A HIGH profile police operation ensured East Lancashire’s eagerly-awaited derby passed off peacefully.

Steel cordons were erected in the streets around Turf Moor to keep rival factions apart at the final whistle.

A late Sam Vokes’ header earned a point for Burnley in a 1-1 draw.

Just seven arrests were made before, during and after the Championship clash.

Superintendent Terry Woods said: “I would like to thank the supporters for being patient, especially around travel arrangements.

“We said from the outset that the overwhelming majority of supporters of both teams are law abiding citizens who are passionate about supporting their football team.

“The operation was put in place to make sure that people could enjoy the occasion and get to and from the ground safely.

“The small number of arrests shows that between ourselves and the two football clubs, we have ensured that fans have been able to enjoy the game safely.”

The derby game attracted international attention with reporters from US network Fox News interviewing fans as they arrived at the ground.

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, Blackburn MP Jack Straw and political spin doctor and Clarets fan Alastair Campbell were in the crowd.

One Clarets fan, barmaid Karen Brown, originally from the Padiham Road area, flew in from Tenerife especially for the game.

She celebrated her 43rd birthday by donning a giant yellow chicken costume, in honour of Rovers’ Indian owners Venky’s.

Sixty coaches had earlier brought Rovers fans to the match.