Photos: Bolton Wanderers 0, Burnley 1
The striker netted in the 58th minute when pouncing at the back post from Scott Arfield’s pass across the six yard box.
That’s now 40 goals for the Vokes and Danny Ings partnership, which has seen them surpass the tally of Paul Barnes (25) and Andy Cooke (13), who claimed 38 under Adrian Heath in the old Second Division in 1996/97,
and that of Mike Conroy (26) and Roger Eli (12) who hit the same total in the Fourth Division championship-winning season of 1991/92.
The pair are now just one behind the haul of Kevin Hird (22) and Wayne Biggins (19) from the 1984/85 Third Division campaign, though it’ll take a significantly fruitful final run-in to the season if they’re to emulate the exploits of Willie Irvine (37) and Andy Lochhead (23), who plundered a remarkable 60 goals in 1965/66 in the old First Division - one more than Ray Pointer (25) and Jimmy Robson (34) managed in 1960/61, when Burnley were defending First Division champions.
The last time the Clarets beat Wanderers in their own back yard came in March 1985, when Devine, Grewcock and Hampton scored in a 3-1 triumph at Burnden Park.
The indications from the opening half of the Championship fixture suggested that the statistic could be stretched.
The visitors put themselves under unnecessary pressure early on when Jason Shackell’s unconvincing back pass forced Tom Heaton to slice his clearance off balance, though the Clarets escaped unscathed despite Lukas Jutkiewicz lurking inside the box.
Trotters boss Dougie Freedman utilised a 4-2-3-1 formation to good effect, with Liam Trotter playing off Jutkiewicz, while Chris Eagles and Chung-Yong Lee gave Kieran Trippier and Ben Mee plenty to think about as the pair alternated flanks.
Lee threatened first when cutting infield from the left and firing a low effort in to the arms of Heaton at the near post from the angle of the penalty area.
Then, after David Wheater was booked for a late challenge on Danny Ings, the South-Korean international struck the bar via a deflection off Shackell once Eagles had beaten Trippier for pace and found his team-mate unmarked at the back post.
Trotter then headed Alex Baptiste’s centre wide and almost latched on to Michael Duff’s short header back to Heaton.
Eventually, Sean Dyche’s men grew in to the game as they pressed harder, became crisper in possession, and worked to get around the back of the home side’s rearguard.
Moments after Ings hooked over the bar on the volley from the edge of the area, the England Under 21 international combined with strike partner Vokes from Shackell’s lofted pass to manufacture space on the edge of the box for Arfield, but as the space opened up, the midfielder pulled his effort wide of the post.
Shackell was almost caught on the halfway line when pulling down a clearance on his chest, but after Eagles nicked the ball, Jutkiewicz was crowded out by Duff and Trippier as the Boro loanee threatened to race clear. Once Eagles tested Heaton from distance, referee Graham Salisbury then pulled play back to book the Clarets skipper for his late challenge on Eagles.
Both sides pumped balls in to the box on numerous occasions, both from set-pieces and open play, though Wheater recorded the only attempt of note when nodding wide from Tim Ream’s swinging corner.
Opportunities were few and far between after the interval, with Freedman making all three changes in a bid to claim the points, but the hosts offered little in the second half.
Instead, the Clarets stuck to their guns, illustrating the framework and mentality that Dyche has mentioned so many times this season. It was an incredibly professional display from the away side to neuter their opponents.
David Jones went close after the restart when the midfielder put his laces through the ball from 20 yards, with Bogdan plunging to his left to make a smart save and turn the ball to safety.
Ben Mee, who marshalled both Eagles and Lee spectacularly, then replicated Jones’s effort after trading passes with Arfield, but this time Bogdan clung on to the attempt.
And then came the goal. The Clarets worked the ball patiently, before springing a penetrative pass in to the box for Arfield who turned his marker and rolled the ball across goal for Vokes to lift high in to the net at the back post.
That swayed Freedman in to making a double change, with Andre Moritz and Mark Davies replacing Trotter and Kamara Medo respectively. Eagles, in a bid to silence the jeers from the away crowd,
sliced wide wastefully several times, including a volley that he hoisted high and wide of the near post, with Heaton untroubled, and another that floated over the bar once Baptiste’s strike was blocked on the edge of the box.
The Clarets move three points clear of QPR and within eight points of leaders Leicester City, ahead of Saturday’s clash away at Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth.