Burnley 1 Barnsley 1
Charlie Austin continued his return to goalscoring form but this time it wasn’t enough to give the Clarets all three points as Barnsley’s late equaliser left Sean Dyche’s men waiting for an elusive Turf Moor win.
Austin struck for the second game in a row to take his tally for the season to 26 – one shy of the total Andy Payton claimed in the promotion success of 1999/2000.
But with Burnley unable to capitalise on his early effort – and suffering at the wrong end of a couple of big refereeing decisions that didn’t go their way – they couldn't do enough to claim a first home success since the middle of January.
Austin looked as though he should have been awarded a second half penalty and Dyche tried numerous attacking options to try and pep up a stuttering display.
But Barnsley never gave up their fight and despite dropping into the relegation zone managed to claim what could yet be a valuable point when substitute Tomasz Cywka struck a classy leveller six minutes from the end.
Dyche had enjoyed the rare luxury of naming an unchanged side and the Clarets picked up where they left off at Charlton in taking an early lead.
Danny Lafferty had already experienced some early joy down the left flank when he was released again by Alex Kacaniklic on the on-loan midfielder’s home debut.
Charlie Austin fires the Clarets ahead
And this time the ball in from Lafferty was perfectly placed for the in-rushing Austin to get a touch off his knee at the near post and steer an effort over the line via the shoulder of David Perkins for his second goal in four days.
It wasn’t as spectacular as his match-winner at the Valley but was just as important as the Clarets looked to build some momentum with a first goal at Turf Moor in three games.
They couldn’t have asked for a better foundation but despite the efforts of former Barnsley loanee Kieran Trippier, sending out a wonderful range of passes from right-back, Burnley didn’t really build on their flying start.
It was bitty stuff with neither side able to hold onto the ball for long enough to dictate for any length of time and Barnsley, battling against the drop, twice went close to levelling before the break.
Marlon Harewood was adamant Lafferty had blocked his close-range effort with an arm after an air-shot from Kelvin Etuhu inside the six-yard box.
And in the final minute of the first half, after Marvin Bartley had been fouled for a trip on Chris Dagnall to allow the Tykes to float another free-kick into the penalty area, Etuhu’s header required a sharp save from Lee Grant to preserve the Clarets’ advantage.
No penalty after Charlie Austin is tripped in the box
The Clarets continued to look nervy after the break as Dagnall missed a decent chance, lobbing wide under pressure from Grant after a flick-on from Chris O’Grady had got Barnsley’s top scorer in behind the Burnley back four.
Things might have got easier for the home side had referee Carl Boyeson spotted a tug by ex-Burnley defender Stephen Foster – already on a yellow card for a crude first-half foul on Austin – on Paterson as he raced towards goal and then taken firmer action against Jacob Mellis for swinging an elbow at Bartley.
But Dyche was evidently not happy as he made a double change with Chris McCann and Danny Ings sent on to try and regain the initiative.
The change also saw Kacaniklic switch flanks and on the break he was tripped by Mellis, who this time did see yellow.
But with the resulting free-kick coming to nothing the Clarets struggled to put the game to bed with Sam Vokes sent on with 25 minutes to go in a bid to engineer a second goal.
And the move should have paid off with Vokes collecting a clearance from Bartley to break away and feed Austin with an inch-perfect pass as he ran into the penalty area.
The striker’s touch took him away from defender Martin Crainie who appeared to clip the legs of Austin but got away with it as Boyeson, possibly unsighted, again refused to budge.
Martin Paterson is pulled back by Stephen Foster but nothing is given
The Clarets were clearly aggrieved but could have taken matters into their own hands a minute later when McCann’s low cross gave Austin a chance he passed up with a mis-cue on the turn.
Austin’s far-post header from a Trippier cross then struck Foster in front of goal and with six minutes to go Barnsley struck to seal a share of the points.
And it was a finish worthy of some reward as Cywka collected a pass from Perkins to swivel 20 yards from goal and chip a curling effort into the top corner.
Burnley: Grant, Trippier, Lafferty, Shackell, Long, Edgar (McCann 53), Bartley, Stanislas (Ings 53), Austin, Paterson (Vokes 66), Kacaniklic. Subs: Stock, Mills, Treacy, Jensen.
Booked: Bartley 45
Barnsley: Steele, Wiseman, Foster, Craine, Kennedy, Mellis, Perkins, Etuhu (O’Brien 78), O’Grady, Harewood (Cywka ht), Dagnall (Scotland 55). Subs: Delap, Hassell, Tunniclffe, Lidakevicius.
Booked: Foster 32, Mellis 64
Referee: Carl Boyeson
Sean Dyche shows his frustration