IT looked like the wait was over. Seventy-five days since their last win Burnley were on the brink of victory.

It hadn’t been pretty but it had been old school Clarets under Sean Dyche. Burnley had found a way and Southampton had barely threatened them.

But when you’re on a poor run luck can desert you just as quickly as form and there was a farcical sting in the tale that would leave Turf Moor seething at the injustice of it all.

There looked to be no danger in the final minute of normal time with Ashley Westwood about to collect the ball in the centre circle. But when referee Bobby Madley got in Westwood’s way, allowing Southampton to counter, there was a sense of foreboding.

Sure enough, within seconds Josh Sims’ cross had been headed down by Guido Carrillo and finished on the turn by Manolo Gabbiadini. How’s your luck?

It was harsh on Burnley, who had been the better of two teams for most of the afternoon, although in truth it wasn’t a memorable game.

The manner of Ashley Barnes’ goal midway through the second half probably summed it up, Alex McCarthy attempting to punch clear but only clawing the ball against the striker, who had flung himself goalwards, and seeing it trickle over the line. It was just the type of goal that should have ended a winless run.

At least there were more positives against the Saints than there had been in defeat at Swansea two weeks ago, when the Clarets looked in desperate need of a break.

The trip to Portugal has refreshed a few bodies, although not clearly Sean Dyche’s, who shrugged off a ruptured quad to take his place on the touchline. Fourth official Mike Jones might have been rueing that when Madley put the mad into Dyche with his late intervention.

With players returning Dyche had freshened up his side, returning to 4-4-1-1, bringing Stephen Ward back in and seeing Chris Wood return to the bench.

The sight of Wood back in a matchday squad would have been particularly pleasing. Scoring goals has been tough for Burnley this season and it was the same again on Saturday.

In the early stages Johann Berg Gudmundsson headed a Ward cross tamely wide while Aaron Lennon could only volley straight at Alex McCarthy from 18 yards.

Ben Mee was required to clear a Dusan Tadic shot away at the other end, but Burnley were rarely tested at the back, with Mee and Kevin Long in complete command against £19million man Carrillo.

The return to 4-4-1-1 had seen Jeff Hendrick back in his number 10 role. Last week Dyche defended his ability to play there, but as the stalemate continued he was becoming a target for the fans frustration, although he could easily have been the hero, just failing to beat McCarthy to an excellent through ball from Gudmundsson.

But that moment led to an increased spell of pressure which would end with the goal and Hendrick was involved. Gudmundsson had volleyed Lennon’s deep cross back across goal, with McCarthy pushing it out. Hendrick headed it back goalwards and as McCarthy and Barnes threw themselves towards the ball the ricochet would favour the Clarets.

Burnley were rarely under pressure after that, although it did require a stunning save from Nick Pope, in front of watching England manager Gareth Southgate, to keep the lead intact, as he tipped Josh Sims’ shot onto the post.

But that stop wouldn’t secure the three points it deserved. Madley’s intervention was crucial, although Westwood should probably have tripped beneficiary Nathan Redmond as he broke away.

Burnley were furious at the manner of the equaliser, with Barnes booked by Madley for his protests. The referee would soon realise what most of Turf Moor had made of his moment in the spotlight as he departed down the tunnel at the end.