Alexander boosts Burnley's survival bid
Graham Alexander scored twice from the penalty spot as Burnley defeated Hull 4-1 to boost their survival bid with their first Premier League away win this season.
Brian Laws' team had taken just one point from their previous 16 away matches and they looked set for another dismal day on their travels when Kevin Kilbane gave fellow strugglers Hull an early lead at the KC Stadium on Saturday. But Martin Paterson levelled for Burnley before half-time, Alexander struck twice from the spot and Wade Elliott added the fourth to lift the Clarets above Hull into 18th place on goal difference. West Ham's win over Sunderland kept Laws' team four points from safety but Burnley will believe they still have a chance after this emphatic win.
"As a manager I've been an easy target this week for criticism and hopefully that might just quieten them down for at least a few more days," Laws said. "Externally it was very difficult because the media were very much on our backs, particularly mine. I'm a cheap shot at the moment, very easy to get at because we were not winning games. We'll certainly wake a few people up with that result, that's for sure. The most satisfying thing for me is that the players have proven they can win away from home. We've got to build on that."
Hull boss Iain Dowie added: "The manner of the defeat is the galling part of it. It makes you sick to the pit of your stomach, because I thought the game started well. It's about heart and desire and we had one player, George Boateng, who played with that. We've got to respond in the way Burnley have done."
Hull boss Iain Dowie had watched his team beat Fulham in their new manager's first home match and they made a dream start to his second as Kilbane struck in the third minute. Craig Fagan picked out Jozy Altidore down the right flank and his looping cross to the far post was met by the unmarked Kilbane with a firm header past Brian Jensen.
Hull threatened again when Jimmy Bullard smashed a free-kick over the bar from just outside the penalty area. And the hosts went even closer as Altidore's powerful run forced Jensen to rush off his line. Jensen blocked the American's path but the rebound fell to Bullard and he should have done better than shoot tamely over.
Burnley turn the tide
But just as Burnley looked in danger of being blown away, Laws' team equalised against the run of play in the 35th minute. Tyrone Mears got past Kilbane and crossed torwards Paterson, who controlled and hit a low shot past Boaz Myhill from six yards. Hull had defender Andy Dawson carried off on a stretcher early in the second half and the Clarets almost took advantage of the changes in the home rearguard as Michael Duff shot over from close-range.
Laws' side didn't need to rue that miss for long as Danny Fox's 64th minute free-kick dropped for Duff, who was fouled by a combination of Ibrahima Sonko and George Boateng. Alexander stepped up and drilled the resulting penalty into the bottom right corner.
Suddenly Burnley were running riot and David Nugent won a second penalty in the 70th minute as referee Martin Atkinson pointed to the spot after the striker was pulled back by Bernard Mendy. Alexander again chose to shoot to the right and again Myhill went the wrong way as Burnley sealed a crucial victory.
Hull's last chance of earning a lifeline was wasted by Bullard, who drilled wide from 20 yards after Altidore's shot was blocked. And Elliott compounded their misery with an inswinging free-kick which flew into the top corner in stoppage time.