AS the pension crisis bites, the Government might yet find a glimmer of hope in Burnley.

Because it's unlikely many football fans in the town will live long enough to enjoy a lengthy retirement given the precarious nature of following the Clarets.

One minute the heart can be beating along nicely as Steve Cotterill's side grinds out another well-deserved and welcome point on the road.

Then it's back to Turf Moor and the blood pressure rockets through the roof during 90 nerve-wracking minutes.

The way things are going, pacemakers will need to form part of the season ticket package before too long!

A third successive draw, the sixth in seven league games and ninth of the campaign, more than any of their Championship rivals - was certainly achieved the hard way with Burnley twice coming back from a goal down after threatening to put the game to bed long before half-time.

None of the previous draws have been ground out in such a gutsy fashion. And if that says one thing about a squad that sometimes looks dead on its feet, it's that they are not prepared to draw their own pensions just yet.

A strange one this, as most Burnley fans headed for home contemplating a victory that looked there for the taking, yet in the end relieved to have extended an unbeaten run to nine games since losing at home to Gillingham way back on August 30.

But in the cold light of day, few fans can have any real complaints.

Coventry boss Peter Reid has inherited problems similar to those of opposite number Steve Cotterill, yet his side rolled up at Turf Moor determined to play a full part in the proceedings.

It looked to be an ill-advised ploy as Burnley, with Jean Louis Valois operating as a right winger and Ian Moore restored to his favoured attacking role, countered City's 4-4-2 line-up to put the visitors firmly on the back foot.

The first half belonged almost entirely to the hosts, carving out chance after chance but drawing a blank due to a combination of poor finishing and solid goalkeeping from on-loan Manchester United goalkeeper Luke Steele.

You sensed that the balance of power would shift at some stage and Burnley could be made to pay.

What no-one could have expected was for Eddie Johnson's 62nd minute opener to spark a frantic second half that Reid later likened to a basketball match.

Both sides alternated attacks at breakneck speed, with Burnley equalising within a minute thanks to

Robbie Blake's 100th career league goal - a penalty perfectly executed after the off-colour striker was hacked down in the box.

City then regained the initiative midway through the half, countering with lightening pace and bodies galore before substitute Graham Barrett finished with aplomb.

But back came Burnley again, this time through the knee of emergency striker Graham Branch, who was ironically thrust into the attack to get his head on something...anything.

At that stage there was still 17 minutes remaining. But so unpredictable had the outcome become, that both managers would surely have shaken hands there and then on a point apiece.

And at the end of a pulsating end-to-end encounter, the result perhaps best indicates just how even this league really is, with Burnley on that nine-game unbeaten run and City now going eight without a win.

A cursory glance at the Championship table also shows that a mere seven points separate Millwall, lying in seventh place, from 22nd placed Cardiff.

A few wins can make all the difference, and that is what will no doubt frustrate Cotterill today.

Burnley again created enough good goalscoring chances to put more distance between themselves and the struggling sides.

Moore sent an early heard from Mo Camara's cross flashing across goal and Robbie Blake dallied too long when another shooting chance presented itself.

Midway through the half, the Clarets really turned up the heat, first when Richard Chaplow got on the end of a sweeping three-man move only to dink the ball beyond Steele and agonisingly wide of goal.

Valois removed a coat of paint from the right upright with a delightful curling shot and then the Frenchman's flick sent Blake racing clear, only for Steele to bat away his angled effort.

That was by far the best chance created in a half marred by a fifth booking of the season for Frank Sinclair, which automatically rules the central defender out of next week's Carling Cup tie against Aston Villa.

Johnson's 62nd minute opener finally paved the way for four goals in 11 incident packed minutes, the young striker drilling the ball home from close range after tricky winger Rohan Ricketts had shown Michael Duff a clean pair of heels for the umpteenth time.

Within 60 seconds though, Andrew Whing toppled Blake and the Clarets skipper effortlessly completed his century of league goals in 341 career appearances.

No sooner had Blake celebrated that milestone than City struck again, this time from a Burnley corner when, with too many bodies committed forward, Ricketts broke to feed Barrett who smashed the ball past a cruelly exposed Danny Coyne.

Thankfully, Branch came to the rescue with his first goal of the season, forcing the ball home with his knee after Blake had helped on Sinclair's long ball into the box.

Ricketts picked his spot and curled a 25-yarder a whisker wide of Coyne's left hand post, with the Welshman scrambling in another heart-stopping moment.

But, thankfully, today it's still beating!

Coventry: Steele, Whing, Leacock, Shaw, Staunton, Morrell (Barrett 62), Doyle, Hughes, Ricketts, John (Suffo 79), Johnson.

Subs Not Used: Shearer, Sherwood, Giddings.

Att: 10,919

Goals: 0-1 Johnson 63, 1-1 Blake 64 (pen), 1-2 Barrett 70, 2-2 Branch 73.

Yellow cards: Sinclair 28

Referee: Scott Mathieson (Cheshire). Missed far too much. 5