Going 34 years without losing in the East Lancashire derby is all Rovers have to tediously cling on to at the moment.
As the full-time whistle sounded at Turf Moor, the fans housed inside the David Fishwick Stand burst in to celebration like they’d won the 100th encounter between the two rivals.
They hadn’t. Infact they were lucky to salvage a point from a fixture where for the majority Rovers were second best. Yes it’s been more than three decades, but the scales are tipping in favour of the Clarets.
Unfortunately, Jordan Rhodes’ fortuitous late leveller is the kind of misfortune the Clarets have been forced to endure of late. Martin Olsson’s comedic dive and David Dunn’s controversial leveller last term are all instances that have benefited the Ewood club.
The Clarets controlled the opening half of the early Championship fixture, but the fierce rivals went in level at the break.
Rovers keeper Jake Kean certainly felt the early pressure, fluffing his lines on numerous occasions in the opening stages.
First he came to gather Kieran Trippier’s diagonal cross deep in to the box but completely mis-timed his leap when under pressure from Sam Vokes. Then, moments later, he thumped Todd Kane’s back pass at Vokes but was able to breathe a sigh of relief as the ball careered just wide of the post.
The home side were hardly penetrative but retained the ball for long enough periods to keep Rovers penned back and under pressure. The Clarets were presented with another chance to test Kean once Scott Dann fouled Vokes 25 yards from goal, with Trippier zipping the resulting set-piece just over the bar.
Sean Dyche’s men were constantly looking to work the space in behind the Rovers full backs, and it was Scott Arfield who supplied a piercing pass in to the gulf behind Tommy Spurr for Trippier whose driven cross to the near post saw Jason Lowe slice agonisingly over his own crossbar with Kean scrambling.
The game was starting to follow a repetitive pattern, but frustratingly it just wouldn’t fall kindly for the hosts. Kean was forced in to a double save as Arfield and Danny Ings traded passes with the one-time England Under 21 stopper spilling the midfielder’s initial shot before reacting to turn Ings’s stinging rebound for a corner.
Rovers’ £8 million striker Jordan Rhodes had half a glance at goal midway through the half when clipping Josh King’s centre wide while at the other end referee Craig Pawson waved away appeals as Spurr man handled Arfield inside the area as loanee Micheal Kightly supplied the cross on his debut.
Kightly was involved again when whipping in a dangerous cross towards the six yard box which Grant Hanley just managed to get a touch to and divert for a corner as Vokes looked to pounce.
Rovers had one clear sight of goal in the opening 45 minutes and it took a spectacular save from Tom Heaton to keep the scores level. As Kane broke from the halfway line, he played the ball infield for Tom Cairney who looked up, picked his spot, but was denied by Heaton who plunged to the foot of his left post to turn the effort wide.
Then, as half-time loomed, Ings bent a delightful effort on to the stanchion with Kean well beaten.
The away side pressed and dominated for periods in the second half, with the Clarets looking slightly jaded. After forcing five consecutive corners, Hanley almost broke the deadlock when rising above Ben Mee from Ben Marshall’s corner but the defender glanced the effort wide from close range.
Marshall was involved again soon after but the former Leicester City man was thwarted by Heaton who sprung to his near post to gather his free-kick from 20 yards.
After an active first half, Kightly’s fatigue was telling and in the 68th minute he was replaced by Junior Stanislas who took less than 10 minutes to make an impression.
The Clarets built the momentum patiently in the middle of the park before springing the attack as Stanislas and Ings shared a one-two to take Lowe out of proceedings, before the former Hammer wrapped his left boot around the ball from 20 yards to smash an effort in to the corner to send the home crowd in to ecstasy.
Gary Bowyer responded by introducing Alan Judge and Chris Taylor at the expense of Lowe and Marshall and within minutes of that double change, Rovers levelled.
The hosts were under minimal pressure when Arfield inexplicably rolled the ball back towards Heaton but the pass lacked conviction and Rhodes profited, turned skipper Jason Shackell before standing and watching as Michael Duff’s attempted clearance ballooned up off the striker’s knee and over the head of Heaton to make it 1-1.
Lee Williamson replaced Corry Evans in time added on but lasted only minutes as he was given his marching orders. With time ticking down, Ings broke clear but Williamson - the last man - obstructed the striker’s pass with an arm and send him tumbling to the floor.
Pawson showed red, but the Clarets barely had an advantage with a free-kick 40 yards from goal. Rovers are certainly crumbling with a very ordinary squad, and in time the Clarets will take full advantage.