Burnley 1-0 Nottm Forest: Match Report

23 February 2016 10:34

Sam Vokes' solitary strike earns Burnley the points against Forest

Sam Vokes' 10th goal of the season kept Burnley in the Sky Bet Championship's top two courtesy of a 1-0 win over Nottingham Forest at Turf Moor.

The Wales international was on target on Saturday when the Clarets took advantage of Hull and Middlesbrough having a weekend away from league action to climb into the automatic promotion spots and, with both the Tigers and Boro recording victories on Tuesday night, Sean Dyche's side needed another three points to stay there.

They were not at their best in east Lancashire but Vokes, who scored 21 times when the club went up two seasons ago, was on hand to apply the finishing touch to Stephen Ward's cut across in the 68th minute to stretch their unbeaten league run to 10 games.

It was Vokes' sixth goal in nine fixtures too as he reiterated his value to a club that also have the division's leading marksman in Andre Gray.

A head injury to Michael Keane meant Dyche was forced to make a change to his starting line-up for the first time this month as James Tarkowski came in for his full debut at centre-back.

While rotation is seen as necessary by other managers with fixtures piling up, Dyche's settled side were not showing signs of fatigue in the early stages as Gray headed wide before Michael Mancienne's block denied the same player in the box.

Aside from Jamie Ward's effort straight down Tom Heaton's throat, visitors Forest were offering little going forward but the Clarets themselves cooled off until a flurry of chances at the end of the first 45 minutes.

Stephen Ward's cross from the left would have been side-footed in by Vokes had Eric Lichaj not deflected it wide while Dorus De Vries twice pushed away David Jones efforts from distance, Gray then ballooning a rebound from the second attempt into the stand.

Forest came out of their shell after the interval and pinned the Clarets back in their own half, yet their poor delivery from wide areas was costing them in the final third as Jamie Ward's shot over was all they had to show for their efforts.

And, just as it looked as though Dyche would have to freshen things up to break the deadlock, Ward and Vokes combined in a similar fashion to the chance they created in the first period to send Burnley ahead with 22 minutes to go.

Left-back Ward made it to the byline and cut the ball back inside, with George Boyd stepping over and allowing Vokes to calmly finish and reach double figures for the campaign.

Boyd and Gray both snatched at opportunities to double the Clarets' lead, though a second goal was not needed as they saw out the final stages with little drama to record their fourth clean sheet on the spin.

Source: PA

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