NEWCASTLE, England (Reuters) – Newcastle United finally ended their season-long wait for a win, beating bottom-three rivals Burnley 1-0 at St James’ Park in the Premier League on Saturday thanks to a 40th-minute goal from Callum Wilson.
An error by Burnley keeper Nick Pope gifted Newcastle the goal and their first victory in their 15th attempt in the campaign.
Manager Eddie Howe, appointed last month after the dismissal of Steve Bruce, will also be delighted at his team’s first clean sheet of the campaign.
Burnley had been on top until Pope came deep to collect a cross but, under challenge from Fabian Schar, dropped the ball and Wilson reacted superbly, driving into the unguarded goal with a shot on the turn.
Things got worse for Burnley when in-form forward Maxwel Cornet had to go off with an injury before the break and his replacement Matej Vydra missed a great chance to level for the Clarets.
Newcastle were the better side after the break with Miguel Almiron going close twice and Jonjo Shelvey forcing a good save out of Pope.
Burnley thought they had levelled through substitute Jay Rodriguez but the effort was ruled out for offside.
The two clubs remain in the relegation zone, both on 10 points, with Burnley in 18th place, above 19th-placed Newcastle on goal difference but with a game in hand.
Bottom club Norwich City, also on 10 points, face Tottenham on Sunday.
“It has been a long time coming. Hopefully this is a catalyst for other things,” said Wilson.
“Against a team like Burnley it is important you score the first goal. They are hard to break down when they are set. Credit to the lads at the back too. But we can’t get carried away.
“There are a lot of points to play for. We knew there would be a turning point; hopefully this is it,” he said.
Burnley defender James Tarkowski felt his side had been unfortunate.
“If the ref gives a foul for the goal I don’t think many people complain. It is what it is. For all their forward players, we dealt with it quite well,” he said.
“At this level it is all about fine margins. You get punished for mistakes. We need to start putting points on the board but we are pleased with how we are playing. It is an important part of the year. A good run of wins and you can get yourself out of it.”
(Reporting by Simon Evans, editing by Clare Fallon)