Vokes gives Burnley dramatic late win over Leicester

Date published: Tuesday 31st January 2017 9:59 - Michael Graham

Sam Vokes scored a dramatic late winner as Burnley’s brilliant home form continued with a 1-0 win over Leicester City.

Vokes fired in from close range in the 87th minute to secure the Clarets’ seventh successive win at Turf Moor in all competitions and fifth in the league, although replays suggested he may have controlled the ball with his arm before shooting.

Referee Mike Dean, who had earlier waved away notable penalty appeals from both sides, allowed the effort to stand despite the strong protests of Leicester’s players.

The questionable winning goal came at the end of a match Burnley spent much of attacking and had looked set to reflect upon with regret at having not taken their chances.

As it is, their latest victory leaves them ninth in the table, 10 points clear of the drop zone, while champions Leicester – still without an away league win this season – have dropped to 16th and are only two points better off than 18th-placed Crystal Palace.

After a build-up to the transfer deadline day contest that had seen Leicester’s Leonardo Ulloa issue an apparent strike threat amid the club rejecting bids for him from Sunderland, it was the Foxes who initially exerted some pressure.

But the hosts – who announced the signing of Ashley Westwood from Aston Villa just before the match, then that of Robbie Brady from Norwich during it – soon settled and created the first real chance in the 10th minute when Ashley Barnes latched onto an Andre Gray header and fired wide.

Barnes was then just unable to make the right contact as the ball dropped his way in front of goal, and Gray lashed an effort into the side-netting.

Burnley survived a scare soon after when Jamie Vardy picked up a misjudged back pass by Matt Lowton, only to shoot across the box.

Clarets goalkeeper Tom Heaton also dealt comfortably with tame attempts from Demarai Gray and Marc Albrighton, and the hosts subsequently lost Steven Defour in the 34th minute to injury.

But having weathered that mini-storm, the home side were then on the front foot again and felt they deserved a penalty when Michael Keane jumped to meet a Jeff Hendrick cross but missed the ball, apparently having been pushed from behind by Danny Drinkwater.

Dean dismissed that claim, and also allowed play to continue moments later when Barnes protested he had had his shirt pulled in the box by Danny Simpson and a brief skirmish between the pair ensued.

The first half concluded with Burnley continuing to knock on the door, as Joey Barton – making his maiden league start since rejoining the club this month – saw a couple of strikes fly just over and Scott Arfield, who had come on for Defour, had a shot deflected wide.

Barton and Arfield then each sent further efforts off-target early in the second half and Andre Gray brought a near-post save out of Kasper Schmeichel with a powerful drive.

There was another warning for Sean Dyche’s men when Riyad Mahrez’s shot was spilled by Heaton and Vardy went in to follow up but failed to finish as he hit the turf.

And it was Leicester then making hearty appeals to Dean for a pot-kick when Heaton collided with Vardy in the area, with the latter going down – but again the referee gave nothing.

Thereafter, it was the Foxes being put under pressure again, with efforts from Andre Gray, Keane and Hendrick all having efforts blocked and Ben Mee sending a free header over.

It looked as if Leicester would ride it out until the dying moments when Keane headed a corner goalwards, the ball struck the recently-introduced Vokes – seemingly on the arm – and he rifled it home.

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