BURNLEY moved 10 points clear of QPR in the automatic promotion race after Scott Arfield’s late equaliser earned them a point at Watford.
An injury-hit Clarets side looked set for defeat at Vicarage Road after Troy Deeney’s ninth minute goal for the hosts, but Arfield netted with four minutes left.
With QPR beaten at Bournemouth and Derby slipping to defeat at Middlesbrough, it means that Burnley now have a 10-point advantage in the race for second place – with only six games remaining.
Watford were ahead after nine minutes as striker Deeney was allowed to turn outside the box before hammering a 25-yard shot into the top corner – possibly aided by a slight deflection off Jason Shackell.
Burnley soon had a goal disallowed as Ashley Barnes was adjudged to have been offside when he turned in Keith Treacy’s left-wing cross.
Lewis McGugan and Deeney then fired just wide for Watford at the other end, with Burnley in danger of falling further behind.
The match settled down in the latter stages of the half, when there was also a long delay as Watford’s Cristian Battocchio was stretchered off.
Michael Kightly fired into the side netting for Burnley after the interval, although Tom Heaton had to save from Mathias Ranegie at the other end.
The Clarets came close to an equaliser when Manuel Almunia made a fine stop to keep out Ben Mee’s header from a Kightly corner, but soon afterwards Watford twice almost made it 2-0.
First Ikechi Anya went round Heaton but Chris Baird raced back to clear his scuffed shot off the line, then Daniel Pudil saw his header saved by the keeper.
But Burnley levelled with only four minutes left as Baird found Arfield on the edge of the box and the Scot worked space before firing into the bottom corner.
Burnley: Tom Heaton; Chris Baird, Michael Duff, Jason Shackell, Ben Mee; Michael Kightly, David Edgar, David Jones (Brian Stock 75), Keith Treacy (Ross Wallace 62); Scott Arfield; Ashley Barnes. Subs not used: Alex Cisak, Kevin Long, Danny Lafferty, Steven Hewitt, Jason Gilchrist.
Watford: Manuel Almunia; Gabriele Angella, Marco Cassetti, Joel Ekstrand; Ikechi Anya, Cristian Battocchio (Almen Abdi 42), Daniel Tozser, Lewis McGugan (Albert Riera 87), Daniel Pudil; Troy Deeney, Mathias Ranegie (Davide Faraoni 75). Subs not used: Jonathan Bond, Sean Murray, Samba Diakite, Tommie Hoban.
Referee: Stuart Attwell.
Attendance: 16,182 (Burnley 1,732).