Accrington Stanley v Burnley
A late Steven Thompson goal rescued Burnley as they drew 2-2 with neighbours Accrington Stanley.
Despite the relatively short distance between these two Lancashire neighbours this has been little more than an annual summer friendly.
Burnley’s status as Premier League new boys gave an extra edge to the fixture played on Tuesday.
Accrington Stanley were hosting the Clarets just 36 hours after Owen Coyles had returned from their 10-day tour of Western America.
Jet-lag and a heavy pitch contributed to the slow start at the Crown Ground with the match only going ahead after inspection due to heavy recent downpours.
Burnley perhaps wished the game had been called off as they went behind on 40 minutes. John Miles put the home side in front as they went into half time dreaming of a famous pre season victory. It was a well taken goal as Bobby Grant and Michael Symes shifted the ball from left to right before finding Miles in space to their right. The winger caught an unsighted Diego Penny out as his swerving shot sprung off the Peruvian’s fingertips and into the bottom left corner.
The Clarets would have felt hard done by as record signing Steven Fletcher had a delicious chip over a flat-footed Ian Dunbavin wrongly chalked off for offside before Miles broke the deadlock.
It was a dispiriting half for the new striker as he was twice hauled to the ground, by the over zealous Darran Kempson, but on both occasions referee Jon Moss refused to take action.
Accrington rode their luck slightly as the clarets saw several chances go begging in the first half as keeper Dunbavin made a fine save from Stephen Jordan just before the interval.
The dream was turning into reality early in the second half as Sean McConville drove in a second to put Accrington 2-0 up.
A quick response from Robbie Blake and an unstoppable volley from Thompson as he twisted inside the Accrington box saved Burnley’s blushes.
It was worrying signs for the Clarets as they failed to beat the League Two opposition in there fifth out of eight pre season games. Manager Owen Coyle will be hoping they can stave off the rustiness they showed in time for there first Premier League game against Stoke on August 15th.
ACCRINGTON STANLEY: Ian Dunbavin, Peter Cavanagh (Ross Lloyd 57), Dean Winnard (Leam Richardson 67), Darran Kempson (Peter Murphy 77), Phil Edwards, Luke Joyce (Alan Burton 77), John Miles (Chris Turner 57), Jimmy Ryan (Andy Procter 49), Michael Symes (Chris King 57), Paul Mullin (Gary King 67), Bobby Grant (Sean McConville 49). Subs: Lewis Field.
BURNLEY: Diego Penny, Tyrone Mears (Richard Eckersley 46), Brian Easton, Kevin McDonald (Remco van der Schaaf 71), David Edgar (Clarke Carlisle 62), Stephen Jordan, Chris Eagles, Joey Gudjonsson (Chris McCann 46), Steven Fletcher (Jay Rodriguez 46), Steven Thompson, Robbie Blake. Subs: Brian Jensen.
By Faisal Hanif