Burnley edge Potters
By James Pearson. Last Updated: 26/12/05 7:30pm
Ade Akinbiyi returned to haunt former club Stoke as he scored the only goal of the game as Burnley boosted their play-off hopes with a sixth straight home win.
The former Potters player, who only made the switch to Turf Moor from Stoke in February this year, netted the winning effort in the 56th minute.
The match saw several Burnley players coming up against their former team, with Gifton Noel-Williams and James O'Connor also having a previous association the Potters, while manager Steve Cotterill had a brief spell in charge at the Britannia Stadium.
The first shot in anger came from the home side when Micah Hyde launched a 30-yard effort that was saved by goalkeeper Steve Simonsen. But it was the visitors who fashioned openings in the first period.
Paul Gallagher, on-loan from Blackburn, and Sambegou Bangoura both wasted opportunities by firing wide for the Potters. And then defender Michael Duberry was denied by Brian Jensen.
The Burnley custodian was again on hand to repel a Gallagher effort before the hosts retaliated when Noel-Williams saw his header rebound off the woodwork on 37 minutes.
The visitors had much of the play and began the second period with Bangoura failing to connect properly with a Luke Chadwick cross.
Stoke were made to pay for their profligacy when Akinbiyi broke the deadlock. Hyde touched on a cross from Michael Duff, and Akinbiyi was given the simple task of netting from close range.
The Clarets, buoyed by their goal, nearly doubled their lead soon after but Noel-Williams was off-target and then Jon Harley's flag-kick nearly caught out Simonsen.
The Potters pushed for an equaliser and Dave Brammer saw his speculative shot tipped over by Jensen before Marlon Broomes nodded over late on.
Sky Bet Championship
Mon 26th Dec
Watford3 - 0Southampton
Cardiff0 - 2Plymouth
Brighton1 - 0QPR
Preston0 - 0Sheff Wed
Ipswich0 - 2C Palace
Leeds3 - 1Coventry
Wolves0 - 2Reading
Crewe2 - 2Hull City
Sheff Utd1 - 3Norwich
Derby1 - 1Luton Town
Leicester1 - 1Millwall
Burnley1 - 0Stoke City
Sky Bet Championship
|2||Queens Park Rangers||19||39|
|10||Brighton and Hove Albion||19||28|