Burnley 1, Nottingham Forest 0

Striker Sam Vokes hit double figures for the campaign as the Clarets stretched their unbeaten run in the Championship to 10 games with a narrow victory over Nottingham Forest at Turf Moor.

Tuesday, 23rd February 2016, 6:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 23rd February 2016, 10:40 pm
George Boyd turns to celebrate with scorer Sam Vokes

With Hull City, Middlesbrough and Brighton winning at the top end of the division, the result ensured that Burnley stayed among the chasing pack in their pursuit of promotion to the Premier League.

The home side were precise, purposeful and penetrative in possession, pulling holes in Forest's two banks but weren't able to test goalkeeper Dorus De Vries until the latter stages of the half.

Joey Barton's in-swinging free kick from the left hand side, conceded by Robert Tesche as Stephen Ward was quicker to the ball, floated beyond the away side's rearguard but Andre Gray, who had peeled off the shoulder of Bojan Jokic, failed to hit the target with his header.

George Boyd turns to celebrate with scorer Sam Vokes

The Clarets, now with 14 clean sheets to their name this term, were rarely exposed, remaining characteristically water tight, and David Vaughan's sliced effort in to the David Fishwick Stand wasn't going to change that.

The hosts continued to probe, with Dougie Freedman's men unable to cut off Burnley's passing lanes, and only a determined block from Michael Mancienne prevented Gray from opening the scoring as the striker broke in to the box from Scott Arfield's slide rule pass.

From the resulting corner, taken by Barton, flying Dutchman De Vries produced a save for the cameras to turn Gray's inventive, improvised flick to safety.

With the visitors unable to find the craft to play through their opponents, they were once again restricted to shooting from distance. On this occasion Tom Heaton was equal to Jamie Ward's attempt from 20 yards out after the forward turned Ward to manufacture a sight at goal.

Sam Vokes celebrates his goal

And moments later it was Tesche's turn to try his luck but the German midfielder, who swtepped infield from the right, saw his left-footed drive from 25 yards out cannon back off the stanchion behind Heaton's goal.

Following a stagnant middle third to the half, Sean Dyche's side stepped back in to their stride and could have gone in to the interval with the advantage.

Ward left Eric Lichaj on his back side when forcing the full back to commit near the corner flag, but Vokes wasn't able to adjust his body to guide the Republic of Ireland international's pass goalwards.

In the closing stages of the half De Vries twice thwarted David Jones, the initial save from a beautifully executed half-volley from the edge of the box while the second stop, which foiled the midfielder from a similar position, was blazed in to the stands by Gray who followed up on the rebound.

George Boyd turns to celebrate with scorer Sam Vokes

The second half carried a similar structure to the first as the Clarets commanded possession while Forest were reluctant to break from their shape.

Ward lifted an effort over the top for the away side once Matt Lowton diverted Jokic's centre in to his path but that would be the last time that Forest posed any kind of threat.

The Clarets deservedly took the lead in the 68th minute and it was a wonderfully incisive passage of play. Arfield slipped the reverse pass in behind Lichaj to find Ward at the bye-line and the full back's cross was dummied by George Boyd and tucked home by Vokes.

Boyd almost doubled the advantage soon after when space opened up from Vokes's flick on but the winger pulled his effort the wrong side of De Vries's upright.

Sam Vokes celebrates his goal

Record signing Gray found the same spot from a similar opening as the half wore on while speculative shots from Gary Gardener and Ward were wayward.

It was job done again for the Clarets who move on to the Macron Stadium on Saturday where they take on Bolton Wanderers.