To make matters worse they were beaten by a cheeky bit of improvisation in the Waddle mould, the veteran striker Tony Lormor scoring the only goal at Saltergate with a backheel.
Although the way in which he took the chance could hardly have been planned, Lormor was the beneficiary of a neatly executed set piece, Paul Holland flicking on Jamie Hewitt's fourth-minute corner.
Such an early strike inevitably increased the pressure on Burnley, but, as is often the case in such circumstances, fortune deserted them. The best of their chances fell to Andy Cooke, but his 51st-minute cross-shot came back off an upright, and, 18 minutes later, Billy Mercer produced a brilliant finger-tip save to keep out his header.
The victory kept unbeaten Chesterfield in second place, a point behind Watford.
Clarke Carlisle, an exciting 18-year-old prospect, scored with an injury- time header to give Blackpool a dramatic 2-1 home victory over promoted Carlisle United, who had barely finished celebrating the 89th-minute penalty by Owen Archdeacon that appeared to have earned them a point. Carlisle had been trailing since the 19th minute when Tony Ellis, who scored a hat-trick in a 4-3 victory at Wrexham on Tuesday, had given Blackpool the lead in the 19th minute with a close-range volley.
Peterborough replaced Cambridge at the top of the Third Division courtesy of a 5-1 home win over Barnet, with the veteran former Northern Ireland striker Jimmy Quinn scoring a hat-trick.