PHOTOS: Hull City 0, Burnley 1

BURNLEY'S spectacular form at the KC Stadium continued as Dean Marney scored against his former club to earn a 1-0 win.

By Dan Black
Monday, 26th November 2012, 8:27 am

The Clarets have now won four on the bounce against the Tigers on their home soil, including last term's smash and grab where Jay Rodriguez scored in the 93rd minute to seal maximum points after being 2-0 down.

That triumph last term revived the Clarets season somewhat, providing the spirit and impetus to push on in the Championship. And new boss Sean Dyche will be hoping today's victory has a similar effect.

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It was certainly a game of two halves as the visitors controlled the opening 45 minutes before a tactical switch from Steve Bruce saw City dominate the second stanza.

The home side came at the Clarets in the opening stages, equipped with wing-backs as they attempted to utilise the flanks. The first opportunity arose when Stephen Quinn found Sone Aluko infield and when the former Rangers forward's effort was blocked on the edge of the box, Seyi Olofinjana dragged his attempt wide.

The Clarets went close to opening the scoring moments later when debutant goalkeeper David Stockdale, on loan from Fulham, spilled Ross Wallace's left-footed drive and only a last ditch challenge denied Charlie Austin a tap in.

That proved to be the pattern for the remainder of the half as the hosts struggled to force a breakthrough while the Clarets carved out genuine openings. City certainly had the driving force from midfield but a gutsy, tenacious display from Burnley's central trio restricted their breaks. Even when the home side exploited the width, Lee Grant along with his back four were commanding in the air.

Marney went close when cleverly gliding past Olofinjana after dropping a shoulder but his shot flashed past the post as he pulled the trigger from 20 yards. At the other end, with openings severely limited for City, Aluko pulled an effort harmlessly wide from the edge of the box as the home support grew restless.

The Clarets were composed in possession, coolly knocking first time passes and confidently finding pockets of space. That craft proved pivotal when Marney found an aperture to pick his head up and drive a centre in to Austin; the striker miscued but the ball fell for Martin Paterson who stung the palms of Stockdale right-footed from the angle of the area.

With Stockdale experiencing a seemingly nervy debut the Clarets continued to fire at will and Wallace went excrutiatingly close to an opener when his audacious left-footed strike from distance was turned on to the bar by Stockdale while Austin couldn't quite steer the rebound goalwards.

The City stopper saved Marney's speculative drive and Quinn volleyed over the top from Elmohamady's cross but five minutes before the break the deadlock was broken. Austin had possession down the left hand side and played a square ball to Wallace who, with time and space at his disposal, drove at City's back three before executing a sublime, piercing pass in to Marney and the midfielder made no mistake, rifling his effort beyond Stockdale and in to the far corner.

But there was a switch in momentum after the break. Tigers boss Bruce introduced David Meyler and Robert Brady for Alex Bruce and Olofinjana and switched to 4-4-2 in an attempt to find a footing back in the fixture.

The equaliser almost arrived when Robert Koren shared a short corner with Brady before whipping in an inswinging cross which was deflected on to his own post by Paterson as Grant stepped out to gather.

A rare second half opening for the Clarets saw Austin's effort from the edge of the box take a wicked deflection before looping on to the roof of the net as Stockdale back-peddled but that proved only a moment's respite.

Quinn should have made it 1-1 when nodding his header over the bar when unmarked from Liam Rosenior's cross but that would be the first and last time Burnley's backline was caught napping.

Bruce, who later introduced £2.7m striker Nick Proschwitz in a bid to salvage something from the game, lauded Burnley's defensive display after the game, and it was well-deserved praise as they thwarted everything that was thrown at them in periods of sustained pressure.

Hull had another superb opportunity to level when Jay Simpson broke from a Clarets corner and with Ben Mee the last line of defence he opted to spread the ball to Quinn who inexplicably returned the pass to his team-mate once he'd stepped in to an offside position. It was a huge let-off for the visitors.

Dyche introduced Sam Vokes and Danny Ings in place of Stock and Wallace respectively but still City pressed with wave after wave of attacks. Proschwitz went agonisingly close to applying the vital touch to Elmohamady's cross at full stretch and Simpson lashed wide after Koren's free-kick was cleared. Aluko's thunderbolt from 30 yards then flashed wide as the pressure mounted.

But it was pressure that the Clarets dealt with heroically as City threw caution to the wind, committing men forward. The Clarets almost caught their opponent's on the break when Paterson's pull back from Ings' dipping cross at the back post was just too high for Vokes to connect with inside the six yard box.

The final few minutes were mainly played out inside Burnley's penalty box but Bruce admitted that his side had 'huffed and puffed' rather than causing the Clarets any real trouble.

It was another glowing display under Dyche and a third clean sheet which sets the Clarets up nicely for a trip to Oakwell to face Barnsley on Tuesday evening.

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