PHOTOS: Burnley 1, Crystal Palace 0
JUNIOR Stanislas capped a spirited Clarets performance with a stunning goal to seal a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace.
The former Hammer, who last made a start in the 1-0 home defeat to Charlton Athletic in November, curled a delightful effort in to the top corner in the 81st minute to secure maximum points and send Burnley to 10th in the Championship. It also condemned Eagles boss Ian Holloway to his 11th trip to Turf Moor without a win.
Despite a catalogue of injuries, the Clarets were dominant against high-flying Palace in the first half. Leading scorer Charlie Austin, midfielder Chris McCann and Martin Paterson remained on the sidelines for the Championship fixture while Brian Stock served his suspension following his dubious dismissal against Barnsley in the FA Cup defeat at Oakwell.
But regardless of the changes among Sean Dyche's starting XI, the hosts restricted the Eagles for the majority while crafting opportunities of their own. The Clarets targeted the flanks from the start, bombarding full-backs Jonathan Parr and Dean Moxey, and it almost paid off when Trippier's enticing, bending cross almost found Sam Vokes storming towards the six-yard box but a touch from defender Peter Ramage took the ball away from the striker.
However, Ian Holloway's side have devastated teams on the break this term with their pace and energy, and the Clarets came close to falling victim when Palace profited from Ross Wallace's poor cross though Glenn Murray eventually curled wide of the post from the edge of the box.
Trippier proved the home side's most valuable outlet once more when biding his time on the ball before lofting a pinpoint, diagonal pass over the head of Ramage and in to the path of Vokes, but the striker lifted his effort over the bar after Julian Speroni had strayed from his line.
As the Clarets continued to boss possession, Junior Stanislas, making a rare start, and Danny Lafferty intricately worked space down the left before the latter squared the ball for Danny Ings inside the area but after dancing past Damien Delaney he fired over left-footed.
Palace didn't see the amount of the ball they would've liked in the opening 45 minutes, but they were economical and creative when they did. Parr and Murray were involved in a neat triangular passage of play which culminated in Yannick Bolasie drilling across Lee Grant and wide of the far post on the half-volley.
Vokes went close to turning in Trippier's low effort moments later and Ings headed harmlessly wide from Stanislas's cross as the hosts continued to press for the breakthrough, but Palace can always rely on sought after winger Wilifried Zaha to threaten. Anmd he forced a sublime save from Grant at his near post after cutting past Trippier and thumping right-footed at goal.
Ross Wallace pierced the Palace rearguard with a superb pass between Delaney and Moxey to pick out Dean Marney but Speroni gathered comfortably from Ings's miscue as the midfielder cut the ball back from the by-line.
Stanislas blazed over the bar after a mix-up between Parr and Delaney had gifted him the opening, Grant's superb reflex save prevented skipper Jason Shackell from turning Parr's cross in to his own net, while Speroni saved David Edgar's header as the half came to a close, goalless.
The Clarets had to dig deep after the break to contain their opponents with Moxey firing an early warning shot which glided wide of Grant's far post as he struck from the angle of the penalty area.
However, with the Clarets defending impeccably, and Palace unable to forge an opening, the hosts broke and should've broken the deadlock when Lafferty's delightful cross from deep was perfect for Vokes who should have torn the net from close range but instead side-footed wide under pressure from Moxey.
Speroni saved Marney's header, crafted from yet another superb Trippier delivery, before Andre Moritz's untimely miscue, with the goal gaping from Moxey's pass, proved a huge let-off for the home side. Dyche's men then survived the carnage inside the box caused from substitute Jonathan Williams's driven cross as Zaha looked to pounce on Grant's parry.
Then, arguably against the run of play, the deadlock was broken. There didn't seem any pressure when Delaney had the ball inside his own half, but Ings's sheer guile and tenacity forced the defender in to a mistake and his cross found Stanislas, in acres of space, on the edge of the box and the winger looked up before bending an effort in to the top corner.
Vokes could've added a second but was denied by a superb reaction save from Speroni after turning inside the box and smashing an effort on target, but after the Clarets were forced to endure five minutes of time added on.
Eagles captain Mile Jedinak lifted an effort on to the bar after Grant had spilled a corner, in a final heart in mouth moment, but the Clarets held firm for a hard-fought and deserved victory.