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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
23:08 8th March 2011

HULL CITY 0 BURNLEY 1

New loan signing Nathan Delfouneso made himself an instant Burnley hero as his debut goal gave the Clarets another priceless win in their promotion quest.

Just hours after signing on loan from Aston Villa for the rest of the season to ease the Clarets' striker shortage, Delfouneso delivered instant dividends to lead Eddie Howe's warriors to a fifth win in six games.

But while the 20-year-old took the headlines for handing top-six rivals Hull only their third defeat in 21 games with his fourth-minute goal, it was a fighting rearguard action that earned Burnley successive away league wins for the first time since December, 2008.

Lee Grant was heroic in goal behind a back four that refused to budge and deservedly racked up a second straight clean sheet.

And with that resilience dashing Hull's hopes of a comeback, the Clarets looked increasingly like a side capable of forcing their way at least into the play-off zone.

Delfouneso could not have made a better start to his temporary stay as he scored with virtually his first touch in Burnley's version of claret and blue.

And doubtless it was a goal that will get a mention back at Villa's training ground in the summer as he poked the ball past club-mate Brad Guzan.

The American had also made a loan move earlier in the day and while he had an excuse for getting exposed from Burnley's first corner of the game, Hull's coaching staff and defenders will have been kicking themselves for not reading the danger signs.

The Clarets repeated the set-piece move that had almost brought them a goal against Crystal Palace last Saturday as Jack Cork stepped over a Ross Wallace delivery for Jay Rodriguez to run in and shoot.

This time Rodriguez didn't make such clean contact but the ball still found itself into the six-yard box where Delfouneso stuck out a leg to steer it inside the post.

Bar a half-chance for Nick Barmby the lead sat comfortably with the Clarets for the next 20 minutes as they moved the ball around nicely, getting Tyrone Mears into his usual dangerous positions and threatening through Chris Eagles and Ross Wallace.

But the Tigers, not used to conceding goals at home, gradually clawed their way back into the game and went close to levelling before the break.

James Harper had let fly with a couple of long-range efforts but City's best chance fell to Matty Fryatt ,who would have scored his eighth goal since signing in January but for Michael Duff's excellent covering run and goalline clearance nine minutes from the end of the first half after Robert Koren had played in the in-form striker.

As against Palace, a second goal would have made life easier for the Clarets and within seconds of the re-start Howe's men weren't far away from nicking one.

Eagles gained possession from Hull's kick-off and sprinted forward before squaring the ball for Rodriguez who was not far off with a shot under pressure from defender Liam Rosenior.

And in a game that always looked likely to be settled by fine margins Hull were then only inches away at the other end as Corry Evans sent a shot whistling past the post.

It was nervy stuff at times as the Clarets invited pressure by surrendering possession cheaply and despite the heroics of the defenders in front of him, Grant twice had to be at his best to stop City equalising.

With 63 minutes gone Grant superbly smothered an Andy Dawson shot following an almighty goalmouth scramble and five minutes later the keeper stuck out a hand to push wide an Evans' effort after Aaron McLean's pass had put the midfielder in the clear.

Grant also had to block a Harper flick with his leg at the near post following another Hull corner, although twice amid the almost relentless pressure Rodriguez had the chance to give the Clarets breathing space.

Both times he combined with England under-21 team-mate Delfouneso, firstly skidding a low shot just wide and then lifting an effort over the top when he should have hit the target.

Burnley: Grant, Mears, Fox, Carlisle, Duff, Marney, Cork, Eagles (Iwelumo 82), Wallace (Elliott 73), Rodriguez, Delfouneso. Subs: Alexander, Edgar, Bartley, Bikey, Jensen.

Booked: Fox 35, Mears 54

Hull City: Guzan, Dawson, Gerrard, Chester, Rosenior, Barmby (Amoo 72), Koren, Evans, Harper (Simpson 87), Fryatt, McLean. Subs: Hobbs, Garcia, Cairney, Belaird, Oxley.

Referee: Darren Deadman

Attendance: 20,218

    Data provided by Press Association