It's just a sad one when I end a game talking about the referee

Last updated : 03 May 2015 By Tony Scholes

West Ham have had a record as bad as ours recently in terms of results but it was a Mark Noble penalty that won it for them midway through the first half. Manager Sam Allardyce said: "It's been clear to everybody that we've struggled to put the ball in the back of the net, even though we created chance after chance.

"I wouldn't say all of it were bad finishing, because a lot of it was good defending and very good goalkeeping, particularly the save from Enner Valencia just after we'd scored the penalty.

"We got the nerve ends jangling for everybody because, with three minutes to go, we know we were 1-0 up and what has happened to us in the recent past. We coped with it very well, so it was a very good win.

"It was a very good performance in the second half, but not so much the first, and of course we got our second penalty of the season and it  was so important for us in the end because we scored it."

Asked about the penalty that led to the winning goal, Allardyce added: "There was no doubt it was a penalty but it was a harsh sending off I think because there was another defender there. Those decisions have to be made in a split second but the official and I am not sure if Stewart Downing's one in the second half was a penalty, but in the end it hasn't mattered.

"If a referee gets a decision wrong against you, the critical factor is that it doesn't cost you, and we've still won the game, so it hasn't cost us and we have still got three points. We've been telling everybody how important it is to keep clean sheets and it has finally hit home over the last two games because we have collected two of them and four points."

Sean Dyche, like everyone else with more than an interest in Burnley Football Club, was far from happy with the decision by referee Jon Moss to send off Michael Duff.

He said: "I am wholeheartedly disappointed; for my team and the fans who travelled down who want to see a game 11 v 11. That has been taken away from us because it's impossible to give a red card, in my opinion.

"Referees have a tough job, but that is not a tough decision. It's a penalty, there's no two ways about that but their lad is still to try and finish the chance after going round Michael.

Jason Shackell is not far away and Ben Mee is recovering. I just find it really difficult to believe that's a red card and judging by the sharp intake of breath I think there's a stadium full of people who that that too.

"The referee said he was through on goal and it was a shooting opportunity. I find that disappointing and I disagree."

He continued: "I thought we were just getting a feel in the game and that happens and it makes it very difficult to win a game. I don't want to exaggerate the performance. but we were certainly in the  game, having had early chances and looking well organised.

"It's a shame because he ruined the game and left us with a mountain to climb. You can't guarantee that 11 v 11 you will win, but it gives you a much better chance."

The result has left relegation looking inevitable. Three wins from the last three games probably won't do it, but Dyche said: "We have a mountain to climb and if we do it we're talking folklore, but we will give it everything no matter than challenge in front of us and you can see there's no lack of belief and endeavour.

"We've needed moments of quality, but it's just a sad one when I end a game talking about the referee."