Southampton recorded only their second win since Boxing Day as they beat Burnley to move within a point of Championship leaders West Ham.

Adam Lallana opened the scoring with a header from Frazer Richardson's cross.

Rickie Lambert twice went close before Billy Sharp netted his first Saints goal, although Burnley defender Ben Mee seemed to get the final touch.

Saints substitute David Connolly had a strike ruled out for offside while Burnley rarely threatened the goal.

Burnley arrived at St Mary's having won five of their last six away games while Saints' recent wobble had seen them without a win in four at home.

But it took the hosts just eight minutes to take the lead when full-back Richardson overlapped down the right and stood up an inviting cross which Lallana glanced in at the near post for his second goal in a week.

Three minutes later, former Claret Danny Fox crossed for Lambert whose shot was fingertipped wide by Lee Grant and from the corner, Lambert's header was cleared off the line by David Edgar.

Sharp, making his full debut since joining from Doncaster, made it two when he forced Lambert's cross into the net via Mee's knee.

Burnley manager Eddie Howe made a double substitution at the break, throwing Josh McQuoid and Marvin Bartley into the action, but Saints were still in control and could have added to their tally.

Lambert's cross just eluded Connolly and Grant kept out Lallana's close-range shot before Connolly thought he had bagged a third after the Burnley goalkeeper spilled a long-range effort from Lambert, but an offside flag curtailed his celebrations.

Southampton's win sets up an intriguing top-of-the-table clash against West Ham, whose match on Saturday was postponed because of the bad weather, at Upton Park on Tuesday.

Southampton manager Nigel Adkins: "Billy Sharp is going to be a massive threat in this league.

"But it is not about 11 players, we have a very strong squad to deal with the latter stages of the campaign.

"You can see the link-up play between Rickie Lambert and Billy, there are goals in both of them. They are going to be a huge threat for any defence."

Burnley boss Eddie Howe: "It was as poor as we have played for a long time. I don't think any player has come out of it with much credit except for Lee Grant.

"We have to hit the ground running now and start winning our home games between now and the end of the season.

"The defeat has served us a notice. We knew it was going to be probably our toughest game of the season and I am very disappointed with how we played."

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