Report: Albion 1 Burnley 0David Lopez’s controlled first-half volley was enough for Albion to edge out Burnley at the Amex and move into the play-off places.
The Seagulls moved into sixth spot after Middlesbrough's 2-1 home defeat to Millwall and after a lively first half, in which both Albion and Burnley had opportunities to take the lead, the second half turned into a tight and nervy affair, with very little quality on display from either side.
However the Seagulls held out for another vital three points, backing up the impressive victory over Cardiff City on Tuesday; and extending their unbeaten run to four games.
The visitors started the sharper and almost took the lead in unorthodox fashion as Junior Stanislas’s cross nearly whipped straight into the Albion goal, but Tomasz Kuszczak was alert enough to turn the ball over the bar.
Albion’s main threat early on came through the link-up play between Vicente and Wayne Bridge down the left, with the latter producing two inviting crosses that flashed across the Burnley area. However nobody in a blue-and-white striped shirt was able to get on the end of either.
As Gus Poyet’s side began to assert themselves, Andrea Orlandi came close as he nodded Vicente’s corner over.
Then on 20 minutes an inventive flicked header from Orlandi off of Bridge’s arrowed cross set-up David, who ghosted in at the far post and directed an excellent volley past Lee Grant. It was the Spanish midfielder’s fifth goal of the season and second from open play.
Burnley were denied an equaliser on the half-hour mark as captain Jason Shackell saw his goalbound header hacked off the line by Gary Dicker, as the visitors began applying pressure on the Seagulls' box.
And the Clarets captain was again denied on the line, this time by Kuszczak who did superbly well to get down to his left and produce a fantastic one handed save.
The near misses seemingly sparked Albion back into life and Orlandi was once again the provider, this time flashing a cross across the face of goal but Vicente was unable to get a touch on the ball.
Kieran Trippier was having a torrid time at right-back as everything from Albion flowed down the left flank. Orlandi got in behind and produced an inch perfect cross for Leonardo Ulloa, but the Argentinean put his first time effort over the bar with the goal gaping.
Half-time substitute Danny Ings teed up Burnley’s top scorer Charlie Austin with a hanging ball from the right but the striker’s header was weak and comfortable for Kuszczak to scoop up.
Chris McCann then missed an excellent opportunity as he half volleyed Danny Lafferty’s curling cross over from close range during a sluggish opening 15 minutes of the second half.
The second period was a rather fractured affair with neither side able to create any clear cut opportunities but Austin almost provided some late drama.
The forward heading agonisingly wide in the 90th minute from Ing's cross, as Albion moved into the play-off spots with the type of gritty, hard-working victory that could prove crucial to the team’s promotion hopes.