Graham Alexander scored two penalties as Burnley came from behind to win 4-1 at Hull and keep their slim Premier League survival hopes alive.
On the day Portsmouth were relegated following West Ham’s win over Sunderland, Burnley looked like they would be following them out of the top flight when Kevin Kilbane headed Hull into a third-minute lead.
But former Scunthorpe forward Martin Paterson equalised after 35 minutes, Alexander tucked in penalties after 64 and 70 minutes and Wade Elliott curled in a stoppage-time fourth as the Clarets claimed just a second win under Brian Laws – and their first away from home all season. Both Burnley and Hull remain in the relegation zone, four points adrift of safety and they remain up against it as they bid to retain their Premier League status.
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But Burnley have given themselves a fighting chance in their remaining four fixtures and are now above Hull due to a better goal difference. Iain Dowie’s Tigers do have a game in hand on their relegation rivals, though.
George Boateng shook off the effects of concussion and an overnight hospital stay following the loss at Stoke to take his place in Hull’s midfield, and initially the presence of their captain appeared to have a galvanising effect on the hosts.
The Tigers were 2-0 winners over Fulham in their last home match – Dowie’s first home fixture in charge – and they took the lead after three minutes. Craig Fagan fed Jozy Altidore down the right and his looping cross held up invitingly for Kilbane to rush on and head in at the far post. Having conceded five in the opening 45 minutes last weekend it was not the start Burnley would have wished for.
There was talk of dressing-room unrest following last week’s debacle and two players substituted at half-time were left out at the KC Stadium. Robbie Blake dropped to the bench, while Kevin McDonald was left out completely after being disciplined for leaving Turf Moor without permission during the City loss.
The Clarets defence certainly looked far from united. Indeed, Michael Duff required treatment after receiving a cut in an aerial clash of heads with team-mate Leon Cort. Tigers fans taunted the claret-and-blue-clad opposition, signing: "Are you Scunthorpe in disguise?"
But they will have regretted their choice of song when former Iron forward Paterson popped up with the equaliser. Right-back Tyrone Mears cut inside Kilbane with ease and crossed left-footed for Paterson.
The recalled forward, who was on the edge of the six-yard box, controlled the ball and hit a right-footed shot on the turn low beyond Myhill. Andy Dawson was carried off on a stretcher early in the second half for Hull and their woes worsened when Burnley piled on the pressure and were rewarded with a second goal.
After Duff had missed a golden opportunity, lifting over with the goal gaping, he was brought down by a combination of Ibrahima Sonko and Boateng for a penalty. Bernard Mendy had been booked for a foul on Danny Fox and the resulting free-kick had to be retaken as Fagan was adjudged to have encroached. Fox pumped the ball into the box and the ball dropped for Duff, who was brought down, with referee Martin Atkinson pointing to the spot. Alexander stepped up and drilled into the bottom right corner to put Burnley in front.
Hull attempted a response, but conceded on the counter-attack as Nugent, despite cries for an initial handball, raced down the left. Mendy, who had moved to full-back after the introduction of Geovanni, pulled him back and Atkinson blew for a spot-kick for a second time.
The referee, though, kept his cards in his pocket and Mendy avoided a second caution. Alexander again chose to shoot to the right and again Myhill went the wrong way as Burnley went 3-1 up. Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink, on for Fagan, made space for himself on the right, but his cross was just out of reach of Altidore at the far post as Hull sought to pull a goal back.
Bullard drilled off target from 20 yards but Hull’s misery was compounded when Elliott curled in an excellent fourth goal. The midfielder’s expertly-taken inswinging free-kick flew past Myhill and into the top corner.