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17:01 31st October 2009


Golden oldie Graham Alexander celebrated his 100th league appearance for the Clarets with two more crucial goals as Burnley tamed the Tigers on a dramatic afternoon at Turf Moor.

Alexander struck a trademark penalty after 20 minutes and then calmed Burnley's nerves with a stunning second goal 13 minutes from the end to finally kill of a brave challenge from the ten-man visitors.

Hull had arrived with only one away win since last October and manager Phil Brown seemingly hanging onto his job by a thread.

But after surviving a first-half mauling, the Tigers showed no shortage of fight even after Geovanni had been sent off for two bookings in the space of a couple of second-half minutes.

It took a masterpiece from 38-year-old Alexander to finally put them out of their misery but while Hull left rueing the performance of referee Mike Jones, Burnley got their reward for another up-tempo attacking display which got their season back in top gear with a place in the Barclays Premier League's top ten.

With Brian Jensen passed fit - with the help of a pain-killing injection - following the ankle injury which forced him off in the defeat against Wigan a week earlier and Stephen Jordan also shaking off a thigh strain, boss Owen Coyle named an unchanged side as the Clarets looked to launch another home run.

Most of Jensen's early action was restricted to the odd clearance as Burnley started brightly, although the first save of the match came from the Clarets' keeper as he dropped to his right to smother a shot from Seyo Olofijana.

The majority of the game was played in Hull's half, though, as the Clarets buzzed around in search of an opening.

Penalty king Graham Alexander celebrates another

Robbie Blake and Chris Eagles stretched the Tigers down the flanks, although it was a combination between Wade Elliott and Tyrone Mears which breached the Hull defence to give Burnley the lead.

Elliott's pass was perfectly weighted for Mears to run onto and when he tried to cross under pressure from Stephen Hunt, the full-back lost his footing to earn a fortuitous penalty with the referee suggesting there had been a hand from Hunt in his back.

Penalty king Alexander was never likely to spurn the gift and duly steered home his second successful spot-kick of the season to take his 100 per cent record in claret and blue to 12 and his career tally to 68 from 73.

That goal gave Burnley the impetus to take a firmer grip ahead of half-time as they went in search of a second goal with some wonderful attacking football.

Blake was instrumental in much of the Clarets' good work and after seeing a fierce drive blocked by Kamil Zayatte following a well-worked free-kick he linked with Elliott to allow the livewire Elliott to unleash an angled drive which Matt Duke parried at his near post.

When Hull did get forward they were invariably then caught out by Burnley's speed on the counter-attack and from a typically fluent break the dangerous Eagles forced Duke into another sharp save with a skidding shot.

Hull's vanquished players let their feelings known

A second goal would have further punctured Hull's fragile confidence, although the Tigers showed they were not yet out of hunt in the final minute of the first half when a quick free-kick caught out the Clarets and Jensen had to be alert to come out and block from Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink.

And Jensen came to the Clarets' rescue again three minutes after the break when Burnley were opened up by a pass from Vennegoor of Hesselink. Olofinjana was challenged in the box by Clarke Carlisle, but the ball broke for Kamel Ghilas ten yards out and it took a fine block from 'The Beast' to prevent the equaliser.

That scare sparked the Clarets back into life with Eagles, Elliott and Mears raiding forward again and when Mears got in behind the Hull defence a better cross would surely have given Steven Fletcher a straight-forward chance.

However, the second goal wouldn't come and as Hull kept their hopes alive substitute Bernard Mendy launched a surging run which ended with another Jensen save low to his right.

And Hull were denied a leveller in controversial circumstances after 66 minutes when the referee was again the centre of attention.

Chris Eagles carries the fight to the Tigers

Jones initially gave a soft free-kick when Hunt this time fell over his own feet and when Geovanni then curled his effort into the top corner the referee disallowed it for pushing in the wall.

Geovanni was booked for protesting and that proved costly just a couple of minutes later when the Brazilian caught Fletcher from behind and earned a second yellow to leave the visitors with ten men and add further to Hull's growing sense of anger.

Burnley desperately needed something to take the heat out of the situation and quench Hull's spirit and it came with 13 minutes to go thanks to the magnificent Alexander as he marked the 900th game of his club career in style.

Substitute Kevin McDonald played a big part alongside Fletcher in the decisive break and when McDonald rolled the ball square, Alexander drive forward and cracked a low shot past Duke from 22 yards.

Burnley could easily have added to their tally late on as they rampaged forward and City's afternoon of misery was summed up in the final minute when Andy Dawson's long-range effort skimmed the outside of a post.

Burnley: Jensen, Alexander, Carlisle, Caldwell, Fletcher (Nugent 78), Elliott, Mears, Blake (McDonald 72), Bikey, Jordan, Eagles (Guerrero 84). Substitutes: Penny, Duff, Gudjonsson, Thompson.

Hull City: Duke, Dawson, Gardner, McShane (Mendy 59), Geovanni, Hunt (Barmby 70), Marney, Ghilas, Zayatte, Vennegoor of Hesselink (Altidore 59), Olofinjana. Substitiutes: Garcia, Kilbane, Mouyokolo, Warner.

Ref: M Jones

Attendance: 20,299

Alexander lets fly for the clincher

    Data provided by Press Association