Burnley 2-2 West Ham

West Ham fought back from 2-0 down at Burnley to salvage their fifth successive Championship draw.

Martin Paterson sent Burnley in two goals to the good at the interval after Marvin Bartley opened the scoring with a fine individual effort.

But goals from Kevin Nolan and James Tomkins in two second-half minutes rescued a point for the Hammers.

Sam Baldock spurned a golden opportunity to take the points at the death, but blazed over from six yards.

The result, and victories for top two Southampton and Reading, left Sam Allardyce's men four points shy of the automatic promotion places, albeit with a game in hand.

Even so, it was a point more than they had looked like taking for much of the game.

The first clear-cut chance of the afternoon fell to the home side when recalled left-back Ben Mee found space to cross for Paterson, who sent his free header wide.

Carlton Cole should have given the Hammers the lead when he latched on to Martin Taylor's through-ball and rounded Clarets goalkeeper Lee Grant, but scuffed his shot into the side netting.

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Draw feels like a loss - Allardyce

The visitors paid the price as Bartley charged past Danny Collins and unleashed a low drive that Robert Green could only touch into the corner of his net.

Burnley doubled their lead 10 minutes before half-time as Mee was allowed to advance down the left, with Paterson converting at the near post.

West Ham's comeback began in the 68th minute as Gary O'Neil lofted a speculative ball forward and Nolan lobbed the on-rushing Grant.

And two minutes later it was all square when Nicky Maynard flicked on Mark Noble's free-kick and Tomkins provided the decisive touch.

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce: "I'm flabbergasted how we did not win that.

"I'm stunned and shocked but that's football. I was stunned at half-time that we were 2-0 down. We dominated the game from the very start and kept slipping up. We kept missing chances. Whatever we did we couldn't find the net.

"In the second half we got better and better and then squandered so many chances. It's a massive cost to us because we should have won comfortably.

"This could be the turning point in our season with regards to getting automatic promotion. It makes things more tense and tight.

"I just told the players to carry on the way they were playing at half-time as chance after chance went begging.

"It was just two defensive slip-ups that cost us. The second one was an ordinary cross we should have dealt with. I've never seen a game like that."

Burnley manager Eddie Howe: "I'm very disappointed as we were excellent and very brave. We took 10-15 minutes to settle but we had a lot of confidence.

"They are a strong, physical side, but the third goal was crucial in the game and they got it.

"We have to say people are growing. We wanted to have a show of spirit and play for the club. I'm disappointed by the result but I'm very enthusiastic about the performance.

"We're kicking ourselves because I believe we had the capability of being good enough this year. We've surrendered some leads and that's something we need to focus on.

"We've competed really well against the top sides and given good accounts of ourselves in the big games. It's perhaps more the games against the teams down the lower end when we've struggled and dropped points when we should not have done so.

"It's such small margins as we could easily have been knocking on the door. We will have to learn that quickly for next year and keep the group together and have a good push for promotion."

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