Chris Wood scored his seventh goal of the season as Burnley ended a run of three successive defeats with a 1-0 victory against a patched-up Newcastle.
Wood’s 58th-minute header was enough to separate the sides in what was a poor contest overall at Turf Moor, giving Sean Dyche’s side their fifth Premier League win on home soil this season.
On a bitter Lancashire afternoon the first half was found wanting for quality and, to an extent, industry given that the majority of the opening 45 minutes was played at a relatively pedestrian pace.
For the Newcastle manager, Steve Bruce, it was a case of make do and mend, with his side shorn of four players who figured in last weekend’s 2-1 home win over Southampton through injury.
Without the pace of Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almirón, Bruce handed Andy Carroll only his second start since a free transfer from West Ham in the summer, along with the captain’s armband.
Unsurprisingly, when short of ideas, the ball was pumped forward for Carroll, which almost paid off in the fifth minute when Isaac Hayden’s cross picked out the towering forward for a header that flashed a couple of yards wide.
Burnley responded six minutes later when Ashley Barnes, one of three changes from the Clarets’ 5-0 hammering at Tottenham last weekend, played in Dwight McNeil for a stinging low shot from 22 yards that Martin Dubravka turned aside.
A contentious VAR call then arose in the 13th minute when Wood’s flick of a low ball in from McNeil caught the hand of Paul Dummett, who had slid in to challenge the striker, yet only a corner was given, much to the anger of the home faithful.
There was precious little action that followed, bar injury scares for Fabian Schär and James Tarkowski, the latter challenged twice in two minutes by Joelinton , who earned a yellow card from Tim Robinson.
Mercifully, 13 minutes after the restart the deadlock was broken when Wood headed home an inswinging corner from Ashley Westwood at the far post, awarded after Federico Fernández had rolled on the ball over the byline despite Bruce’s moans to the contrary.
A minute later Carroll’s captaincy debut was marred with a booking. Although he always had his eyes on a high ball, his elbow into the face of the Burnley captain, Ben Mee, drew the game’s second caution from Robinson.
Jack Cork should then have sealed the points in the 67th minute but, after stealing the ball off Sean Longstaff deep in Newcastle’s half and shrugging aside a challenge from Fernández, his 10-yard shot was superbly saved by Dubravka.
Following a 20-yard volley by Joelinton that caught the sidenetting, Wood then angled a left-wing McNeil cross into the near post but it went narrowly over the bar.
Eight minutes from time Newcastle almost stole an equaliser, only for the substitute Dwight Gayle to sidefoot wide from inside the six-yard area following a low Joelinton cross from the left after he had contentiously barged Erik Pieters off the ball.