BURNLEY proved they were plastic fantastic in southern California after a five-star performance against Ventura County Fusion.

Five different players hit the scoresheet – with Steven Fletcher bagging his third strike in two matches – as the Clarets wrapped up their week on the Gold Coast in style.

However, despite a resounding scoreline in the end for Owen Coyle’s men, it was far from a stroll in the park at Buena High in Ventura.

On an astroturf surface, it was Fusion, a three-year-old team in the fourth tier of American soccer, that made the strongest start, forcing a pair of one-on-one saves from Burnley goalkeeper Brian Jensen in the first 11 minutes.

But after Jensen’s early heroics, the Clarets took control with birthday boy Chris McCann opening the scoring on the counter-attack with a superb shot from 18 yards.

Chris Eagles and Fletcher – from the penalty spot – added further goals before the interval and, in a quieter second-half, Ecudorian trialist Fernando Guerrero and Kevin McDonald completed the scoring.

“There’s a few things different (over here),” said Coyle of playing in the peculiar gridiron stadium.

“The one thing you have to do on this surface is make sure that you pass the ball because there’s no margin for error. It has to be right to the feet of someone running on to it, or the ball’s going to run out of play.

“Maybe it did take us 10 minutes to adjust to it. But when we did get it moving, I think we showed our quality.”

Martin Paterson was the notable absentee from the Clarets squad announced, the striker sitting the game out with a tight hamstring.

But that allowed Steven Thompson to partner summer recruit Fletcher in attack, as fellow new signings Richard Eckersley and Brian Easton made their debuts in defence.

The Fusion had lost 4-0 to Everton in July 2007 in its lone previous encounter with Premier League opposition.

But fresh from a 13-match unbeaten streak and playing two nights before the start of its play-offs, the Californian outfit started strong, forcing a series of top-class saves from Jensen.

An acrobatic effort from the Dane denied Danny Berrera as the midfielder smashed a 20-yard volley in the fifth minute, while a terrific one-handed save kept out an Artur Aghasyan effort bound for the top corner.

It was a sluggish start from the Clarets as they found life unsettling on the plastic pitch, but they finally found their feet in unfamiliar surroundings to grab a 14th minute lead.

Eagles provided the assist, with McCann holding off his marker to find the bottom corner from 20 yards.

Teenage trialist Guerrero showed his quality with lightning quickness and dancing skills on the wing, and his performance surely would have convinced the small numbers of Burnley supporters who had travelled thousands of miles for the match.

The Ecuadorian caused panic in the Fusion box with a clever run and cross.

Moments later, the Clarets doubled their advantage. Fletcher was the provider from the left, squaring for Eagles who finished from eight yards.

Guerrero had a hand in Burnley’s third after winning a penalty that Fletcher converted on 39 minutes.

Coyle made a series of changes at half-time, although five players – Graham Alexander, Christian Kalvenes, Clarke Carlisle, Steven Caldwell and Tyrone Mears – were left on the substitute bench for the full duration.

It was a more subdued affair after the break, but Guerrero made the most of his opportunity with a superb header from Blake’s cross to add Burnley’s fourth.

The goalscoring was wrapped up when sub Wade Elliott crossed for Scotland midfielder McDonald, whose shot crept under the Fusion goalkeeper with nine minutes to go.

Burnley (first half): Jensen, Eckersley, Duff, Edgar, Easton, Guerrero, McCann, Gudjonsson, Eagles, Thompson, Fletcher.

Burnley (second half): Penny, Eckersley, Jordan, Duff, Easton, Eagles (Blake 61), K McDonald, Gudjonsson (van der Schaaf 60), Guerrero, Fletcher (Elliott 61), Rodriguez.

Subs not used: Alexander, Kalvenes, Carlisle, Caldwell, Mears VC Fusion (starting XI): Hill, Dillon, Guzman, Motagalvan, Riley, Smarte, Barrera, Byrne, Chirishian, Guei, Hamilton, Aghasyan.