Clarets Dominate Shrimps Net
Burnley played the second of their pre-season friendlies last night against League 2 side, Morecambe at Christie Park and came away with an emphatic 3-1 victory in a game where they dominated throughout. £3 million summer signing, striker Steven Fletcher got a brace with Paterson also on the score sheet.
There were lots of encouraging signs in this game following the disappointing 2-1 defeat by the Bantams at Valley Parade last Saturday.
In particular it was good to see how the partnership between new striker, Steven Fletcher and Martin Paterson was developing. Fletcher in particular is looking sharp with an excellent first touch plus impressive pace. He linked well with Paterson last night, made a goal for his fellow striker to score the first goal in the 15th minute and then Paterson returned the favour by setting up Fletcher to score the first of his brace a minute later. Fletcher scored his second seven minutes after the break with the Shrimpers getting effectively a consolation goal with twenty minutes to play.
Steven Thompson who picked up a slight knock in the Bradford game last Saturday was rested for this match but both Chris McCann and Chris Eagles returned to the starting eleven after recovering from minor knocks in training that kept them sidelined against the Bantams.
Brian Easton, our new left back signed during the day from Hamilton travelled with his new colleagues to Christie Park but it was too soon for him to make the team sheet.
We lined up as follows in the first half:
Subs: Penny,Duff,Jordan,Mears,van der Schaaf, Gudjonsson, McDonald, Blake, Rodriguez
In a nice touch by the home fans, the Clarets came onto a standing ovation now that they were a Premier League side and that must have raised the team`s spirits and it certainly pleased the away contingent. Respect to the Shrimpers fans!
The game had only just kicked off and the Clarets were straight onto the attack. Chris Eagles from a free-kick on the right put a curling ball over the Shrimpers back four but it was just wide of the far post. The game seemed to be rather scrappy in the early stages of the match and although Morecambe had their moments and a lot of the possession nothing really troubled Jensen.
Chris Eagles though was looking sharp and came close to scoring again in the 14th minute this time from open play. Steven Fletcher on the half-way line got the better of a defender taking the ball off him The new boy then laid off a neat pass to Eagles and the winger`s pace made mincemeat of the last defender . As he headed towards goal, Eagles tried a subtle chip only to see the ball cleared off the line.
Within a minute though Burnley had taken the lead and that certainly pleased the 984 Clarets fans that had made the journey to the seaside on a pretty grey and damp night.
Fletcher who had been in the thick of things since the start and was looking very impressive foiled his marker again and found Paterson. Pato`s shot from 18 yards out got a lucky deflection on its way into the net but they all count. 1-0 Clarets!
The Clarets fans hardly had time to stop cheering before Burnley went further ahead just one minute later. This time Paterson returned the favour for Fletcher to open his account for the Clarets. Pato`s pass found Fletcher who made no mistake with his shot from 12 yards out. 2-0 Clarets with the Shrimpers now completely SHELL-shocked! Burnley were now in complete control and with half of the first half still remaining, Elliott nearly made it 3-0 with a powerful shot from 20 yards out. The ball though flew just over the bar.
Morecambe finally had a decent chance on 30 minutes but Carlisle was alert to an attempted header and snuffed out the danger.
Shrimpers` keeper, Barry Roche was certainly seeing most of the action though and again he came to their rescue saving from Paterson at the near post after the striker had cleverly turned in the box and given himself some room to shoot. In the dying minute of the first half, it was Roche again who had to save well from Eagles after picking up a back flick from Fletcher.
So it was 2-0 to the Clarets then at the end of the first half, a half with lots of encouraging signs for Owen Coyle to savour in a game that so far we had completely dominated.
Coyle made the inevitable changes (seven in fact) for the start of the second half with just four players retaining their place (Caldwell, Eagles, Elliott and the very impressive Fletcher). On came new boy, Tyrone Mears along with Penny, Duff, Jordan, McDonald, Gudjonsson and Rodriguez in a line-up that now looked as follows:
Penny, Mears, Caldwell, Duff, Jordan, Elliott, McDonald, Gudjonsson, Eagles, Rodriguez, Fletcher.
Subs: van der Schaaf, Blake
Burnley were again out of the blocks first and within four minutes from the start of the second half Rodriguez nearly made it 3-0 up for the Clarets after getting in behind the back four only to be denied by the legs of that man, Roche.
Roche`s luck though was about to desert him when in the 52nd minute, Fletcher picked up the ball after a Gudjonsson pass from the half-way line. Our new striker supreme danced round a defender and thumped the ball home into the bottom corner to score his second goal of the night and put the Clarets 3-0 up.
Two minutes later and it was nearly 4-0 after the equally impressive Eagles tried a half-volley from 25 yards out after a neat pass by Rodriguez. The ball whacked the post though and spun to safety with Roche stranded.
Owen Coyle then made his final two substitutions after 60 minutes with Remco van der Schaaf and Robbie Blake coming on to replace braceman Fletcher and Elliott.
A mazy 70 yard run by Kevin McDonald looked to have contributed to Burnley`s 4th goal of the night after finding Rodriguez who turned to shoot. With the ball looking certain to hit the bottom corner of the net, Fraser McLachlan appeared from nowhere to clear the ball off the line.
The home fans, by now feeling somewhat hammered did finally have something to cheer about when against the run of play a mistake by Michael Duff in the 71st minute let in Colin Larkin. Penny came chasing out to try and get to the ball chipped over Duff`s head but Larkin found the net after thumping the ball home from the angle.
Morecambe had one last effort on 83 minutes to try and make the score look more respectable but Penny was in the right place to deny Twiss after palming away his powerful shot.
In the end the Clarets came out worthy 3-1 winners and to be honest Burnley had totally dominated the match. This result and performance will be a great boost to Owen Coyle and his team as they embark on their US Tour on Thursday this week. The fitness levels seem to be getting there ahead of schedule and there were some impressive individual performances from Fletcher in particular but also Eagles and the tireless Elliott
Burnley (first half): Jensen, Kalvenes, Edgar, Carlisle, Caldwell, Alexander, Eagles, McCann, Fletcher, Paterson, Elliott.
Burnley (second half): Penny, Mears, Caldwell, Duff, Jordan, Elliott (van der Schaaf 62), McDonald, Gudjonsson, Eagles, Rodriguez, Fletcher (Blake 62).
Morecambe (starting): Roche, Moss, Wilson, Stanley, Artell, Adams, Hudson, McLachlan, Chadwick, Larkin, Duffy.
Subs: Davies, Parrish, Twiss, Taylor, McStay, Winter, Woods.
Ref: M Oliver
Attendance: 2,404 (984 of them Clarets!)