Burnley 1 Southampton 1: Miller holds firm as Saints inch away from drop zone

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The Independent Football

A draw was always the most likely result between two sides who had won only four of their previous 26 league games and Burnley and Southampton duly crept a point each nearer to safety at Turf Moor last night.

An evening that yielded two goals inside the first 10 minutes petered out thereafter, with Burnley dominating possession in the second half but unable to force the winner they deserved.

Kevin Miller, preferred in the Southampton goal to Paul Smith, capped an outstanding second-half performance with a point-blank save from Chris McCann. Burnley also hit the crossbar in the second half through Alan Mahon.

Burnley remain four points clear of Southampton, who are only seven points ahead of Millwall in the final relegation place, having won only eight league games all season.

"It was a hard game," said the Saints' manager George Burley. "I was pleased with the first-half performance. Now we've got six games to go with plenty to play for."

Southampton, making their first trip to Burnley in 28 years, were ahead within a minute, Richard Chaplow instrumental in the build-up. He exchanged passes with Grzegorz Rasiak before feeding Alexander Ostlund. The full-back's low cross was intended for Rasiak, but Bardsley, in attempting to clear, sliced into his own net.

Andy Gray quickly brought Burnley level, rounding the keeper before side-footing into the net.

"I thought we deserved to win," said Steve Cotterill, the Burnley manager. "Our second-half performance was very good ­ their keeper made a couple of terrific saves to keep them level."

Burnley (4-4-2): Jensen; Bardsley, Sinclair, Duff, Harley; Mahon, J O'Connor (Hyde, 90), McCann, Branch; Ricketts (Lafferty, 74), Gray. Substitutes not used: Elliott, G O'Connor, Spicer.

Southampton (4-4-2): Miller; Ostlund (Potter, 69), Lundekvam, Kenton, Higginbotham; Chaplow, Baird, Wright, McCann; Madsen (Jones, 69), Rasiak. Substitutes not used: Smith (gk), Blackstock, Dyer.

Referee: A Marriner (West Midlands).

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