English Premiership

Noble pushes Burnley to the brink

2015-05-02 19:43
Mark Noble (AFP)

London - Mark Noble pushed Burnley to the brink of relegation from the Premier League as the West Ham midfielder's penalty sealed a 1-0 win over the 10-man Clarets on Saturday.

Sean Dyche's team had defender Michael Duff controversially sent off midway through the first half at Upton Park and Noble converted the resulting spot-kick to condemn the visitors to their fourth successive defeat.

Burnley remain rooted to the bottom of the table, eight points from safety with only three matches left, and look certain to suffer a quick return to the Championship just 12 months after their promotion.

Their fate will be confirmed if they fail to win at Hull next weekend.

Dyche recalled striker Ashley Barnes in place of Lukas Jutkiewicz as he tried to add some firepower to a team that kicked off having gone 10 hours and 39 minutes without a goal.

West Ham were on a dismal run of one win from their previous 12 league games and Burnley threatened twice in quick succession when Danny Ings' shot from a tight angle flashed just wide before the striker headed over from Matty Taylor's cross.

But the Clarets' failure to take their chances once again came back to haunt them as the hosts went ahead in the 24th minute.

Cheikhou Kouyate worked his way into the Burnley penalty area and was sent tumbling to the turf by Duff's trip as he prepared to shoot.

Referee Jonathan Moss harshly ruled that Duff's foul denied Kouyate a goal-scoring opportunity and showed a red card before Noble drove in the spot-kick to compound the defender's misery.

It took a fine save from Tom Heaton to stop West Ham doubling their lead through Enner Valencia and the Burnley goalkeeper was called into action again moments later to keep out Morgan Amalfitano's half-volley

Barnes had a chance to equalise late in the first half, but his header from a Kieran Trippier cross was well saved by Adrian.

A flicked effort from West Ham midfielder Kevin Nolan went just wide in the opening stages of the second half.

Ings couldn't keep his low shot on target and Taylor's stinging strike was repelled by Adrian as Burnley tried to respond.

Heaton then saved from Nolan and Valencia couldn't convert the rebound, while Reece Burke's goalbound effort was blocked by Trippier soon after.

Burnley's tiredness showed in the closing stages and only poor finishing from Valencia and Carlton Cole saved them from a heavier defeat.

Read more on:    west ham  |  english premiership  |  soccer

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