Clarets can't pot the Shrimps

10 July 2013 11:30
When we last played a pre-season friendly at Morecambe I titled my match report 'Bring Me Sunshine' after the PA at the old Christie Park blasted out the old Morecambe & Wise classic at the final whistle. The Clarets warm up ahead of kick off

It poured with rain that night with the town's favourite son's statue getting a soaking but, four years on, the sunshine was certainly brought to the Globe Arena as Burnley got their pre-season games underway in the heat and under cloudless skies.

There was a healthy following of Clarets situated in two sections of the ground; some stood behind the goals and some, including me and my dodgy knees, sat in the main stand, and the talking point was soon that of Kieran Trippier.

We knew Charlie Austin wouldn't be involved last night. We knew David Edgar and Cameron Howieson wouldn't either. But also missing from the team sheet were Trippier, Luke O'Neill and Marvin Bartley.

The speculation was almost immediate. Apparently Trippier had been sold to Crystal Palace and had said his goodbyes. It was surprising news for me; Trippier was sat just behind me having been left out with a minor knock, as were O'Neill and Bartley.

Everyone else was there and that included some members of the development squad and one midfield trialist in Scott Arfield. He might have been a Burnley player at one time. Owen Coyle targeted him when he was at Falkirk but his move to England took him to Huddersfield three years ago.

Sam Vokes having problems with the sun

He was released at the end of last season having played around 120 games for them, and is looking for a new club.

With a shortage of right backs the team news saw left backs Danny Lafferty and Joseph Mills named for the first half. It was Mills who played on the right hand side with Lafferty, who did NOT play for Tranmere the night before, on the left.

It was an evening when we fielded a total of 22 players with two of our new goalkeepers, Tom Heaton and Alex Cisak getting a run out.

We played in the new away kit. I like it; what a refreshing change from that awful blue affair we had last season and as we played towards the Burnley fans in the first half it was Keith Treacy who seemed to be in the thick of the action, playing on the right hand side.

The game had a quiet opening but then both sides came close to scoring. We had Danny Lafferty to thank as he headed off the line and almost immediately Danny Ings, wearing the number 10 shirt, got onto a ball from Brian Stock but saw his effort blocked.

Generally though there was a lack of real opportunities but we were playing some good football. There was no hoofball (or Cotterball as some would like to describe it). We were neat and tidy and, overall, dominated the play.

The only sour note in the first half was an injury to Mills. I don't know how serious it is but physio Ally Beattie looked concerned before helping him off, giving Alex Coleman his first ever taste of first team football.

Maybe Mills was glad to get off. Playing out of position, he found himself against Morecambe's best player on the night Joe Mwasile. He caused us some problems, certainly with his pace.

Arfield had played on the left but moved into a central midfield position in the second half. He did well enough and it comes as no surprise that Sean Dyche wants to take an extended look at him with Arfield's place for Cork confirmed.

The second half was a strange affair. For much of it I was shielding my eyes from the sun trying to see what was going on down at the far end where Burnley were now on the attack, but it was a half that also saw Morecambe hit the woodwork three times and scored the only goal of the game.

That winner came in the 80th minute when Padraig Amond got in a cross from the right which Kevin Ellison turned in from close range.

It ensured the pre-season started with a defeat, but the players have got through their first public work out and can now prepare for the trip to Ireland.

They leave tomorrow for the Emerald Isle for five days with the game against Cork City on Monday evening at Turner's Cross.

I'm looking forward to the trip even though a late decision to play the Munster Hurling Final at Limerick rather than in Cork means our Sunday afternoon plans, which were set to take in the game, will have to be changed.

Will David Jones be in the squad by then? Will Charlie Austin play? I think the answer to the second question is a definite yes. He wanted to play last night but, with the Sky cameras hovering, Dyche opted to take him out of the limelight.

The teams were;

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).

Source: Clarets Mad