July 27, 2021


Hennessey and Thomas make their mark as Clarets secure another warm-up win

Wayne Hennessey kept a clean sheet on his Burnley bow on a night of firsts for the Clarets.

The Wales international played for 65 minutes of a Clarets’ debut before Will Norris completed the job in goal and defender Bobby Thomas claimed the winner with his first senior goal for Burnley.

Twenty-year-old Thomas – who scored a Football League goal on loan at Barrow – headed home from a 76th-minute corner as Sean Dyche’s men made it two pre-season wins in four days.

And while results count for nothing at the stage of the game, it was still a night of plus points for the Clarets as they went up a notch from their weekend win at Oldham with most of the squad getting game-time in a polished performance.

Summer signing Hennessey was a virtual spectator during a first half hour dominated by the Clarets.

While Burnley had been slow out of their blocks in their public pipe-opener at the Latics, they were right at it from the off in their first outing at Bloomfield Road since a Michael Kightly winner put them on the brink of promotion in April, 2014.

The only thing lacking was a goal in a high-tempo spell which brought two openings for Lewis Richardson.

The teenager had opened his senior account in the 2-0 win at Boundary Park but this time he saw Chris Maxwell save an early effort before failing to convert at the far post from Jay Rodriguez’s low cross.

Anthony Gomez-Mancini had played his part in creating that opportunity as the young Frenchman continued the positive impression he had made at Oldham as he was given a first senior start.

He almost helped forced an opening goal with an effort – perhaps coming off a Blackpool defender last – that had Maxwell scrambling at his near post to make a smart save.

And the Blackpool keeper was also relieved to see a shot from Dwight McNeil go just across the face of his goal six minutes before the break.

The Seasiders – less than a fortnight away from their return to Championship action following promotion last season – had barely mustered an attack as Hennessey was eased into action.

But they finished the half strongly and could have led themselves.

Hennessey made his first stop to keep out a Jerry Yates’ shot and then made a better save to turn away a curling effort from Demetri Mitchell before Yates – who scored 23 times last season – fired wide from an excellent position.

The Clarets made seven changes at the break as just Hennessey, McNeil, Jack Cork and Rodriguez extended their night’s work.

And Rodriguez was swiftly back in the action with a volley saved by Maxwell at the end of a lovely passing move involving half-a-dozen players.

It was lively stuff in front of more than 1,000 travelling supporters as Blackpool countered with a Sonney Carey effort he side-footed just over the top before Johann Gudmundsson curled a shot wide at the end of another slick build-up.

The chances continued to come for the visitors as Ashley Barnes headed wide a sumptuous McNeil cross before Hennessey made way for Norris as one of three further changes for the Clarets and Blackpool made wholesale substitutions of their own.

The Clarets still kept pressing for a winner as Erik Pieters swerved a left-footer just beyond the top corner before the full-back delivered a fantastic to Barnes, who was denied what looked a certain goal by James Husband’s excellent tackle.

Blackpool’s reprieve was short-lived, though, as from the corner that followed, Ashley Westwood delivered deep beyond the far post where Thomas powered home a trademark header to complete an excellent night’s work.

Blackpool: Maxwell; Trialist, Keogh, Husband, Garbutt; Mitchell, Ward, Connolly, Hamilton; Yates, Carey. Substitutes used: Grimshaw, Casey, James, Antwi, Trusty, Sarkic, Holmes, Lavery, Bange.

Burnley: Hennessey (Norris 65); Lowton (Bardsley HT), Collins (Tarkowski HT), Mee (Thomas HT), Taylor (Pieters HT); Gomez-Mancini (Gudmundsson HT), Brownhill (Westwood HT), Cork (Nartey 80), McNeil (Glennon 65); Richardson (Barnes HT), Rodriguez (Harker 65).

Referee: Michael Salisbury

Next Fixture

Sat, Oct 2, 2021

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