Belfast Telegraph

West Ham Utd 1 Burnley 0: Noble's luck is in as Hammers end their recent slump

By Andy Sims

Mark Noble fired West Ham to a nervy but crucial 1-0 victory over Burnley. The Hammers desperately needed three points following a run of six games without a win, and had targeted two home matches against the Clarets and Hull to kickstart their season.

And skipper Noble grabbed the winner in first-half stoppage time with a goal that summed up an unconvincing display, scoring the rebound after his penalty was saved by Tom Heaton.

Under-pressure boss Slaven Bilic was also grateful to a shocking miss from Burnley striker Sam Vokes and a superb save from Darren Randolph.

Burnley could count themselves unfortunate but their dismal away form - they have picked up a solitary point on the road this season - continued, as did their rotten run in London, where they have still never won a Premier League match.

The Clarets sat back in the early stages and let West Ham attack them, which they did, but not with any particular menace.

The Hammers felt they should have had a penalty in the 26th minute when the ball struck Michael Keane's arm, but referee Bobby Madley disagreed.

The pressure was telling and as half-time approached Ben Mee tripped Winston Reid at another corner, with Madley this time pointing to the spot.

Heaton, being watched by England boss Gareth Southgate, kept out Noble's penalty but the relieved Hammers midfielder knocked in the loose ball.

Burnley almost hauled themselves level but Vokes came up with his miss-of-the-season contender when Scott Arfield's cross looped into the air, the striker heading over an empty net.

Then Arfield's free-kick was curling towards the West Ham net until Randolph flung out a hand to palm it round the post.

Substitute Andre Ayew could have calmed West Ham's nerves only to fire across goal and wide, but Bilic's side survived regardless.

Belfast Telegraph

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