Sky Bet Championship: Burnley lose ground on title race with Brighton draw
Last Updated: 28/01/14 10:21pm
Danny Ings: Came close, but couldn't find breakthrough
Burnley lost further ground on the Sky Bet Championship's top two as they were unable to find a way past Brighton in a second straight Turf Moor draw.
It was a frustrating evening for the Clarets as while they maintained an unbeaten home run in the league which dates back to March, they also hit the post in either half in the 0-0 stalemate.
Leaders Leicester won at Birmingham to give themselves an 11-point cushion over Burnley while second-placed QPR's success against Bolton opened up a three-point gap for them.
Brighton have play-off aspirations of their own but both Kazenga LuaLua and substitute Andrea Orlandi were brilliantly thwarted by goalkeeper Tom Heaton in the scoreless draw.
Having not played at the weekend, Clarets boss Sean Dyche took his team to Spain for some warm-weather training, and they had clearly been experimenting with their set-piece routines out in Alicante as Michael Kightly and Danny Ings displayed when the former hit the woodwork inside the opening 20 minutes.
The on-loan winger rolled a corner short into Burnley's top scorer and got it back via a neat back-heel before striking the base of the near post from an acute angle.
With few chances in the opening exchanges, the fans had instead been entertained by pantomime villain LuaLua, who cast himself in that role by swiftly recovering from an ankle injury which had stopped play.
The boos that earned him were nearly silenced, though, as he skipped through only to be denied by a smart stop from Heaton.
The Seagulls arrived at Turf Moor having conceded a league-low 10 goals away from home in 13 games and both teams were on course for a clean sheet when half-time was reached, with Burnley's much-vaunted strike-pairing of Ings and Sam Vokes kept quiet.
While Ings has garnered much of the attention this season, Vokes has also been almost as prolific and his first chance to make it four goals in as many games came early in the second half when he flashed a header wide from David Jones' free-kick.
The hosts went closer still to scoring on the hour mark and, this time, the home supporters must have wished the chance had fallen to either of their top forwards.
Another short corner was played into Ings and the England Under-21 international swivelled inside the box before sticking a cross up to the back post where centre-back Michael Duff, stretching to reach the centre, toe-poked over from point-blank range.
Brighton goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak had enjoyed a relatively trouble-free night yet was needed when called upon, clawing away Vokes' back-post header from his own goal-line.
Dyche turned to former Seagulls forward Ashley Barnes from the bench to try and force a fairytale, although it was one of his ex-team-mates who almost scored for the Clarets.
Jones' free-kick went into a cluster of bodies and it looked like Jake Forster-Caskey nodded the ball on to Kuszczak's post before the danger was cleared.
At the other end, Orlandi could have won it but Heaton stood up to his left-foot blast from close-range and then Barnes, with the script seemingly ready to be penned, sent an ambitious overhead kick wide.
Sky Bet Championship
Tue 28th Jan
Barnsley2 - 2Blackburn
Birmingham1 - 2Leicester
Bournemth2 - 1Huddersfld
Burnley0 - 0Brighton
Derby3 - 2Yeovil
Doncaster3 - 0Charlton
Leeds1 - 1Ipswich
Middlesbro'0 - 0Wigan
Millwall1 - 1Sheff Wed
QPR2 - 1Bolton
Reading5 - 1Blackpool
Sky Bet Championship
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