WONDER winger Glen Little lifted Burnley to the top of the first division with a stunning display.

He scored two goals, probably had a third, and created so much havoc in Bradford's rearguard that the Clarets always looked likely to score.

But this was far from a one-man show.

Substitute striker Tony Ellis, a surprise close season capture whose career seemed to be more likely to be played out at Conference level, used all his knowledge as he turned neatly before firing home the winner five minutes from time.

And there were great performances throughout the side.

Burnley somehow just about kept their cool in a blood and thunder contest where the temperature soared in the second half.

That is not to say the first half was uneventful and perhaps the only surprise was that half-time came without a goal being scored, though Little may beg to differ.

Italian star Beni Carbone and Clarets midfielder Paul Cook had both gone close in the early stages but it wasn't until the 18th minute that the first clear-cut chance arrived.

Burnley striker Ian Moore released Alan Moore and the winger's cross found Little unmarked.

Little decided to try and bend his right foot shot round City keeper Gary Walsh rather than blast it and the outcome saw his shot hit the inside of the post flick up off the bar and then bounce down on the line before hitting the far post and going out.

Little was sure he had scored, television also suggested the ball had bounced down a yard behind the line, but the men who mattered - referee Roy Pearson and his assistant - did not see it that way.

However, the Clarets were not the only ones to feel that some decisions were unfavourable.

Four minutes later a neat move involving Carbone and City's left back Wayne Jacobs ended with former Blackburn Rovers striker Ashley Ward back-heeling the ball into the Burnley net only for it to be ruled that he was in an offside position.

The contest was now picking up some momentum and the Clarets went close as Paul Cook freed Little on the left and his driven ball across the face of goal was met by Ian Moore but his shot went over off the crossbar.

Carbone tried his luck at the other end with a couple of shots that failed to find the target. Cook had to produce a perfectly timed tackle in his own area to deny Gareth Whalley a shot and keeper Nik Michopoulos then had to be at his best to beat out a powerful downward header from Robert Molenaar.

A minute from half-time a Whalley free kick found Carbone and Ward unmarked at the back post, but the Bantams duo contrived to put one another off and the header from Ward went tamely wide.

But while there was plenty of action in either goalmouth it was not missing in midfield either and by the interval both Alan Moore, his fourth yellow cards in five appearances, and Kevin Ball and found their way into referee Pearson's book for hefty challenges.

The brittle edge to the game was to escalate after the break with Little and Paul Weller both getting drawn into skirmishing with their opponents, the pair winding up being cautioned, and it took some strong words from Ball to ensure the Clarets kept their composure at a crucial stage.

But keep their composure they did and it was a Ball challenge that set up Little with the opening goal on 46 minutes, the winger cutting in on City goal from the right and this time didn't risk the vagaries of the woodwork by planting a firm shot beyond Walsh.

Soon after Alan Moore released Ian Moore and he went down in the box under pressure from City defender Andy Myers, but his appeals for a penalty were ignored - again he was not the only one who would be frustrated by Pearson in this manner.

On 52 minutes Dean West came to Burnley's rescue as he cleared off the line as Jacobs fired in an angled shot and six minutes later Michopoulos had to get down well to his left to turn a stinging effort from Eoin Jess round the post.

The tempo quickened and the temperature of the contest continued to rise.

City's first equaliser was the perfect illustration.

McCall broke out of defence with Weller snapping at his heels. The City midfielder turned to taunt the Claret before running on and then, despite his fraying temper, delivered the perfect ball for Ward to lash past Michopoulos.

The Bantams went into overdrive.

Gary Locke had gone close before Carbone was played in by Whalley. The Little Italian looked to spin off his marker and looked to have found room for the shot, but went down.

City thought they had a penalty, the referee thought not. However, the official did not think Carbone's dive was worthy of a yellow card, which was unusual.

Carbone perhaps did not do himself too many favours as he did look to be fouled but his dramatic tumble suggested he was already looking to fall.

The Clarets responded well to this short spell of pressure and almost regained their lead when Little produced a sublime run as he danced round challenges from Myers and Halle in the space of six yards but having created room for the shot he lifted a very tame effort off target.

The chances just kept on coming at either end.

Carbone was denied by a Michopoulos save, Halle rattled the crossbar with a fine drive and then Ward found the net from a Jess cross only to be told he was offside once again - the Bantams players heatedly questioned the referee's assistant but they got no change.

Michopoulos then had his moment of good fortune as a Locke drive streaked past his right-hand but hit the post and bounced back into the relieved keeper's arms.

This frantic stalemate was finally broken 11 minutes from time when a superb 40 yard pass out of the Burnley defence by Lee Briscoe freed Alan Moore and he delivered the perfect cross for the unmarked Little to turn into the net.

Two minutes later Robbie Blake, almost with his first touch after replacing Halle, hit a drive that Michopoulos could not hold and McCall was on hand to force in the loose ball.

Then another substitute took centre stage as Ellis, who had replaced Ian Moore who had run himself into the ground for the Clarets cause, was passed the ball to the left of the penalty area.

Tightly marked and with no options Ellis seemed to be going nowhere, but he turned neatly and, from an acute angle, threaded his shot past Walsh and into the far corner of the net.

Ahead for a third time Burnley this time managed to hang on - but only just.

Into injury time Michopoulos had to get down sharply to save from Whalley and then a fine move that saw Carbone clip the perfect cross for Ward to head down but McCall got underneath the shot and his effort was well over the bar.

It brought a fitting end to a thrilling contest and Burnley, who seem incapable of playing out an uninteresting game this season, climbed to the top of the pile.