Despite the slow start, and the inevitable tailing off after a series of substitutions, this was another good work out for the Clarets. The win was fully deserved and there were some real positives again as we played some good football at times.
In somewhat cooler conditions than we've faced in the three previous games, Sean Dyche made two changes to the team that started at Carlisle last Saturday. Kieran Trippier returned at right back for Luke O'Neill and in the centre of defence there was a place for Kevin Long with Michael Duff injured.Stunner from Dean Marney gave us a 2-0 lead
It was later confirmed that Duff had picked up a 'little niggle' at Carlisle and wasn't being risked. Manager Sean Dyche also reported that Marvin Bartley's hamstring problem was taking longer than expected to clear.
Unfortunately he confirmed that Ben Mee, injured in Cork, is unlikely to be fit for the season's opener against Bolton. "Ben had that awkward one in Cork and although we don't think it's too bad it's maybe a couple of weeks until it settles down."
This game didn't provide us with the blistering start we'd seen at Carlisle; Tranmere in fact started quite brightly and Tom Heaton, one of the most talkative goalkeepers I've heard, was the first to be called into action when he parried a long range shot before reacting really well to tip over the return shot.
It just took us a bit of time to get into our stride but when we did we started to play some very good football. This one was tougher than Saturday. Tranmere were a very much better looking outfit than Carlisle, but we started to move the ball well and the pairing of midfield of Marney and David Jones were the architects of much of it.
Jones, for me, was the game's outstanding player. As we've seen previously, he was always available and rarely did he give the ball away. He looked to be involved in so much of our good work and Marney is certainly benefitting from being alongside him.
Charlie Austin, who at times looked a frustrated figure on the pitch, was the first to force home goalkeeper Owain Fon Williams into action with a shot towards the bottom corner following good work from Junior Stanislas and Jones.
Tranmere responded with a shot onto the post but Burnley were stepping things up and there was nothing Fon Williams could do when we took the lead with half time approaching. It all started with the midfield duo as Jones played a ball from the left hand side into a centrally positioned Marney.
Marney played a delightful ball for Trippier to run onto on the right. The full back's cross looked too deep but Austin headed it down and Ings hit an unstoppable shot high into the roof of the net.
That's four in three games now for the on song Ings who was celebrating his 21st birthday yesterday, this to add to his goal in Cork and his brace at Carlisle.
We deserved the half time lead and we doubled that lead just ten minutes into the second half. I don't think we'll see a better strike all season. Stanislas and Ings were involved and it was the latter who played the ball to Marney.
He was around thirty yards from goal at the Cowshed end where the Burnley fans were housed, and he unleashed a stunning rocket of a shot that I don't think Fon Williams could have seen let alone do anything about.
Marney doesn't score many goals. He should certainly score more. He's never got one like that for us but I certainly recall a wonder goal he netted for Spurs against Everton some years ago.
Incredibly he went for another soon after. He was closer to goal this time when he let fly but the ball flew just over the bar.
We continued to play some nice stuff but then came the inevitable substitutions. It always breaks things up and it did again here. Even so Sam Vokes, who did well when he came on, was close with one effort and we didn't really look to be under any threat at the other end.
Then, in the very last minute of normal time we conceded. It came down the Tranmere left and the cross left James Rowe with the easy task of scoring. Things might have been worse too. In stoppage time Heaton was forced into a finger tip save to his left to prevent a Tranmere equaliser.
That was it, as referee Scott Mathieson, who yellow carded Austin during the second half for his second elbowing offence, called time on proceedings.
It's pre-season so in so many ways the win isn't important but I like to win. What is important is how we play and I think that will have pleased most, it never pleases all, Burnley supporters who were there.
The teams were;
Tranmere: Owain Fon Williams, Danny Holmes (Jake Kirby 90), Ash Taylor, Stephen Foster (Ian Goodison 53), Evan Horwood, Abdulai Baggie (Joe Thompson ht), Max Power, Chris Atkinson (James Rowe 53), Andy Robinson, Ryan Lowe, Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro (Coke Stockton 78). Subs not used: Jason Mooney , Liam Davies.
Burnley: Tom Heaton, Kieran Trippier (Luke O'Neill 78), Kevin Long, Jason Shackell, Danny Lafferty, Ross Wallace (Keith Treacy 74), Dean Marney (Brian Stock 78), David Jones (David Edgar 74), Junior Stanislas (Joseph Mills 80), Danny Ings (Scott Arfield 74), Charlie Austin (Sam Vokes 74). Subs not used: Alex Cisak, Ryan Noble.
Referee: Scott Mathieson (Stockport).
Source: Clarets Mad