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Match Reports

Burnley 2 Watford 0

26 September 2016

Burnley 2 Watford 0

ON a night when gold medal winning Olympian Steven Burke was paraded at Turf Moor, Jeff Hendrick and Michael Keane were the goal-den boys for Burnley.

Headers for club recorded signing Hendrick, on his full home debut, and defender Keane either side of half-time fired the Clarets to an impressive 2-0 win over Watford.

Both goals were Premier League firsts for the duo, in a first top flight meeting between these two teams.

And it could have been a more comfortable win for Sean Dyche against his old club, with Sam Vokes leading the line in determined fashion.

The Wales international returned to the starting XI as Andre Gray began his four-match ban following an FA hearing into misconduct charges.

And the Clarets as a whole worked hard to make up for the striker’s absence against a side who dismantled Manchester United in a 3-1 at Vicarage Road on Sunday.

Burnley started brightly and with purpose.

Penalty appeals when Vokes was bundled to the ground were waved away by referee Mike Jones, but Sean Dyche’s men retained possession. A dangerous ball from Johann Berg Gudmundsson searched for the head of Vokes but Craig Cathcart intervened, and George Boyd forced a good save from Heurelho Gomes from the corner.

Steven Defour then had a shot from the edge of the box blocked by Jose Holebas.

Burnley continued to force the issue, and Vokes was bundled over by Sebastien Prodl, but Jones did not see enough contact to warrant a free kick.

Vokes dusted himself down and was unlucky to glance a header wide from Matt Lowton’s centre.

It was all Burnley, and Gudmunsson was the next to go close after cutting in from the right and unleashing a shot that went into the side-netting.

Watford began to see more of the ball as the half wore on but Burnley defended well, providing the platform to take a lead into the break.

Gudmundsson’s long range shot was controlled by the energetic Dean Marney, whose cut back from the byeline was intercepted by Miguel Britos.

Defour’s corner found Hendrick at the far post, and the Irishman’s downwards header evaded a packed goalmouth to find the back of the net.

Vokes was close to making it 2-0 after Ben Mee rose to head on Lowton’s free kick and the striker was at full stretch, but could not poke it past Gomes.

Watford searched for an equaliser before the break but the Clarets' 4-2-3-1 formation worked as effectively against the ball as it had with it and Burnley went into the break buoyant.

Tom Heaton’s only save of the half was a routine one in stoppage time from Odion Ighalo’s flicked header.

The England international was called into action early in the second half as Watford came out fighting, but he set the tone for a solid 45 minutes for the Clarets with a good save from Troy Deeney.

Keane dealt with the rebound well, heading behind before Burnley built from the back and probed again.

Defour worked the ball to Boyd, whose low drive was turned behind by Prodl.

And again Burnley capitalised from the corner.

The initial delivery from Defour was headed back to the midfielder, who returned an excellent ball into the box for Keane to nod past Gomes.

Having had a hand in both goals Defour tried to get on the scoresheet himself but had his shot parried by Gomes.

Watford made changes to try to break Burnley down.

Substitute Isaac Success fired across the face of goal from an acute angle, with Heaton seemingly getting the slightest of touches as the referee awarded a corner which came to nothing.

And the Clarets continued to hold firm for a second clean sheet, and win, in five Premier League games.

The man of the match vote unsurprisingly went to Defour.

With two assists, the summer signing has been involved in four of Burnley’s five goals this season.

Burnley: Heaton, Lowton, Keane, Mee, Ward, Boyd, Defour (Arfield 83), Marney, Hendrick, Gudmundsson (Kightly 90+3); Vokes
Unused subs: Robinson, Bamford, Tarkowski, Flanagan, O’Neill

Watford: Gomes; Cathcart (Zuniga 45), Prodl, Britos; Amrabat (Success 58), Capoue, Behrami, Pereyra (Kenedy 75), Holebas; Deeney (6), Ighalo (6)
Unused subs: Kaboul, Guedioura, Watson, Pantilimon

Ref: M Jones

Att: 18,519 (1,415)


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