MICHAEL Kightly’s goal has taken Burnley to the brink of promotion with victory at Blackpool – as the Clarets now need just two points to return to the Premier League.

Kightly curled in from the edge of the box in the 49th minute to secure victory for Burnley at Blackpool.

Automatic promotion could have been confirmed this evening, but Derby beat Doncaster to take the promotion race to Monday. Burnley will now secure promotion if they win at home to Wigan.

Burnley had the first chance of the game when Jack Robinson’s poor backpass played in Kightly, only for Matt Gilks to save.

Ashley Barnes then appealed for a penalty when he seemed to be bundled over in the box.

The Clarets were backed by 2,300 vocal travelling supporters, who spent the entire game on their feet, but Blackpool had a chance when on-loan Blackburn Rovers forward blasted an angled shot wide.

There was another opportunity for Burnley as Craig Cathcart’s slip allowed Scott Arfield to release Danny Ings, whose shot was straight at Gilks.

The Clarets almost went ahead at the start of the second half when David Jones’ short corner found Michael Duff, who controlled in the box before firing wide.

But the goal came in the 49th minute when Kightly cut inside from the right and curled a superb 20-yard effort into the far corner.

The match was held up soon afterwards as Blackpool supporters threw tennis balls on to the pitch and fans then raced across the playing surface in protest at Karl Oyston after the Tangerines’ alarming slide into relegation trouble.

Barnes almost made it 2-0 in the closing stages as he headed over a cross from substitute Junior Stanislas.

The Clarets had to defend resolutely as Blackpool pushed for an equaliser in injury time, as Kieran Trippier made a fine goal-line clearance to deny Harrison McGahey.

Burnley manager Sean Dyche was jubilant at full-time but believes focus is still the key for his side. He said: "We've got to go again Monday, the focus stays the same.

"We knew it was going to be a strange one with all the tennis ball stuff but I thought we controlled that well.

"We always felt we had enough quality to get ourselves in front. One of the main things about the Championship is you have to find different ways of winning."

Burnley: Tom Heaton, Kieran Trippier, Michael Duff, Jason Shackell, Ben Mee; Scott Arfield, Dean Marney (Chris Baird 82), David Jones, Michael Kightly (Junior Stanislas 68); Danny Ings (David Edgar 90), Ashley Barnes. Subs not used: Alex Cisak, Kevin Long, Keith Treacy, Ross Wallace.

Blackpool: Matt Gilks; Chris Basham, Craig Cathcart, Harrison McGahey; Tony McMahon, Isaiah Osboune (Stephen Dobbie 70), Barry Ferguson, David Perkins, Jack Robinson (Andy Halliday 44); Neal Bishop, David Goodwillie (Louis Almond 55). Subs not used: Elliot Grandin, Tom Barkhuizen, Faris Haroun, Andy Keogh.

Referee: Michael Oliver.