Burnley 0, Ipswich Town 0

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The Clarets remain fifth in the Championship after a ninth clean sheet of the campaign earned a goalless draw with Ipswich Town at Turf Moor in the opening encounter of 2016.

The Tractor Boys were chasing a club record sixth straight away win having emulated the run set by Bobby Robson's side three decades ago.

Andre Gray is hauled down by Tommy Smith

Andre Gray is hauled down by Tommy Smith

But it was the Clarets who should've taken the advantage in to the interval after creating the clearer openings.

After injuries to Christophe Berra and Andre Gray delayed the fixture in the early stages, Tom Heaton was well-positioned to deny Tommy Smith after the defender had diverted Kevin Bru's wayward effort goalwards.

Michael Kightly had a couple of sightings at goal at the opposite end. His first trickled wide of the near post after cutting infield past visiting skipper Luke Chambers while his second found the David Fishwick Stand once Stephen Ward's cross was cleared.

Town went close after the quarter-of-an-hour mark when Ryan Fraser's rasping left-footed attempt from 25 yards had Heaton beaten, but the ball thumped the stanchion behind the goal.

As the half neared the midway point Clarets record signing Gray wasted an excellent opportunity to break the deadlock. Kightly's pull back found the striker unmarked on the penalty spot but the £6m man stroked the ball wide of the target.

Freddie Sears, who scored in Town's victory over Sean Dyche's side at Portman Road in August, forced Heaton in to a low save after turning Michael Keane and Matt Lowton on the edge of the box.

And the former Hammer threatened again just moments after Kightly had guided another effort wide of the upright following an impressively controlled, volleyed assist from Joey Barton.

Sears, positioned deep inside the Burnley box, shifted the ball on to his right boot before stinging the palms of Heaton at his near post.

The hosts thought they'd taken the with five minutes of the first half remaining, and only match official Peter Bankes will fully understand why the goal was chalked out.

Town goalkeeper Dean Gerken did tremendously well to keep out Ben Mee's close range header from a David Jones corner but, with fans in celebration, a free kick was awarded in the away side's favour as the ball was bundled over the line.

Burnley worked the ball well in parts after the break but failed to find the incision or ingenuity to break down a miserly Town rearguard.

Sam Vokes looked certain to find the net when Kightly's cross was dropping in his vicinity but Chambers recovered well to make a vital interception.

From the resulting throw in, Gray turned goal side of Smith inside the area before firing at Gerken at his near post from an acute angle.

The Clarets were rarely exposed in the second half, but they were reliant on the tracking of Keane to spurn Sears on the break on two occasions.

Kightly again tried to force the initiative when pushing Chambers on to the back foot but his shot was always rising.

Neither side looked as though they were going to nick maximum points, but in the final action of the half substitute Rouwen Hennings's volley dropped just wide of the upright after Ward and Vokes helped on Heaton's free kick.