Burnley 1, Brighton and Hove Albion 0

James Tarkowski celebrates his winner with his teammatesJames Tarkowski celebrates his winner with his teammates
James Tarkowski celebrates his winner with his teammates
At this stage last season Burnley boss Sean Dyche was just days away from declaring himself the 'proudest man in proudsville'.

The Clarets, who had beaten Watford 1-0 to preserve seventh spot in the top flight on gameweek 16, moved in to the Champions League positions three days later as Ashley Barnes settled a dull encounter with Stoke City late on at Turf Moor.

The outlook has been vastly different so far this season - Burnley are located in the bottom four rather than the top - but a first win in nine games might just have the boss feeling 'super proud' once again.

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The victory over Brighton and Hove Albion wasn't the most aesthetically pleasing, the performance didn't carry the same bite that had got Jurgen Klopp's back up midweek, but it was an important result that the hosts had to dig deep for in order to break the cycle.

Neither goalkeeper had a save to make in the opening half hour - aside from Mat Ryan's intervention when Chris Wood had moved too soon to meet Robbie Brady's pass.

The two wouldn't be reconciled until quarter-of-an-hour later when the New Zealand international striker shifted across his marker to meet Johann Berg Gudmundsson's cross only to turn it wide of the near post as Ryan watched on.

Gudmundsson was influential in Burnley's next foray forward when Brady, with his back to goal, gained a yard from Bruno and hooked the Icelandic winger's delivery over the crossbar.

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The Socceroos and All Whites rivallry was reignited later in the half but once again it was the Australian who came out on top.

The Seagulls stopper closed the door at his near post as Wood found the target once Ashley Barnes had cushioned Ashley Westwood's pass in to his path.

From the resulting corner Brady got a shot away on goal but, once again, Ryan was equal to the attempt, clawing on to the ball at full stretch down to his left hand side.

For all Brighton's quality in the final third, Chris Hughton's men were seemingly struggling for imagination or invention.

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Anthony Knockaert could only find the stands with a wayward effort from a promising position as space opened up in front of goal.

Finally, with only five minutes of the half remaining, the home side took the lead. There was an air of fortune about the finish but the Clarets will take anything at this moment in time.

Ryan's clearance from Ben Mee's header only fell as far as Jack Cork on the penalty spot and the midfielder's effort clipped the chest of James Tarkowski on its way home.

The hosts started the second half as they'd concluded the first and Dunk had to get a touch to Brady's cross to prevent Barnes from doubling the advantage.

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Burnley had gone 58 games without being awarded a penalty in the Premier League and that statistic looked like stretching to another game.

Yves Bissouma gave referee Martin Atkinson a decision to make when clumsily catching Phil Bardsley with a high boot. However, the referee was unmoved by the cries and play continued.

Dunk block from Barnes as the Clarets sought a safety net while Tarkowski almost had his second of the game when his header from a Brady corner grazed the post.

But with the scoreline remaining a delicate one the away side pressed for the equaliser, throwing the metaphorical kitchen sink at their opponents.

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Solly March drilled wide of the near post when drifting infield before two Seagulls' substitutes almost combined to draw them back on level terms.

Leading goalscorer Glenn Murray provided the cross from the left hand side and Jurgen Locadia edged in-between Mee and Charlie Taylor to head over.

March had another pop from the edge of the box with time ticking away but, with Joe Hart rooted to the spot, the ball kissed the outside of the upright.

The hosts were holding on for dear life and it took a vital touch from Tarkowski to take Leon Balogun's header away from Murray when the forward looked to have a tap in at the far post.