Burnley 0 Crystal Palace 0

Last updated : 17 April 2006 By Footymad Previewer
Burnley extended their unbeaten run to six games to climb into a comfortable mid-table position but manager Steve Cotterill was more concerned about rules and regulations.

Cotterill was critical of having to play games in quick succession although he felt his side should have taken a maximum return against promotion chasing Crystal Palace.

Indeed, Burnley were twice denied by the woodwork, Chris McCann hitting the post and Andy Gray seeing a header crash against the crossbar.

"We had chances to win and were disappointed not to have taken them," said Cotterill.

"We might have made better decisions when opportunities came our way but other than that I thought we did well against a very strong side.

"Although we are disappointed, we are not downbeat and have conceded only once in the last six matches.

"We are quietly pleased about how we are finishing the season and with another two games to go, the opportunity is there to further climb the table."

Iain Dowie felt a point was about right for his play-off hopefuls, especially after his keeper Gabor Kiraly was well beaten on the two occasions Burnley struck the visitors' woodwork.

The Clarets made a bright start with Micah Hyde firing over from distance in search of his first goal of the season.

After deciding to leave star striker Andy Johnson among the substitutes, Palace struggled to make an impression during the first half with most of their attacks causing few problems for a well-organised Burnley defence.

Gray and Graham Branch were lively upfront for Burnley while Palace relied much on the midfield skills of Ben Watson to create openings.

It was from one of Watson's set-pieces that the visitors had a rare sight of goal but Darren Ward headed over from close range when he should at least have hit the target.

In the second half, Burnley remained the more likely scorers with Branch constantly causing a nuisance, but Palace came more into the picture when Johnson made his entrance in the 68th minute, replacing the ineffective Clinton Morrison.

With Alan Mahon, on-loan from Wigan, the best of the midfielders in the home ranks, Burnley began to gain dominance in the late stages and Mahon himself might have done better when a chance presented itself from close range.

Although Burnley might well have had claim for the maximum return, there was a case that Palace's determination and resolve was also worthy of some reward.

Dowie said: "It was a tough game against a well-organised Burnley side but I felt we were worthy of our point and we are now looking forward to the play-offs."