The reaction of strike pair Danny Ings and Lukas Jutkiewicz said everything at the sound of referee Graham Scott’s full-time whistle.
The duo slumped to the ground, head hung in hands, despite the Clarets earning a hard fought point in a 1-1 draw against Aston Villa at Turf Moor.
But it could’ve been so much different as both Ings and Jutkiewicz spurned glorious opportunities inside five minutes of stoppage time.
Victory would have lifted Sean Dyche’s side out of the Premier League’s bottom three - with Leicester City and Hull City losing to QPR and Manchester United respectively - but the Clarets stretched their unbeaten run to three games.
Banners on show in the David Fishwick stand - housing thousands of Villa fans - illustrated opposition to Paul Lambert’s tenure with one reading: “Stats don’t lie, Lambert out”.
And the statistics certainly don’t lie. Going in to the fixture Villa hadn’t won in eight games, scoring just two goals in that period. The club was also ranked bottom of the division in terms of goals scored, shots, shots on target, shot conversion rate, shooting accuracy and chances created.
But that wasn’t evident on the away side’s first half showing. Villa - without assistant Roy Keane, who jumped ship prior to the fixture, striker Christian Benteke, Fabian Delph and Ron Vlaar - were vibrant, creative and incisive and continuously found space between Burnley’s two banks of four while supplying penetrative passes to get behind the home side’s rearguard.
Villa’s drive and pace proved problematic from the outset, and the linesman’s flag was wrongly raised as Gabby Agbonlahor moved goal side of Michael Keane to caress Alan Hutton’s sweeping centre wide of the upright.
Agbonlahor went close again moments later when his drive from outside the box flashed wide via a deflection and from Ashley Westwood’s resulting corner, Dean Marney headed off the line from defender Ciaran Clark.
Marney was again on hand to block from yet another Villa set-piece, as Republic of Ireland international Clark towered above Ashley Barnes and Jason Shackell to meet Westwood’s delivery.
The hosts, looking for a third successive victory in England’s top tier for the first time since January 1975, responded through Michael Kightly but the winger pulled his effort wide of Brad Guzan’s far post after a superbly improvised flick to force a route past Joe Cole.
Dyche’s men have conceded nine headed goals this term, and Clark looked intent on increasing that number in to double figures. The defender rose again from Westwood’s corner but his header floated wide.
Agbonlahor seemed full of life after his goal against Southampton at Villa Park on Monday evening, but he should have netted his fourth of the campaign when Tom Cleverly and Cole combined to breach Burnley’s back four but the striker took the opportunity too early and Tom Heaton saved to his left.
After Heaton thwarted Cleverly low to his right and Guzan denied George Boyd from distance, Cole, making his first league start since January, broke the deadlock with his first goal in 11 months.
Andreas Weimann fed the pass in to the box from the right and the former Hammer, played onside by Michael Keane, slipped ahead of Shackell and slid the ball beyond Heaton.
Guzan beat away Ings’s thumping drive in the run up to the interval, but Villa took their advantage in to the half-time break.
The Villains hadn’t won at Turf Moor in 23 attempts prior to this fixture - dating back to September 1936 - and Dyche’s men hit back in the second half in hope of prolonging that agony.
Kightly went close when latching on to Ings’s header from Trippier’s pass, but Guzan took the sting out of the former Potter’s effort and Alan Hutton hacked off the line.
Once Heaton beat away Weimann’s attempt and Ings glanced wide from Trippier’s cross, Dyche made a double change with Jutkiewicz and Scott Arfield replacing Ashley Barnes and Kightly respectively.
Jutkiewicz went agonisingly close to converting Trippier’s set-piece within moments of his introduction, but with the clock ticking down the substitute forced the incident that led to the home side’s equaliser.
In the 87th minute, when turning on a ball over the top, Jutkiewicz was pulled to the turf by defender Jores Okore. Ings took on the responsibility from the spot and the England Under 21 international slammed the ball in to the roof of the net from 12 yards out to notch his fourth of the season.
At that point the Clarets had their opponents against the ropes, but they couldn’t quite dish out the knockout blow.
Ings struck the foot of the post from Trippier’s clever cut back as the hosts pressed before Jutkiewicz went excruciatingly close from substitute Ross Wallace’s cross but Guzan was relieved to see the header graze the outside of the post.
Jack Grealish almost stole maximum points for the away side with a late volley when robbing Shackell on the edge of the box, but Heaton stooped low to save.
The Clarets now welcome Newcastle United on Tuesday evening who will be without suspended pair Jack Colback and Moussa Sissoko.