Accrington Stanley 0 Burnley 1
Burnley returned from their warm weather training camp in Austria and were greeted by a testing game in sweltering conditions – in Accrington!
The Clarets ran out 1-0 winners over Stanley thanks to a second half goal from young striker Jason Gilchrist as manager Sean Dyche gave some of his stars of the future a chance at the Crown Ground.
James Beattie’s side provided a good test for Dyche’s men and both sets of players battled in the heat in front of a crowd of more than 3,000.
Both starting line ups had strong first team feels to them, with Steve Hewitt, Tom Anderson and Jayden Hall the only youngsters on view for the Clarets and Stanley naming trialist goalkeeper Iain Turner in goal.
It was the home side who started brightest with James Gray fizzing a left foot shot over the crossbar before Josh Windass forced visiting goalkeeper Matt Gilks into a fine save with just four minutes gone.
Danny Ings had the ball in the net a quarter of an hour later when he followed up Dean Marney’s strike and pounced on the rebound but the flag was raised for offside and the goal chalked off.
Both teams were fighting the heat as well as each other but there were chances in a first half that saw Burnley have the best of the possession.
At one end Gray dragged an effort just wide before Hewitt superbly found Marney in behind the Accrington defence only for the midfielder to blast his shot well over the top and into the Stanley supporters behind the goal.
On the stroke of half time it seemed that Hall, currently on a short term contract at Turf Moor, would open the scoring when he drilled a shot on target and beat Turner only for Dean Winnard to put his body on the line in eye watering fashion and kept the ball out of the net.
At the interval Dyche made 10 changes with only Hewitt remaining on the field. Beattie elected to keep the same eleven in place.
One of Burnley’s subs, summer signing Lukas Jutkiewicz, repeated the earlier feat from Ings when he scored only to see the assistant’s flag raised before Windass flashed a free kick past the post of replacement goalkeeper, and former Stanley man, Alex Cisak.
Beattie waited over an hour before making any of his changes, introducing Brett Ormerod alongside trialist striker Lee Wort in attack as they looked to create a goal.
But it was the visitors who finally broke the deadlock 20 minutes from time thanks to Gilchrist. Midfielder Scott Arfield was an impressive influence when he was introduced and it was the Scot’s run and cross down the right that teed up 19-year-old Gilchrist for his second goal of pre-season from inside the penalty area.
Four minutes later Arfield might have added a goal to his assist when he cut in from the left and let fly with a low effort that Turner stretched to push around the post.
As full time drew closer Stanley threatened more and went closest to an equaliser with a move involving Wort and Ormerod who linked up before the latter found Windass, whose shot was well parried by Cisak.
A string of corners for the home side promised a late leveller but once the lively Windass had found the side netting with another shot there was no more time for Beattie’s team to breach the Burnley rearguard.
Stanley: Turner, Buxton, Liddle, Hunt, Atkinson, Naismith, Windass, Gray, Bowerman, Mingoia Subs: Wort, Aldred, Goulding, Jenkins, Ormerod, Martin, Clunan, Beverley, Simpson
Burnley: Gilks, Trippier, Shackell, Mee, Marney, Ings, Taylor, Sordell, Hewitt, Anderson, Hall Subs: Conlan, Duff, Long, Cisak, Lafferty, O’Neill, Arfield, Howieson, Jones, Gilchrist, Lowe, Jutkiewicz