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.

election 2015The 10 best quotes of the campaign
A caravan being used as a polling station in Ford near Salisbury, during the 2010 election
election 2015The Independent's guide to get you through polling day
David Blunkett joins the Labour candidate for Redcar Anna Turley on a campaigning visit last month
voicesWhat I learnt from my years in government, by the former Home Secretary David Blunkett
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'