Dire and Dull Stalemate at Boundary Park
Tuesday 26th July 2011 @7:45pm Kick-Off
The Clarets had to settle for a goalless draw against League 1, Oldham at Boundary Park last night in a match that was a pretty dire,scrappy affair and at times bad tempered despite being a so-called friendly.
We seemed to lack firepower up front and our attack at times did seem lacklustre although Paterson, Wallace and Austin did come close to scoring on occasions.
This was their fifth and penultimate pre-season friendly so hopefully by now Eddie Howe is getting close to knowing his starting eleven for the start of the new season when we kick off at home in just under two weeks time against Watford on Saturday 6th August.
His team selection though last night was perhaps a little surprising more for the players omitted rather than those starting and named on the bench. There was a debut for new boy, right back Keiran Trippier who only a few hours earlier had signed on a season-long loan from Manchester City but his fellow team-mate from Citeh, Ben Mee also on a season--long loan was perhaps surprisingly omitted from the squad along with Marney, Edgar, McCann, Rodriguez and Bikey giving some of the conspiracy theorists a lot to think about! In the end, Howe went for a fairly youthful line-up which seems to be one of his aims. There were recalls on the bench for Alex Ray-Harvey, Dominic Knowles and Joe McKee; all three had missed out on the South West tour but there was no recall for Leon Cort who is fast becoming the forgotten man of Burnley.
In summary our starting eleven and subs bench was as follows:
Grant, Trippier, Duff, Easton, Fox, Wallace, Elliott, Bartley, MacDonald, Paterson, Austin
Subs: Stewart, Fletcher, Long, Hewitt, McKee, Knowles, Harvey
In the absence of Chris McCann, Wade Elliott was named captain which is perhaps a clue to who might be our captain and vice-captain although Dean Marney also was absent last night.
Oldham seemed to be the brighter of the two sides in the first half and Dean Firman was the first to chance his luck for the Latics after 5 minutes with a fierce 20 yard shot. Grant looked somewhat worried but thankfully the ball flew into the side-netting. Our first attack came two minutes later when debutant, Tripper went on a burst down the right before crossing to find Paterson. Pato attempted a shot with his first touch but the keeper saved well at the near post. Wallace on 12 minutes attempted a shot from 25 yards after cutting in from the right but could only sky the ball over. Oldham had the better of the game at this stage but they were contained by our defence with Trippier in particular impressing at right back.
25 minutes into the game and Wallace again came close after picking up the ball from Paterson and cutting back. His left footed curling shot though was wide of the far post. With seven minutes to go before half-time, Paterson attempted a 25 yard volley only to see the ball bounce in front of the keeper who gathered well to ensure the score at the break remained goalless.
Howe made no changes for the start of the second-half
A deep free kick into the box from Wallace on 55 minutes found Austin who diving to head the ball saw it narrowly fly over the bar. After that the game descended into a scrappy, boring match with little action in front of goal. Tempers too flared on a couple of occasions. Most fans probably on both sides at this stage had thoughts of going home and nothing else!
Stevie Hewitt had replaced Charlie Austin on 64 minutes and on 80 minutes Kevin Long and Wes Fletcher came on for Marvin Bartley and Kieran Trippier. With the clock ticking down and audible yawns flying round the ground there was just time for the Clarets to make a couple of more substitutions before the bore draw came to a close. Stewart replaced Grant in goal for the last couple of minutes and there was time for young Joe McKee to make an appearance coming on to replace Wallace on the stroke of normal time.
Nothing in this game gave encouragement accept for an impressive debut by Trippier who formed part of an effective back-four with both Fox and Duff also looking solid. 884 Clarets fans probably wished there had not bothered turning up it was that grim. Bring on the Black Cats at Turf Moor this Saturday; our last pre-season friendly.
Burnley: Grant (Stewart 88), Trippier (Long 80), Fox, Duff, Easton, Bartley (Fletcher 80), MacDonald, Elliott, Austin (Hewitt 64), Paterson, Wallace (McKee 90)
Subs Not Used: Knowles, Harvey
Oldham Athletic: Johnstone, Winchester, Black, A Trialist, Diamond, M'Voto, Morais, Furman, Smith, Reid, Taylor
Subs: Carr, Simpson, Lee, Millar, Hughes, Mellor, Brooke
Referee; P Graham
Att; 2,153 (884 Burnley)