Vokes and O'Neill on target as Clarets impress in friendly win
Sam Vokes helped himself to a welcome goal as the Clarets enjoyed an excellent work-out at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Manager Sean Dyche trained early with the remaining senior players at Turf Moor to allow him and his staff to cross the Pennines for an early afternoon kick-off.
And it proved a worthwhile trip as the players pushing for a taste of first-team action all impressed in a comfortable win.
Luke O’Neill opened the scoring early in the second half before Vokes got the goal his performance warranted as he fired home with just over five minutes to go.
Elsewhere, Brian Jensen kept a clean sheet with two decent saves behind a back four in which David Edgar completed 90 assured minutes as he looks for a recall in place of the suspended Michael Duff against Watford on Saturday.
And with Dyche also having to make a change in midfield to cover for the banned Chris McCann, no-one did their cause any harm under the guidance of Simon Weatherstone, taking charge of the ‘Development Squad’ for the first time, and first-team coach Tony Loughlan.
Vokes’ first chance of the afternoon had come just ten minutes in but from a clever pass from Keith Treacy he dragged his effort wide of the target.
Danny Ings then headed wide from a Joseph Mills cross and Steve Hewitt tried his luck from distance a couple of times before Vokes powered a header just past the post from a Junior Stanislas corner.
Luke O'Neill opened the scoring
Vokes caused the Terriers problems virtually every time the Clarets delivered into the box and three minutes before the break he met another cross from Stanislas with a close range header which forced Ian Bennett to save.
The Clarets were getting closer and after the break they quickly made their dominance pay.
Stanislas and Vokes combined well for chances both passed up but when O’Neill joined the attack, the right-back beat Bennett with a low drive from 22 yards which the Town keeper should have saved.
Huddersfield, with a number of first team players on show, replied with their best two openings of the game but Jensen was alert enough to snuff out the danger with fine saves from Scott Arfield and then Jamie Spencer after Adam Hammill had opened up the Clarets’ defence.
That proved to be just a brief respite for the home side, though, as Burnley racked up a clutch of chances without being able to add to their lead.
Edgar should have converted a Stanislas corner with a header which he steered wide before the dangerous Vokes was twice denied by the woodwork with an excellent header and then deflected shot on the turn.
Alex MacDonald, back from his loan spell at Plymouth, and George Porter were introduced with a quarter of an hour to go after Stanislas had forced Bennett to tip his long-range fre-kick over the top.
And Bennett had to be alert to prevent the two substitutes combining as he dashed out to beat Porter to MacDonald’s through-ball.
A second goal was long overdue, though, and it finally came with six minutes to go as Vokes’ perseverance paid off.
Good work from Mills and Porter gave the striker the chance to turn 12 yards out and bury a right-footed shot past Bennett into the corner of the net.
Porter could then have added a third but after running onto a Stanislas pass his attempted finish was kept out by the advancing Bennett and with the last kick of a highly beneficial game for the Clarets, Mills crossed dangerously for Vokes who just failed to get a touch as he slid in at the far post.
Burnley: Jensen, O’Neill (Williams 80), Mills, Edgar, Long, Hewitt (MacDonald 75), Bartley, Stanislas, Vokes, Ings (Porter 75), Treacy.