Burnley marked Sean Dyche’s fifth anniversary as manager with a win thanks to Jeff Hendrick’s second league goal that earned the Clarets a 1-0 win over Newcastle.
Burnley leapfrogged Newcastle to climb to seventh place yet both played dully, with little highlights in the game despite early commitments to go forward.
Indeed, the only attempt on target in the first half came from Newcastle when Atsu set up Jonjo Shelvey for a shot, the midfielder striking it well from just inside the area but firing it straight at Nick Pope in the Burnley goal.
While the Magpies continue to look to Shelvey for offensive ideas, the midfielder was erratic and had misplaced a couple of straightforward passes. On the occasion of a free kick, the Englishman tried to catch Burnley out with a quick free-kick and succeeded only in passing the ball to an opponent.
The second half opened with a couple more attempts on goal, first from Newcastle with Ayoze Perez’s curling but tame shot and then in Burnley’s next attack James Tarkowski got his head to a Brady free-kick but could only direct the ball straight at Rob Elliot.
The game was heading to an almost foreseen goalless conclusion when Hendrick tapped home Johann Berg Gudmundsson’s fine cross after Rob Elliot had beaten away Jack Cork’s effort to earn a win for Burnley in a milestone for Dyche in an otherwise unmemorable game.
In addition to five years and three points the manager will also be celebrating a fourth clean sheet in seven games, and while Dyche was not positively ecstatic he was no less pleased with the result.
“When you’re us you can’t go out and play fantastic football every week, you have to fight for your wins,” he said, not unreasonably. “I knew this game would be tight. Newcastle are very organised under Rafa(el Benitez) and we had to work hard to break them down. It’s very difficult when your opponents stay as resolute as Newcastle did.”