Burnley 3 Bristol City 1
Battling Burnley showed true grit to overcome a half time deficit and surely consign Bristol City to relegation from the Championship.
Despite dominating the opening 45 minutes, the Clarets trailed at the break to Albert Adomah’s breakaway goal.
That might have left nerves fluttering in the home dressing room as Sean Dyche delivered his half time team talk.
But the response was emphatic as goals before the hour mark by Jason Shackell and Chris McCann – his first since scoring the stoppage time winner at Ashton Gate six months ago – finally gave the scoreline an air of respectability.
McCann on target
A dramatic penalty save from Lee Grant seven minutes from time, after Adomah has his heels clipped by Joseph Mills, preserved the precious lead.
And in the first minute of stoppage time, substitute Martin Paterson put a sheen on the day with a clinical third at the second attempt.
Burnley made two changes from the team that drew 1-1 with Nottingham Forest on Easter Monday.
Joseph Mills, who deputised for the injury Ben Mee, started his first game since December 22, and fit-again Dean Marney was back in midfield for Marvin Bartley.
City arrived at Turf Moor seven points from safety and with their Championship status hanging by a thread.
And things could have been immediately worse for the visitors, had Sam Vokes converted his volley from 12 yards inside the opening 90 seconds, following Austin’s clever flick
The tables were turned a few minutes later as Vokes turned provider with a low cross that Austin flicked on, only for Tom Heaton to make a fine save.
And the City stopper incredibly topped that in the sixth minute, diving full length to somehow keep out Austin’s downward header from a hanging Ross Wallace cross.
As the early onslaught continued, Marney took aim from 30 yards and curled a beauty just wide of goal with Heaton sprawling.
It was all Burnley in those early stages and Vokes was inches away in the 19th minute as he spun the last defender and fired across goal and just over the angle.
But completely against the run of play, Bristol broke upfield in the 35th minute to take the lead.
Steven Davies’ delightful threaded ball was weighted perfectly for the pacy Adomah to outpace last defender Mills, round Lee Grant and slot the ball back through Mills’ legs and stun Turf Moor into silence.
The response was as expected, as Burnley tore at City and, from a corner seven minutes from time, Austin bulleted a header just over from Wallace’s left wing corner.
And Junior Stanislas might have restored parity just before half time with a curling effort form the left side of the box that failed to trouble Heaton.
The Clarets were left wondering just how they were behind after a half they totally dominated.
But six minutes after the break, Stanislas was instrumental in the set play that finally and deservedly got Burnley level.
His wicked, inswinging corner from the left evaded everyone at the near post and bounced across goal for Shackell to show lightening reflexes and nod the ball just inside the far post.
Now Burnley had their tails-up and both Vokes and Chris McCann tested the overworked Heaton with a flick header and half-volley respectively.
However, City were still a dangerous beast on the break themselves and Davies fired a warning shot across the bows after finding space in the box.
But cometh the hour, cometh the goal that lifted all the underlying tension around Turf Moor.
Wallace picked up the ball in the centre circle and drove at the City defence, eventually finding Kieran Trippier on the right wing.
And from the right back’s incisive cross, McCann showed real composure to chest down and rifle the ball home from eight yards.
Burnley might have thought that would be enough for a first home victory since January 12.
But that record looked seriously under threat again in the 83rd minute when Mills needlessly challenged Adomah near the by-line and referee James Adcock, after consulting with his assistant over whether the tackle was inside the area, pointed to the spot.
But as Davies drilled his penalty high towards the top right hand corner, Grant flung himself full stretch to make a magnificent save and save the day!
And Paterson then rounded off a good day's work with the third, decisive goal in the 91st minute, firing home after his header from Trippier’s cross deflected kindly back into his path.
BURNLEY: Grant, Mills, Shackell, Long, Trippier, McCann, Marney, Stanislas, Wallace (Ings 90), Austin, Vokes (Paterson 84).
Subs: Jensen, Kacaniklic, Edgar, Lafferty, Bartley
BRISTOL CITY: Heaton, Davies, Anderson, Pearson (Howard 84), Elliott, Kelly (Kilkenny 78), Adomah, Moloney, Bates, Fontaine. Cunningham.
Booked: Marney 33, Wallace 84
Subs: Gerken, Wilson, Foster, Carey, Wilson
Booked: Adomah 24
Ref: James Adcock