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Sunday, 21 April, 2002, 16:38 GMT 17:38 UK
Burnley cruelly miss out
Gareth Taylor's goal was not enough to earn Burnley a play-off spot
Gareth Taylor's goal was not enough for Burnley

Burnley suffered last-day heartbreak after missing out on a play-off spot by the narrowest possible margin on goal difference.

Gareth Taylor's second-half strike proved insufficient to keep a side who led the table at the start of the year, in the play-off places.

And a late substitute appearance by Paul Gascoigne could mark his farewell to English football.

Stan Ternent's men had to equal or better Norwich's result against Stockport.

The Canaries' 2-0 victory leapfrogged them into sixth position and the last precious play-off spot by one goal.

Plucked

When, just two minutes after coming on as a substitute, Taylor rose to put the Clarets one up, it would have been enough as Norwich only held a one-goal lead at the time.

But those hopes were soon dashed and, with Birmingham also winning, the home fans were left to ponder what might have been.

Burnley conceded three goals at Grimsby last week, and dropped 15 points in their last seven league games.

Burnley's best chance of the opening stages came in the 16th minute when Lee Briscoe was just unable to get on the end of an excellent right-wing cross.

Dean West's pin-point centre was just plucked off the head of David Johnson by Magnus Hedman and on 34 minutes Paul Weller was put through but his shot was easily parried by Hedman.

Ian Moore's clever through ball after 40 minutes should have seen Johnson grabbing his sixth goal in eight games since joining the club on loan from Notts Forest

Last throw

But the Jamaican's first touch was awful allowing Hedman an easy pick-up.

Coventry were beginning to look more of a threat in front of goal and Gary McSheffrey should have done better when presented with a good chance.

Burnley needed a goal and got it within two minutes of Taylor's introduction for Mitchell Thomas, the substitute heading in West's right-wing cross.

News of Norwich's second goal knocked the wind out of Burnley's sails.

Ternent's last throw of the dice brought Gascoigne and he almost created a fairytale finish with two stoppage time free-kicks .

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Sport's Peter Slater
"So Burnley didn't make the play-offs - again"
Burnley boss Stan Ternant
"I'm disappointed for the fans"
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21 Apr 02 | Eng Div 1
21 Apr 02 | Eng Div 1
21 Apr 02 | Eng Div 1
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