SEAN Dyche bemoaned the lack of an off-side flag as Blackburn cruelly snatched a first derby win in 34 years from Burnley’s grasp.
Trailing to Jason Shackell’s first goal for the Clarets, David Dunn steered in the equaliser in the fifth minute of injury time.
And Dyche felt Dunn was off-side when the initial cross from former Clarets loanee Cameron Stewart came in, and then from Jason Lowe’s mis-control, with the ball bouncing fortuitously straight to the midfielder.
It came as Burnley, who played the last 25 minutes, plus time added on, down to 10 men after Ben Mee’s second yellow card, looked like holding on, and Dyche said: “It doesn’t feel like a defeat, it feels like a result that was taken away from us by a linesman’s decision.
“We’ve had too many of them, I’ve seen it back and he’s (Dunn) is two yards off-side.
“That, in a big game, was the turning point and we deserved three points and the bragging rights.
“I had a word with the officials to ask them what they thought, I just asked their opinion.
“I thought there were a lot of soft fouls that didn’t go our way, people going down easy in good defending positions.
“Sometimes you get them, sometimes you don’t, I’m more interested in the big one, they have to get those right, especially in big games like this.
“Our captain reacted immediately, he went over and said ‘it’s off-side’ and he was right.
“He was off-side from the cross, and the touch after that. But it is what it is.”
Mee was dismissed for the first time in his senior career, and Dyche had no complaints about either challenge on Dunn or Grant Hanley: “They’re soft bookings nowadays but I feel for referees, there’s not a lot of contact with the second one, the lad sees it coming and jumps over it, not in a bad way, he rides it. There’s no malice in it, but referees are under pressure.
“But Ben has to learn. All the players are in a learning process here, they’re young. I was frustrated as he’d had a bad touch and there was no need to go in for that challenge, just stand up. But he’s a really honest and tough lad and thought he could make it and get a block.
“An older, wiser player might have stood up, but it’s a big part of the learning process.”
Dyche was, however, delighted with his players’ commitment and effort on the day, which was closer to the standards he requires after suffering a dip of late: “The lads have been terrific, obviously with 10 men it’s difficult, but tactically, their effort and energy - I don’t think they had a chance to be honest.
“They finally get one, and regardless of it being off-side, it’s a lucky one, the lad’s tried to bring it down, he toes it and it falls perfectly in his path.
“I’m very proud of the players, it’s important to keep your nerve and we were excellent.
“We controlled the game first half, played some excellent stuff, created chances, the back four looked nice and solid...
“Even with the sending off I didn’t think we looked in any trouble, but it is what it is.
“I’ve enjoyed it, the players have enjoyed it and I’m sure the fans enjoyed seeing a group of players give everything. They deserved more.
“Pato had a good chance and the keeper made a good save, and Rosco glimmered one off the post, but just the general feel of it, I thought we had a real control of the game and I was really pleased with the endeavour, the attitude and the clear minds.”