Burnley profit from Fox's wily goal hunt

Burnley 2 West Ham United 1

For some people, it takes five years to become an overnight sensation.

Burnley's Danny Fox is one of those people, although he is making up for lost time as he set up one and scored the other in a pulsating encounter on Saturday that saw Burnley emerge victorious at the expense of West Ham United, who also replaced them in the bottom three as a result.

Fox began his footballing career at Everton, alongside the likes of a certain Wayne Rooney, yet he was released by the Merseyside club in 2005 having never played a game in the Premier League.

Yet after stints at Walsall, Coventry City and six months at Celtic, he has finally arrived at the stage he has always dreamt of and he demonstrated his desire to stay at this level with a superb showing against Gianfranco Zola's side in Burnley's 2-1 win.

"I got let go by Everton when I was 18 and I am an Everton fan," Fox said. "It was a bitter blow but it was my aim to prove people wrong. It was always my dream to play in the Premier League and I don't want to be here for a few months – I want to be here for the rest of my career if possible.

"People say, 'You wouldn't play in the Premier League', but hopefully I have answered a few of my critics."

Fox started answering those critics as early as the 14th minute when he launched a high through-ball in the direction of David Nugent, who benefited enormously from the indecision by Matthew Upson. He dithered about how to deal with the delivery and that allowed Nugent to slip past him and lob the on-rushing Robert Green for the first goal.

West Ham were amiable strangers in the opening 25 minutes and did little to demonstrate they had any desire to compete. They were second to everything, although Benni McCarthy was unlucky at one stage to see a shot cleared off the line by Leon Cort.

That was about it, though, and they were punished further for their lax approach soon after the interval when Jack Collison ridiculously pushed Tyrone Mears to the ground on the edge of the box and Fox curled home a great free-kick, which appeared to settle it.

Puzzlingly enough, though, the goal fired West Ham's enthusiasm rather than Burnley's and they dominated the last half-hour to the extent that it was remarkable that they went home empty-handed.

Carlton Cole had a chance ruled out for offside before the Brazilian striker Ilan swept home with 10 minutes left to ensure a nervy finish. Junior Stanislas and Mido then both tested the woodwork and Scott Parker was also denied by a wonderful low save from Brian Jensen, easily the busiest man in Lancashire for most of the second half.

At the final whistle, the "goal attempts" column read eight for the home side and 20 to the visitors.

Yet it was Burnley who had the healthier-looking number in the "goal" column, and as always, that was the only one that mattered.

"I'm confident we can sort it out, because the desire of the team not to lose today was great even at 2-0," Zola said. "We fought until the end and we deserved something from the game. I think the players know that we need to react straight away from this. The players are very committed and desperate to see this team successful and I'm sure we will see this team come back stronger."

Burnley (4-4-2): Jensen; Mears, Cort, Carlisle, Fox (Edgar, 86); Elliott, Bikey, McDonald, Blake (Paterson, 72), Fletcher, Nugent (Thompson, 89). Substitutes not used: Weaver (gk), Duff, Eagles, Cork.

West Ham United (4-4-2): Green; Faubert, Tomkins, Upson, Spector; Parker, Behrami, Collison (Stanislas, 62), Noble (Ilan, 77); Cole, McCarthy (Mido, 46). Substitutes not used: Stech (gk), Kovac, Da Costa, Ilunga.

Referee: H Webb (South Yorkshire).

Booked: Burnley Fox, McDonald; West Ham Parker.

Man of the match: Fox.

Attendance: 21,001.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
Fifa corruption: Strip Qatar of the World Cup? Not likely

Strip Qatar of the World Cup? Not likely

But if a real smoking gun is found, that might change things, says Tom Peck
Twenty two years later Jurassic Park series faces questions over accuracy of the fictional dinosaurs in it

Tyrannosaurus wrecked?

Twenty two years on, Jurassic Park faces questions over accuracy
The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
Genes greatly influence when and how many babies a woman will have, study finds

Mother’s genes play key role in decision to start a family

Study's findings suggest that human fertility is still evolving
12 best olive oils

Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
Rafa Benitez Real Madrid unveiling: New manager full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

Benitez full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

There were tears in the former Liverpool manager’s eyes as he was unveiled as Real Madrid coach. But the Spaniard knows he must make tough decisions if he is to succeed
England can win the Ashes – and Elvis Presley will present the urn

England can win the Ashes – and Elvis will present the urn

In their last five Test, they have lost two and drawn two and defeated an India side last summer who thought that turning up was competing, says Stephen Brenkley
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)