Good to be back

11 July 2010 11:12
It had been nine weeks since the win against Spurs, but here we were, back again for the pre-season and a trip to Bury as the Clarets got back into action. Ross Wallace - opened the scoringThe afternoon had everything. Two Burnley fans skulking at the back with a small 'Laws Out' placard, two more opting to run onto the pitch, three players opting to run off the pitch to use the toilet facilities in the away stand, speculation mounting because Tyrone Mears was injured, and of course some goals and a good win in front of a very healthy following of Clarets.We arrived at Gigg Lane early after enjoying our first pub stop of the season just a ten minute walk away and we were in time to see a rather healthy looking squad, in numbers at least, warming up in front of us.The eagled eyed spotted there was no Mears, so apparently he'd signed for Wigan. The truth was, he'd a slight problem with his hamstring and wouldn't feature in the game although it is thought he could be fit to take part at Oldham on Monday.In total there were 23 Burnley players out on the pitch, reduced to 20 at one point when Michael Duff, Wade Elliott and Chris McCann departed into the away stand to use the facilities, but it was eventually cleared, the teams were announced and we were ready.Only one of the three new signings was in the starting line up, but the manager had said the day before that we should read nothing into it. That was Ross Wallace who lined up on the left.It all got off to a steady start with Burnley very much the better side of the two. There were one or two tasty challenges too, surprising for an early friendly, but with Stan Ternent's old friend Efe Sodje around it was perhaps no surprise.As the first half progressed then Burnley dominated it more and more and we really were starting to play some good stuff. Captain Graham Alexander did give the ball away a few times, as I kept being reliably informed from my left, but generally the passing was good.McCann was growing into the game, showing just how much we'd missed him last season. He was alongside the very impressive Elliott who looked bang in form as kept Burnley going forward.The only surprise was that it took over half an hour to get the first goal but when it came it was a Burnley first for Wallace. McCann picked up a loose ball and played it out to the former feeder club winger on the left. Wallace did the rest, moving into the box before hitting his shot in to the far corner with the Bury keeper perhaps just getting a touch.It was all Burnley now, and the second goal arrived right on half time with Steven Thompson, another right in form, hitting it home after the move of the game. Again McCann was involved making a good run forwards and eventually Elliott expertly chipped the ball into the box where Jay Rodriguez headed it down for Thommo to finish.Almost immediately referee Jon Moss brought the first half to an end. He'd had little to do but was certainly more prominent in the second half when he incredibly turned away two clear penalties.As the players left at half time the second half team came out to warm up. We made nine changes with only Brian Jensen and Richard Eckersley remaining from the first half.It hardly caused a disruption; just as it had been in the first half, we continued to dominate after the break. It also gave fans a first look at Dean Marney and Chris Iwelumo.Twenty minutes in came a flurry of substitutions from the home side and they were quickly followed by two more by Burnley. Diego Penny came on for Brian Jensen and went on to see just as little of the action, and Alex-Ray Harvey, one of our second year professionals, replaced Eckersley.If there was going to be another goal then it was always going to be ours and it duly came via a piece of individualism by Chris Eagles, or was it just a fluke? His effort from the right floated over the Bury keeper and in at the far post. Did he mean it? Only Chris Eagles will know.That was it, apart from Wes Fletcher getting on for Martin Paterson right at the end. I heard one Burnley fan comment as I left that he thought Fletcher had been transferred to Wolves so had been surprised to see him in a Burnley shirt again. Amazing.The only real blot was those Burnley supporters who tried to disrupt the afternoon by running onto the pitch. The first incident was bad enough but the second was even worse. Towards the end of the game we were suddenly subjected to someone running across from the away stand and waving a Burnley flag in front of the home supporters.The official Bury web site, referring to our fantastic support (1,815 in a crowd of 2,986), reported: "Sadly they'd been let down by one idiot who thought it would be funny to hold up a Burnley flag in front of the main stand housing the home supporters. I just hope he thinks it's as funny when he's in front of the magistrates getting a fine and a banning order. A shame he let the huge majority of Burnley fans and the club itself down."All in all then it was a good day. Having said that, it was only a pre-season friendly. Had we been poor and lost 3-0 I would have probably written that we shouldn't read too much into it, so I'm not going to get carried away because we've won 3-0.Even so, it was enjoyable and there were some notable performances, none more so than those in the first half from Elliott and Thompson along with McCann, and how good it was to see that number 16 shirt back on display.Oldham next tomorrow - it is good to be back.The teams were;Bury: Cameron Belford, Mark Lynch (Duane Samuels 65), Joe Skarz (Andrai Jones 65), Ben Futcher (Jermaine Johnson 65), Efe Sodje (Alexis 65), Peter Sweeney (Kyle Bennett 65), David Worrall (Lennel John-Lewis 65), Steven Schumacher (Kenny Strickland 65), Andy Bishop (Danny Carlton 65), Andy Haworth (Ryan Lowe 65), Michael Jones (Simon Whaley 65). Sub not used: Ritchie Branagan.Burnley:First Half: Brian Jensen, Richard Eckersley, Michael Duff, Andre Bikey, Danny Fox, Graham Alexander, Jay Rodriguez, Wade Elliott, Chris McCann, Ross Wallace, Steven Thompson.Second Half: Brian Jensen (Diego Penny 68), Richard Eckersley (Alex-Ray Harvey 68), Clarke Carlisle, Leon Cort, Brian Easton, David Edgar, Martin Paterson (Wes Fletcher 90), Dean Marney, Kevin McDonald, Chris Eagles, Chris Iwelumo.Referee: Jon Moss (West Yorkshire).Attendance: 2,986 (including 1,815 Clarets).