PHOTOS: Burnley 3, Sheffield Wednesday 3
NOT even a Charlie Austin hat-trick could inspire the Clarets to victory over Sheffield Wednesday at Turf Moor.
Somehow Eddie Howe's men surrendered the lead on three occasions, incredibly within a minute twice, to cap a miserable few days.
On the back of a calamitous display from Craig Pawson and conceding late against Millwall, the Clarets, who led in the 84th minute, spectacularly capitulated again in the closing minutes, albeit by a remarkable strike from Owls forward Michail Antonio.
In a wide open fixture, with both sides posing a potent attacking threat, there was always going to be goals. The Clarets could have had an early penalty when Jay Bothroyd hacked down Junior Stanislas, but referee David Coote waved away the appeals.
Shortly after Wednesday should have been a goal to the good. Jermaine Johnson, a constant menace bursting forward from the back, supplied the diagonal pass, Nejic Pecnik cushioned a header in to the path of Antonio, but the frighteningly quick forward lifted over the bar from close range.
But the fixture swung like a pendulum. As the visitors pressed, the Clarets picked holes in the midfield and it was Dean Marney's pass through to Martin Paterson that pinned Wednesday back before the striker attacked his marker, bending a delightful effort around Kirkland and the post.
Eventually, midway through the half, the breakthrough arrived. An intricate passage of play saw Michael Duff and David Edgar work the ball from the back, Ross Wallace took over before feeding Trippier and the right-back's cross was perfect for Austin who steered his header past the Owls stopper.
However, it took just 30 seconds for Dave Jones's side to equalise. In Antonio the away side had a real dangerman and it was from Anthony Gardner's pass that the pacy forward glided past Trippier and whipped in the centre for O'Grady to glance past Lee Grant.
Conceding certainly sparked the Clarets in to life as they found their swagger, and troubled their opponents with urgency, fluidity and clever movement. Howe's side were neat in possession, but failed to trouble Kirkland for a short period after Wallace had flashed a shot from distance wide.
Grant saved at full stretch to steer Ross Barkley's low drive past the post before the same player rounded Grant, had the honesty to stay on his feet, but found the side-netting with his effort. But Austin grabbed his second, his 13th of the season, when carefully watching Trippier's spectacular cross before nodding in to the corner.
Both sides had chances early in the second half - Edgar headed wide after reacting to Paterson's flick while Grant palmed Bothroyd's drive to safety - but Wednesday slowly imprinted their superiority on the fixture with an energetic performance.
And that desire was rewarded when Bothroyd's threaded pass cut through a static Burnley rearguard and O'Grady beat the offside trap, glided past Grant and stroked in his second of the game despite a last ditch attempt to block by Trippier.
The country's leading scorer, Austin, almost restored the home side's lead after turning Gardner when cornered and lashing a fierce drive at the legs of Kirkland at his near post. Unfortunately everything Austin is achieveing is being negated by a loose, permeable Clarets defence.
The movement of Bothroyd, Antonio and O'Grady, constantly opening up the backline with clever, intelligent positional interchanges, was causing problems and Antonio somehow missed from well inside the six-yard box when substitute Rhys McCabe found him unmarked at the back post, but Grant pulled the effort off the line.
Wednesday seemed the more likely, committing bodies forward and pinning the Clarets deep, but against the run of play the hosts seemed to have snatched victory with five minutes remaining. Austin latched on to Marney's floated pass, coasted past Martin Taylor on the edge of the box, before thumping past Kirkland to send the home crowd in to raptures.
That should have been game over, but the vociferous support were unable to draw breath when Antonio picked up possession 25 yards from goal, had a quick look up, before executing a beautiful, measured finish over Grant and in to the top corner.
It proved another disappointing finale for the Clarets. Two points being there only reward for five goals scored on home soil against two of the Championship's struggling outfits. It is, without doubt, a case of four points dropped from the last two games.