Glentoran no match for Clarets
The Clarets continued their pre-season winning streak with 5-0 drubbing of Glentoran at The Oval in East Belfast last night in the special 125th Anniversary celebration friendly with both clubs formed in 1882.
This was the Clarets fourth consecutive victory of the summer and they have now won five of the seven friendlies played to date with one draw and just one defeat.
Their hectic pre-season schedule still remains though and they now face Bradford away on Wednesaday night this week before completing their friendlies against Inverness Caledonian Thistle at Turf Moor this Saturday.
The players will then have one week to prepare for the 2008-9 season openner which begins with a trip to Sheffield Wednesday on the Saturday, 9th August.
Back to last night's match though!
The team sheet, when it was finally announced on the Official Site about 10 minutes into the game, contained quite a few surprises. It would appear we had quite a few injuries.
So many in fact that Owen Coyle named himself on the bench! Another surprise was that we had a new face in the starting eleven.
The trialist was 20 year old Aleksandrs Solovjovs,a Latvian Under 21 International left winger currently playing club football with Latvian top flight side, JFK Olimps Riga/ASK
The Clarets therefore lined up as follows:
Jensen, Jordan, Caldwell, Carlisle, Duff, Mahon, Gudjonsson, Jones, Solovjovs, Akinbiyi, Rodriguez.
Subs: Penny, Alexander, Blake, Paterson, Berisha, Coyle
So still no sign of Chris McCann or Kevin McDonald and it would appear Wade Elliott, Van der Schaaf and Christian Kalvenes were also injured.
Jay Rodriguez was also the only young gun to be selected with Adam Kay and Alex MacDonald missing out this time and it was Rodriguez, celebrating his 19th birthday who would open the scoring for the Clarets after 32 minutes thanks to some clever work by our new trialist.
The Latvian running down the left, spotted Akinbiyi and Rodriguez and put in a cross and it was Rodriguez who managed to poke the ball home at the far post after a valiant attempt by Akinbiyi.
A sequence of substitutions by the Glens probably upset their rhythm but despite the Clarets being on top with a number of efforts on goal, the score remained 1-0 at half time.
The Clarets made one substitution for the start of the second half with Blake replacing Rodriguez and then 11 minutes into the half Solovjovs went off to be replaced by Besart Berisha.
The trialist had had a good game and was applauded off the pitch for his effort
It wasn't however until 62 minutes that the Clarets doubled their lead.
Berisha put in a cross and found Akinbiyi who from eight yards out thumped the ball into the roof of the net to make it 2-0 Clarets.
That was to be Akinbiyi's last touch before Martin Paterson came on from the bench to replace him.
In the 68th minute Jensen dropped a harmless looking cross on the edge of his own box but thankfully Peter Steele mis-cued in front of a wide open goal.
With 20 minutes to go, Owen Coyle decided he wanted some action and came on to replace Gudjonsson joining Alexander, who had earlier replaced Mahon,in midfield
18 minutes from time and Martin Paterson made it 3-0 Clarets at his second attempt.
His point-blank header had been saved but he picked up the rebound to put the ball over the line despite the best efforts of the Glens defence to clear the ball
Graham Alexander then made it 4-0 from the penalty spot after Jones had been tripped in the area with four minutes to go.
The Glens now shellshocked and tired, then conceded another goal with the last kick of the game. Who should get the last kick? None other than Owen Coyle.
The gaffer made no mistake when he rifled the ball into the net from the edge of the area with the defence wide open
A thumping Clarets win 5-0 and now 11 goals in three matches with only one conceded.
Clarets legend Jimmy McIlroy was a VIP guest at this match alongside another former Glentoran player, Northern Ireland manager and our new Scout, Billy Bingham.
This must have been a proud night for them and before kick off they were introduced to both teams getting a rapturous applause from both sets of supporters.
Burnley: Jensen, Jordan, Caldwell, Carlisle, Duff, Mahon (Alexander 59), Gudjonsson (Coyle 69), Jones, Solovjovs (Berisha 56), Akinbiyi (Paterson 63), Rodriguez (Blake 46)
Glentoran (starting): Morris, Nixon, Neill, Leeman, Ward, Fordyce, Halliday, Hamilton, Scullion, Berry, Harris.
Subs: Taylor, Burrows, Simpson, Boyce, Carson, Steele, Gardiner, Burrows, Ferguson, Black