Burnley Caught in Shrimp Nets!
Burnley got their pre-season friendly campaign off to a pretty poor start at the Globe Arena on Tuesday night. A goal by Kevin Ellison in the 79th minute gave League Two Morecambe a 1-0 victory over the Clarets and it could have been a more embarrassing score line with the woodwork saving the visitor`s blushes on a number of occasions. It is easy to panic under these circumstances and it is never nice to lose against lower league opposition no matter what the situation. You do have to get things in perspective though. This was little more than a cobweb remover and a glorified training exercise. So many changes to the team to give some of the young guns a chance to shine is always likely to upset the applecart to some degree. Stevie Hewitt, Jason Gilchrist, Luke Gallagher and Tom Anderson were all given an outing after the break joining young Alex Coleman who had come on to replace the injured Joseph Mills after 40 minutes. It was perhaps not surprising therefore that Morecambe had the upper hand in the second-half with so many of our youngsters trying to find their feet as a team. You could argue it was the same situation for Morecambe though but the result and performance by the Clarets on the night did not seem to worry the gaffer.
In his post-match comments, Sean Dyche said:
"My ethos is winning but there has to be a balance and last night was all about getting people through.
"It is really important that you come through these early games unscathed and it was a good work out, for which we thank Jim (Bentley) and Morecambe.
"We wanted to get as many bodies out there as we could, but it`s important they get game time.
"We had five young lads on at the end, who will all get a feel of it and understand the requirements and basics.
"It`s an important part of their development, but while we have this pre-season time when, of course, we all want to win and be productive, that`s not the be-all and end-all.
That comes when the whistle blows for real.
"We have to be careful and there is a lot of work to be done in Ireland now.
"There will be some hard physical work there building into the game and when we come back that`s when the team will hopefully start forming."
The talking point ahead of this game was more the players who did not get selected in the squad for this match rather than those that did except for one new face in the line-up. Sean Dyche took the opportunity as expected to play most of his first team squad and give quite a few of his Development squad players a run out. In effect we lined up with two different teams in each half, again not unusual tactics for these early pre-season games.
The team sheet in summary was given as follows:
First-half-Heaton, Lafferty, Shackell, Long, Mills, Treacy, Stock, Marney, Arfield, Ings, Vokes
Subs: Anderson, Hewitt, Gilchrist, Errington, Love
Second-half-Cisak, Coleman, Duff, Mee, Mills, Wallace, Hewitt, Arfield, Stanislas, Porter, Vokes
Eagle-eyed Burnley fans soon spotted a new name in the line up. Former Huddersfield midfielder, Scott Arfield was in the first-half line up and it was later confirmed he had been given a trial by Sean Dyche and would also travel to Ireland for our next pre-season friendly against Cork City next week.
Some key first-team squad members though were also noticeably absent. Charlie Austin we knew about, he had been given time-off to reflect after his deal to join Hull City this week dramatically fell through following the results of a medical. Most Clarets fans and indeed the media thought the problem at first could have been related to his troublesome shoulder but it turned out there was an unexpected problem with his knee. Austin then remains a Burnley player for now and the club look keen to offer him a new deal despite the injury. David Edgar was also absent but he is on international duty for Canada so that left Kieran Trippier, Marvin Bartley and Luke O`Neill noticeably absent from the team sheet! The club were quick to allay any fears saying they were all fine so we can now all hopefully breathe a sigh of relief especially in relation to Trips!
With the match underway, it was the hosts who started the brighter of the two teams with winger Joe Mwasile causing a few problems for the Burnley defence. A pass to him by Shrimps forward Jack Sampson set the pacey wideman free and he made easy work of it cutting inside Joseph Mills before unleashing a cross to the far post. The ball thankfully though floated out of reach of the Morecambe attack despite Marcus Marshall looking ideally placed.
Burnley though were soon in the game and almost immediately Treacy created a good opening after getting the better of Stewart Drummond and Robbie Threlfall on the right flank. Clipping the ball over to the penalty spot, the cross found Danny Ings but his header flew wide of target.
Mills was seeing a lot of action in defence and was struggling to cope with Morecambe`s Zambian winger. Mwasile in another charge forward by the Shrimps skipped passed the hapless Mills following a pass from Joe McGee to find Andrew Fleming. His cross-cum-shot floated dangerously near the goal and Lafferty was thankfully at hand to head off the line.
It was Mwasile who struck again after latching on to measured cross from Marshall to set up McGee. He drilled the ball well wide though with Kevin Long breathing down his neck.
The best chance to break the deadlock though fell to Ings who latched on to a well-worked threaded pass from Brian Stock. On the edge of the box, he looked certain to score after turning Morecambe`s captain Mark Hughes but Barry Roche came from nowhere throwing himself at the feet of the striker before he could shoot.
A poor pass from Lafferty allowed Fleming to intercept and find Mwasile who drove towards the danger area. After getting the better of Kevin Long his left-footed effort was sliced and the ball flew wide of the near post.
The next chance fell to the Clarets from a free-kick following a foul on Sam Vokes. Treacy took the set-piece only to see his attempt bend over the bar.
With 5 minutes to go Mills limped off injured after a grim challenge by McGee which went unnoticed by referee Neil Swarbrick. On came Alex Coleman to replace him and that was it for the half! 0-0 and nothing much to write home about.
The second half plodded along although Burnley did have most of the possession and pressed for the opener. The visitors were dominant to be honest but basically despite looking composed and confident in defence had no end product. The Clarets struggled to penetrate the Morecambe defence and their firepower at times was non-existent.
Morecambe sensed they could have a chance to take advantage especially when Redshaw struck the bar from distance with Cisak comfortably beaten. The woodwork came to Burnley`s rescue again moments later when Diagne got on the end of a corner only to see his header rattle off the bar
Burnley responded with an attempt of their own at the other end but Andreas Arestidou managed to beat away a shot from former Huddersfield midfielder and trialist, Scott Arfield.
Midway through the second half on came a procession of young guns to replace some of the more experienced names (including Lafferty, Arfield and Vokes) and that seemed to upset the rhythm a bit! Soon after that the deadlock was finally broken and sadly it was Morecambe who took the lead.
Full-back Luke Denson managed to free Padraig Amond down the right who crossed the ball over. Ellison on the edge of the six-yard box turned the ball into the corner of the net to make it 1-0 with just 11 minutes to play. Morecambe nearly doubled their advantage when second half substitute Ryan Williams tried a distance shot which flew wide but at the other end the Clarets had a couple of chances to equalise. Anderson headed wide from a corner whilst Stanislas unleashed a ferocious shot take a deflection off Denson to ricochet wide of the near post. With the end of the match approaching, Cisak saved our blushes after tipping Ellison`s 20 yard half-volley over the bar.
So Burnley open their pre-season campaign with a defeat but it is probably best just to forget this game rather than carry out any further detailed analysis. It is never easy to accept defeat, especially at the hands of lowly opposition but we move on with Cork City next during our tour of Ireland.
Morecambe: Barry Roche, Andrew Wright (Luke Denson 66), Mark Hughes (Will Bell 62), Tony Diagne (Chris Doyle 58), Robbie Threlfall (Aaron McGowan 73), Stewart Drummond (Alex Kenyon ht), Joe McGee (Ryan Williams ht), Andy Fleming (Kevin Ellison ht), Marcus Marshall (Padraig Amond ht) , Jack Sampson (Danny Carlton ht), Joe Mwasile (Jack Redshaw ht).
Burnley: Tom Heaton (Alex Cisak ht), Joseph Mills (Alex Coleman 41), Kevin Long (Michael Duff ht), Jason Shackell (Ben Mee ht), Danny Lafferty (Tom Anderson 74), Keith Treacy (Ross Wallace ht), Dean Marney (Steven Hewitt ht), Brian Stock (Junior Stanislas ht), Scott Arfield (Luke Gallagher 74), Sam Vokes (Jason Gilchrist 74), Danny Ings (George Porter ht). Subs not used: Jack Errington, Archie Love.
Referee: Neil Swarbrick (Preston).