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Saturday, 21 April, 2001, 16:55 GMT 17:55 UK
Burnley 0-0 Birmingham
Ian Bennett
Birmingham's Ian Bennett blocked Burnley's path
Birmingham City remain on course for a place in the First Division play-offs but they are not heading into the end-of-season showdown in peak form.

City supporters endured a 10th game without seeing their side win and moreover Burnley deserved greater reward for their efforts.

Burnley still have an outside chance of a top six finish but should have found the net and prevented Turf Moor's first goalless draw of the season.

That the midlanders survived to take a share of the spoils was down to two outstanding saves from Ian Bennett and a last-minute howler from Gareth Taylor.

The striker, on loan from Manchester City, somehow managed to direct a header wide of the target from just four yards.

And earlier Bennett twice denied the hosts with acrobatic saves.

He did remarkably well to tip over a first-half effort from Paul Weller and repeated the feat 15 minutes from time to keep out a volley from veteran Ball.

Burnley felt they should have had a penalty five minutes into the second half when a header from Kevin Ball appeared to be handled by Michael Johnson.

But referee Roger Fernandez waved away Burnley's claim.

The Blues rarely threatened although Marcelo fought hard in the role of lone striker and forced Burnley's Greek goalkeeper Nik Michopoulos into a fine diving save with a header.

City midfielder Danny Sonner needed six stitches in an eye injury in a game littered with mis-timed tackles and mis-placed passes.

Burnley needed a maximum return but they will be encouraged by a spirited performance even though Taylor missed a great chance to set the ground alight at the death.

Burnley: Michopoulos, Briscoe, West, Davis, Thomas, Armstrong, Little, Weller, Ball, Moore, Taylor. Subs: Crichton, Payton, Maylett, Mullin, Cox.

Birmingham City: Bennett, Eaden, Michael Johnson, Purse, Holdsworth, McCarthy, Hughes, O'Connor, Woodhouse, Sonner, Marcelo. Subs: Burrows, Lazaridis, Poole, Gill, Pollock.

Referee: R Furnandiz (Doncaster).

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