While some in East Lancashire had branded this "t'Clasico", it was no classic. Not that Burnley were complaining. It was an historic occasion for them nonetheless. Although their 33-year wait for a derby victory has been extended, Sam Vokes's cathartic late leveller was their first goal against Blackburn at Turf Moor since Peter Noble's 1978 winner.
Despite the mutual loathing, this has been a one-sided rivalry in terms of results. "When it is so far against you historically, it is time to turn it around and we so nearly did," said Sean Dyche, the Burnley manager. "To give the fans that goal at the end is really important." It also ensured their Rovers counterparts were shrouded in disappointment when escorted home. This is a derby of such ferocity that the Blackburn supporters had to be bussed into Burnley, that police swarmed the streets around Turf Moor and the force's helicopters buzzed around the Pennine sky. When Rovers led Burnley felt the constabulary were witnessing a different sort of crime: the pilfering of three points.
"We deserved minimum a point and probably all three on reflection," Dyche added. The one they claimed came courtesy of two substitutes, Vokes heading in Junior Stanislas's free-kick, and for all the insults the feuding supporters aimed at each other, the scorer answered the snipers among his own fanbase. "Someone shouted in the stand about Vokesy going on and asked: 'What's he going to do in five minutes?'" Dyche said. The answer was provided by the striker, who scored after three. "I'm sure he will retract those words."
Rovers' rhetoric was tempered by the knowledge they almost kick-started their stuttering season. "We can't have too many complaints about the result but when we were 1-0 up in the 89th minute, we were this close to a great result," said the manager, Henning Berg, whose seven games in charge have produced a solitary win. Derby disappointment is a theme of his week, following Wednesday's defeat by Bolton.
Blackburn and Burnley remain separated by only a point and, though Rovers have much the greater budget and higher aspirations, there is a striking similarity. Each is reliant on a feared forward. While both were ultimately upstaged by Vokes, it had been billed as a duel between the Championship's most prolific and its most expensive striker. When Jordan Rhodes's first shot sailed into the top tier of the Jimmy McIlroy Stand, Blackburn's £8m record signing was being overshadowed by Burnley's Charlie Austin, with the country's top scorer only denied his 22nd goal of the season by the acrobatics of Paul Robinson.
"Burnley were the better team in the first half and we shaded it in the second," said Berg in a fair appraisal. Dyche called Blackburn's opener "a goal against the grain", but the visitors had been invigorated by the introduction from the bench of Joshua King, on loan from Manchester United. Burnley were then revived by their replacements. Given the game's subdued start and the freezing temperatures the resident cliche – of a Lancashire hotpot – was inaccurate, but Burnley ended with a warm glow.
Man of the match Paul Robinson (Blackburn Rovers)