Burnley held at relegation-battlers Blackpool but stretch lead at the top
Runaway Championship leaders Burnley extended their lead at the summit to 13 points despite a frustrating 0-0 Lancashire derby draw at Blackpool.
The Clarets had the better of the chances at Bloomfield Road but, despite failing to score, stretched their impressive unbeaten league run to 14 games as they advance their charge for immediate promotion back to the Premier League.
Blackpool goalkeeper Chris Maxwell made a string of fine saves to thwart the visitors, who battled bravely to earn a precious point in their bid to avoid relegation.
Seasiders boss Mick McCarthy made four changes to his misfiring side after back-to-back league defeats at the hands of Blackburn and Reading respectively.
And opposite number Vincent Kompany made six changes to his team that edged League One Fleetwood on Wednesday night to secure a place in the FA Cup quarter-finals for the first time in 20 years.
And it was the in-form Clarets who made the brighter start as they looked to extend their impressive unbeaten league run.
Midfielder Josh Brownhill went close to firing the visitors ahead after only 12 minutes, but his shot was cleared off the line and team-mate Nathan Tella couldn’t find a way to force the rebound over.
Striker Jerry Yates made a nuisance of himself for the Seasiders, but he frustratingly fired wide for the hosts soon after.
Ashley Barnes found space inside the box but he headed over from a contentious free-kick for the visitors.
But then the Clarets were rocked by an injury to Brownhill, who was forced off after a heavy challenge in the 26th minute. Scott Twine replaced him as the Clarets were forced to shuffle their pack.
However, it was the Seasiders who had a penalty shout waved away just before the half-hour mark having been starved of possession early in the contest.
Midfielder Sonny Carey went down in the box after a challenge from Swedish centre-back Hjalmar Ekdal, but referee Thomas Bramall was having none of it and waved away the home side’s protests.
Experienced Icelandic international Johann Gudmundsson was denied the opener after a fine fingertip save from outstretched Seasiders’ shot-stopper Maxwell four minutes before the break.
And Maxwell saved a Tella header from an Anass Zaroury cross on the stroke of half-time as the Clarets finished the stronger.
Zaroury rifled wide three minutes after the restart as the visitors returned with real purpose in their search to break the deadlock.
And just three minutes later Josh Cullen blasted high and wide as the pressure intensified on the Seasiders.
Midfielder Kenny Dougall worked himself some space just before the hour mark, but his powerful shot was charged down as the Clarets quickly dispelled the danger.
Gudmundsson had a second great chance to fire the visitors ahead with 20 minutes left, but Maxwell parried his goalbound shot and the home side were able to clear the ball.
Substitute Twine thought he’d scored from a thunderbolt free-kick, but Maxwell produced a stunning save to thwart him.
The Clarets pushed hard to snatch a winner in the closing stages but the Seasiders held firm.
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