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Bath City 1 Burnley 3

31 July 2012

Vokes' Debut Ends In Tour Victory

SAM Vokes made the breakneck dash to Bath in time to play a part as Burnley sealed a hat-trick of pre-season victories.

But it's doubtful that Vokes - or anyone else inside the Mayday Trust Park for that matter - will ever have witnessed the bizarre sequence of events that saw the two sides 'swap' goals following Keith Treacy's second half opener.

In returning the ball following an injury to Kieran Trippier, only City sub Adie Harris knows whether or not he intended to chip Clarets keeper Brian Jensen, who stood waiting for the back pass on the edge of his area.

The Dane was certainly bemused, but following a spot of red faces all round and a brief chit-chat back at the centre circle between the two sides, George Porter was sportingly allowed to trot half the length of the pitch and restore the Clarets advantage - even though the Bath keeper initially saved his first attempt!

But there was nothing wrong with Ross Wallace's thunderous last minute solo effort, which gave the scoreline a more realistic feel and rounded off another good night's work for Eddie Howe's men.

The Clarets had been buoyed by the re-signing of former loanee Vokes just 60 minutes before kick off. 

And the former Wolves striker made his second Burnley debut with 20 minutes remaining of the opening game of the south west tour.

By then, the Clarets could - and probably should have been well out of sight by then as they created the majority of the opening, but failed to capitalise on them.

A bright opening half saw Junior Stanislas fire wide after cutting in from the right and Charlie Austin denied at the far post by a brilliant headed block as he rose to power home Chris McCann's perfect left wing cross.

Strike partner Danny Ings, playing just off Austin, then saw his effort saved by the keeper's feet as the early pressure mounted on the Romans' goal

Mid-way through the half, the Clarets conjured up a new set play that almost reaped dividends. 

Stanislas feinted to cross form the left wing after Keith Treacy had been felled, but instead rolled the ball back square outside the box to the inrushing Kieran Trippier, who was narrowly over with his fierce, first time drive.

Jensen had been a virtual spectator in goal, but he was called on soon after to hold onto Sekani Simpson's fierce angled effort.

But the Clarets ended the half as they began it, on top.

And when Austin drew the keeper after pouncing onto McCann's slide-rule pass, the ball fell at the feet of Danny Lafferty whose attempted chip towards a gaping goal was just too high.

Unlike previous friendlies, there were no changes at the break as Eddie Howe followed up his pre-match promise to give players more game time.

And Ings came close to adding to his two pre-season goals within five minutes of the re-start, meeting Lafferty's firm cross and heading back across goal, but just wide.

But 11 minutes into the half the deadlock was finally broken as Treacy picked up the ball 30 yards from goal and let fly with a low drive that keeper Jason Mellor made a real hash of.

Shortly afterwards, the chaos ensued following 10 outfield substitutions by Burnley. 

Howe took advantage of an injury to Trippier to make his wholesale changes, but when play re-started Harris inadvertently lobbed Brian Jensen to equalise.

As the Dane looked on, referee Mr Veater bizarrely allowed the goal to stand, but Bath clearly realised the embarrassment and straight from the kick off Porter was allowed to race half the length of the pitch to restore Burnley's lead unchallenged.

Even then, keeper Mellor initially saved Porter's weak effort, but then realising the error of his ways allowed the former Orient winger to slot into an empty net!

Burnley soon came close to extending their lead when Porter took the ball off Vokes' head from point-blank range after more good work on the left by Joseph Mills.

With just under 15 minutes remaining however, Bath fired just wide as they sought a second - this time legitimate equaliser with a shot just wide.

However, the chances soon flowed Burnley's way again and after Porter headed just wide following another terrific left wing cross from Mills, Vokes had his first opportunity.

Ghosting into the box, he raced onto Mills' excellent low cross, but his first time effort clipped the post.

Porter then drove at the City defence for the umpteenth time and forced a fine, low save from the keeper at his near post.

But City's last line of defence had no answer when Wallace drove through the middle to rifle the ball into the bottom corner with virtually the last kick of the game.

BURNLEY (starting): Jensen, Trippier, Duff, Mee, Lafferty, Marney, McCann, Stanislas , Ings, Treacy, Austin.
Subs (all 59 mins): Long, Edgar, Shackell, O'Neill, Hewitt, MacDonald, Mills, Porter, Wallace, Vokes

BATH CITY: (squad): Garner Simpson, Brown, Jones Preece, Ball, Connolly, Canham, Griffin, Morgan, Low, Rollo, Cummings, Harris, Mellor, Davis, Keats,Norris, Brown, Kapica 

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