George Boyd ended Burnley’s seven match winless run last night, scoring the winner as the Clarets inch ever closer to Premier League safety.
The Scot’s goal gave Burnley their 10th home win of the season, which eclipses Manchester United and City’s home records; no mean feat.
Burnley didn’t have it all their own way though, with Stoke dominant for large parts of what can only be described as a ‘scrappy’ game.
The first chance of the game fell to Marko Arnautovic, as he was sent clean through on goal, but a poor touch enabled Tom Heaton to capitalise and quell the threat.
Charlie Adam was next to try his luck for the Potters, a glancing header from Arnautovic’s corner forced a save out of Heaton.
Adam again tried in vain to break the deadlock, his burst from midfield opened up a sight of goal, which he duly accepted, but his strike was comfortable for the Clarets’ stopper.
Arnautovic was then sent through on goal again, but he baffled the crowd by looking for a pass, when the goal was gaping; a huge chance wasted for Stoke.
After a subdued first half for Burnley, Jeff Hendrick injected some life into the Clarets on 58 minutes.
He picked up the ball 35 yards from goal and drove towards the box, beating Joe Allen and Charlie Adam, before cutting the ball back to an unmarked Boyd, who swept home; and Turf Moor was rocking. Again.
Who knows how big of a goal that will turn out to be from Boyd, but one thing is for certain it was a timely goal, which pulled the Clarets away from the relegation scrap.
Ashley Barnes came closest to a second goal in stoppage time, when Robbie Brady’s cut back was fired over by the substitute.
Stoke never really showed signs of getting an equaliser, which will certainly worry Mark Hughes, but large credit for nullifying the Stoke attack must go to the Burnley back line, who were immense, yet again.
Victory moves Burnley onto 35 points and within touching distance on safety, but the job is not done yet. A win for Hull tonight and the whole complexity changes yet again. We cant take our foot off the gas. We need to go to Middlesbrough on Saturday and be looking at three points, which would secure our Premier League status for another season.