By Simon Evans
BURNLEY, England (Reuters) - BURNLEY 1 SOUTHAMPTON 1
Burnley had waited 67 Premier League games to get a penalty and when they were finally awarded one it proved to be highly valuable -- earning them a point in a late 1-1 draw with fellow strugglers Southampton at Turf Moor on Saturday.
Ashley Barnes slotted home the spot kick in the fourth minute of stoppage time to cancel out Nathan Redmond's superbly taken 55th minute opener for Southampton, which had looked to be enough for victory.
With the clock running down, Ashley Westwood lofted a cross towards Burnley's new signing, substitute Peter Crouch whose header was handled by Saints defender Jack Stephens.
Burnley had not been given a penalty since April, 2017 but, despite the unfamiliar situation, Barnes kept his cool and slotted the ball past Alex McCarthy to extend the home side's unbeaten run to six games.
The result, a fair reflection of a close contest, leaves both sides five points above the relegation zone.
Southampton, revitalised under Austrian manager Ralph Hasenhuttl, are unbeaten in five games and have now claimed eight points from a possible 12 in their last four away.
Burnley will consider the penalty just reward after they had a strong appeal for a spot kick turned down in the 33rd minute when Barnes went down under challenge from McCarthy and was booked after his furious protests.
"I'm flummoxed. That is as clear a penalty as I have seen in a long, long time" said Burnley manager Sean Dyche.
"I am outspoken when people go down too easy. Ashley Barnes had no other choice as the keeper takes the legs away and yet Ashley comes away with a booking.
"It would have been ridiculous if we didn't get something out of the game".
Redmond's opener was a fine solo effort, the midfielder picking the ball up deep, running at the defence and beating keeper Tom Heaton with a low drive into the bottom corner.
The introduction of 38-year-old debutant Crouch in the 76th minute caused some chaos in the Saints defence and Barnes had smashed a volley against the bar before he scored from the spot.
"This feels like losing," said Hassenhuettl, "But I think it was a fair result. We had a few situations where we were lucky.
"We are unbeaten in five games which is important for me.
"We had a big chance (to win) but it's important to keep winning points consistently and that's what we are doing. This point will help us in the end very much so I see the positives."
(Reporting by Simon Evans; Editing by Ken Ferris)