Burnley 1 Hull City 0A late Sam Vokes goal kept up Burnley’s stunning league form to propel the Clarets to within a point of the Championship summit.
Vokes’ 76th minute strike – his fourth in sixth games – maintained the Clarets unbeaten league run in 2016, while simultaneously ending Hull’s.
And a fifth win in seven games sent out another ominous signal to Burnley’s rivals that they are hitting form at a crucial time.
Burnley’s deadline day signing, James Tarkowski, missed out in the 18-man squad, with Dyche explaining he was allowing the defender to settle in for another week.
That meant the Clarets were unchanged from the side that drew 1-1 at Sheffield Wednesday.
And like the game at Hillsborough, the Clarets were fast out of the traps, coming close on two occasions in the opening five minutes.
First, David Jones’ corner from the right was deep to Ben Mee, who rose the highest at the far post for a downward header that was cleared off the line, with Vokes’ follow-up shot on the turn deflected wide.
The resulting corner found Michael Keane at the front post from a George Boyd delivery, but the defender’s header was always rising.
Two long range efforts from Abel Hernandez sailed harmlessly wide as the Clarets continued their early dominance.
Again Jones’ inswinging corners caused the Tigers problems, with Vokes’ glancing header skimming the far post.
And two fine saves from Allan McGregor then denied Joey Barton on both occasions 15 minutes before the break.
The midfielder’s 30-yard free-kick was turned round by the Scotland international, and the resulting Jones cross found Barton’s head at the far post, where McGregor’s athletic stop denied him.
Following a decent save from Tom Heaton to deny a Robert Snodgrass half-volley, Barton then turned provider.
The former England midfielder wonderfully found Vokes on the penalty spot, but under pressure the Welsh striker volleyed into the ground and over.
And as an even game closed in on half time, another Burnley corner caused chaos in the City box, but Keane’s leaping header skimmed Hull’s crossbar,
It was a more even start to the second half, with the Tigers’ pressure on the ball making it hard for the Clarets to break the visitors down.
And the Clarets were thankful to skipper Tom Heaton, who brilliantly tipped over an arrowing 25-yard strike from Moses Odubajo.
Heaton then had to pull off a last ditch tackle on striker Hernandez, who was darting in on goal after skipping past Michael Keane.
Hernandez, who is just behind Gray in the scoring charts, then missed a glorious chance to put the Tigers ahead.
A fizzing ball in from the left by Sam Clucas found the forward six-yards out, but his diving header at full stretch flew over the bar.
And with the clock ticking down, the Clarets finally struck the killer blow!
Gray’s back-heel found Arfield and from his left wing cross, the half-cleared ball fell for Barton at the edge of the box, whose low strike was initially saved by McGregor.
However, Vokes was lurking and expertly slotted home the loose ball on the turn!
The striker was involved again five minutes later, going to ground following a McGregor challenge, only for Graham Scott to book the Welshman for simulation.
But the Clarets had grown stronger in the closing stages and comfortable saw the game out to extend their unbeaten run to seven matches.
BURNLEY: Heaton, Lowton, Mee, Keane, Ward, Arfield, Barton, Jones, Boyd, Gray (Hennings 90), Vokes
Subs: Robinson, Duff, Darikwa, Taylor, Kightly, Ulvestad
Goals: Vokes 76’
Yellow: Vokes 80’
HULL: McGregor, Odubajo, Davies, Hernandez (Akpom 74), Snodgrass, Clucas, Livermore (Huddlestone 86), Diame (Aluko 74), Hayden, Dawson, Robertson
Subs: Jakupovic, Bruce, Meyler, Elmohamady
Yellow: Davies 40’
Ref: G Scott
Attendance: 17,667 (away 1628)