Burnley 2 West Ham United 0
By Burnley FC
December 30 2018

McNeil scores first senior goal as brilliant Burnley bounce back  It might not have felt like it recently, but 2018 was a famous year for the Clarets.

 And thanks to a magnificent and desperately needed win, Sean Dyche’s men ended it in fitting style.

 Finishing seventh in the Premier League and qualifying for Europe was beginning to feel like a fading memory on the back of a run of nine defeats in 11 games which had dragged the Clarets into the relegation places.

 The fight is far from over, but a second home win since September featuring a first senior goal from 19-year-old Dwight McNeil and the return in goal of club captain Tom Heaton wound back the clock and restored the feel-good factor.

 McNeil, an Academy product since the age of 14 whose senior bow had come in the Europa League, was superb among a clutch of outstanding performances as he followed up Chris Wood’s opening goal to earn the Clarets only a fourth league win of the season to move level on points with 17th-placed Southampton.

 Heaton was never-overworked on his first Premier League appearance since September, 2017 – bar a magnificent late save to deny Andy Carroll – as Burnley kept a third clean sheet in 14 top-flight attempts.

 But his presence only added to the sense of well-being as the Clarets headed into 2019 and the second half of their season with renewed belief and momentum from a victory that could and should have been even more emphatic.

 With the mood lifted around Turf Moor from kick-off, crucially that was reflected in a performance that also started on a high as the Clarets looked to make amends for their Boxing Day beating by Everton.

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Match Report