Lee Grant with a skidding drive and with 21 minutes gone the Seasiders went ahead.

Clarets' midfielder Dean Marney was unhappy to be penalised by referee Chris Marginson for a trip on Dobbie and the on-loan striker rubbed salt into the wounds as he accepted a short free-kick to hammer a low shot beyond Grant from 30 yards as the Clarets were seemingly still getting organised.

It was just the start Blackpool wanted as they looked to build on one of the best home records in the division but Burnley's response was such that they were almost level within 60 seconds.

Wallace and Kieran Trippier provided the Clarets' with a constant threat down the right-hand side and when the two combined again, Trippier cut in and looked as though he had picked out the bottom corner with his left foot until Gilks got down to make a superb save.

Most of the attacking was being done by Burnley and from a Danny Lafferty cross McCann headed just wide.

But it was the delivery from Trippier that was causing Blackpool most of their problems and with half an hour gone Charlie Austin avoided the attention of Ian Evatt and Alex Baptiste - who had both won vital aerial battles for their side - to power in a header which Gilks was happy to beat away.

Gary Taylor-Fletcher's goal was decisive

The Seasiders were content, or perhaps obliged, to try and play on the break with Dobbie often the fulcrum of their attacks.

And it was Dobbie who wriggled free-again following a free-kick in first-half stoppage time to get in a shot which Grant needed to save to keep his side in touch going into the break.

The Clarets had been more than a match for a side knocking on the door of a possible instant Premier League return but two minutes into the second half they were faced with a two-goal deficit to overcome as the Seasiders clinically doubled their lead.

There appeared no obvious danger with Crainey out on the touchline but the quality of his deep cross cut out both of Burnley's central defenders and allowed Taylor-Fletcher to peel away and direct an excellent header back across Grant and over the line before Michael Duff could clear.

The Clarets desperately needed a goal to get back in it and Marvin Bartley had the chance after Wallace's free-kick had been saved by Gilks.

Lee Grant is beaten for the third goal

However, the midfielder lifted his effort over the top and with just over half an hour to go Howe replaced Bartley with Danny Ings to try and spark a fightback.

But the striker's first piece of action was to chase back and make a fine tackle on Blackpool substitute Dicko as he raced clear and with 62 minutes gone any chance the Clarets had of mounting a comeback was snuffed out by an error from Grant.

Blackpool cleverly worked an opening for the overlapping Crainey to burst into the box but his shot should never have beaten Grant as the Burnley keeper allowed the ball to slip through his hands and into the net.

With the belief sucked out of them the Clarets' response was muted, although a mis-kick from Gilks gave Ings the sniff of a consolation effort and Austin and Danny Lafferty both headed wide.

But with ten minutes to go Blackpool were handed a fourth to complete Burnley's sorry decline.

Trippier thought Ince was offside from Kevin Phillips' through-ball but should have intercepted the pass first and then waited for a flag.

Kieran Trippier shows his disappointment

Instead, Ince was given the benefit of the doubt and strode on to square for Dicko to slot home.

Phillips had a further chance to pile on the misery but for once his finishing was awry as Grant saved.

And the Clarets' keeper also had to keep out a late effort from Ince as the Seasiders roared on towards the play-off shoot-out and Burnley were left to contemplate their heaviest defeat of the season.

Blackpool: Gilks, Crainey, Eardley, Evatt, Dobbie (Sylvestre 70), Taylor-Fletcher (Dicko 58), Baptiste, Ferguson, M Phillips (K Phillips 77), Angel, Ince. Subs: Harris, Lua Lua.

Booked: Evatt 38

Burnley: Grant, Trippier, Lafferty, Duff, Edgar, Marney, Bartley (Ings 58), Wallace, McCann, Austin (McQuoid 88), Stanislas (Jackson 88). Subs: Howieson, Jensen.

Booked: Stanislas 38

Referee: Chris Sarginson

Attendance: 14,141 (Burnley 2,116)

Joe Jackson makes his League debut

    Data provided by Press Association