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Altrincham 1 Burnley 4

21 July 2012

Burnley made hay as the sun

Match Report

Strikers Charlie Austin and Danny Ings both turned up the heat on Alty after the break, opening their accounts for the season with classy strikes, following Chris McCann's first half sizzler.

And despite a consolation by Robins' sub James McCarten, Austin wrapped up a comfortable win in the last minute.

Boss Eddie Howe would have been delighted with the outcome as the majority of his squad each got 45 minutes' action in the tank.

Howe fielded two different sides in each half, with three of the summer signings - centre back and new club captain Jason Shackell and full backs Luke O'Neill and Joseph Mills - all making their first appearances for the club.

David Edgar, who only returned to pre-season training last week, and Marvin Bartley, who missed out with a leg injury, were the only outfield players to sit out the game, along with keeper Brian Jensen.

And it was a bright start by the Clarets, with Steven Hewitt seeing an early shot blocked and a Junior Stanislas' 30-yard drive well parried by keeper Adam Reid.

As Burnley dominated, it took just 13 minutes for the deadlock to be broken as McCann made no mistake, rifling home a left foot drive from 18 yards after Hewitt's attempted through ball was blocked.

Seven minutes later Martin Paterson came close to making it two as the livewire striker pounced on O'Neill's ball in behind the left back, but his tow-poke was well turned round the post by Reid.

Joe Jackson had another chance to extend the lead soon after, following a gift of a back pass form Scott Leather, but after rounding Reid his shot cannoned back off the face of the post.

Paterson, plagued by injury in recent seasons, had been looking extremely lively and he was denied again by Reid as he raced onto McCann's threaded pass.

And the Northern Ireland striker was even unluckier on the half hour as his spin and angled shot flew inches wide of the far post.

Nothing had been seen of the Altrincham attack, but four minutes before the break they came within a whisker of snatching an equaliser when Duncan Watmore's 20-yard drive beat Lee Grant and struck the inside of the post.

It was all change at the break as the Clarets made 11 changes, including summer arrival from Leyton Orient, George Porter.

But it was the strikers who wasted little time making their mark, both getting on the scoresheet within five minutes of the re-start.

Ings was first to strike with a superb solo effort two minutes into the half, driving into the box and finding the bottom corner with a classy right-foot finish.

And not to be outdone, Austin lashed home the third three minutes later from Danny Lafferty's square ball across the box.

The pace then naturally slowed, but Altrincham refused to roll over and reduced the arrears midway through the half when sub McCarten rifled home after second half keeper Jon Stewart failed to hold a cross.

Alty then had a goal disallowed for offside as they gained confidence form the goal.

But Burnley ended the game as they began it, in the ascendency.

Austin headed just wide and Porter saw his audacious effort tipped over before Austin put the gloss on the afternoon with a classy fourth in the last minute.

Keith Treacy, fresh from an international call-up, got to the by-line and hung up a cross that Austin bulleted home from point-blank range to put the gloss on a good start to pre-season.

BURNLEY: (first half) Grant, O'Neill, Long, Shackell, Mills, Hewitt, Wallace, McCann, Stanislas, Paterson, Jackson.

(Second half): Stewart, Trippier, Lafferty, Duff, Mee, Marney, Ings, MacDonald, Treacy, Porter, Austin.

ALTRINCHAM: (starting): Reid, Leather, Clee, Densmore, Haverrn, Hall, Watmore, Richman, Mitchley, Phelan, Lawrie.

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