Jutkiewicz on target but North End snatch late winA last minute winner condemned Burnley to their first defeat of pre-season against a lively Preston North End on a glorious summer’s evening at Deepdale.
New signing Lukas Jutkiewicz had given the Clarets the perfect start, capping a commanding first half for Sean Dyche’s men to open the scoring, before Alan Browne equalised for the hosts at the start of the second half.
An entertaining and sometimes spicy Lancashire hot-pot then looked destined to end as a draw before Josh Brownhill scored an unstoppable 30-yard free kick to settle the contest.
With the opening weeks fast approaching it was a chance for both managers to pick strong sides/
And there was a real competitive feel to this Lancashire Derby.
Both sides had gone into the match in good form, with Burnley sporting a 100 per cent record from pre-season, while Preston had won four out of a possible five.
And any hopes the home side had of silencing the Claret support were quashed as Burnley dominated the early stages.
Jutkiewicz broke down the right and crossed well to Scott Arfield, who saw his shot trickle wide after four minutes.
After 10 minutes the home side got their first chance; Brownhill finding space outside of the area, but his tame shot never troubled goalkeeper Matt Gilks, again starting as Tom Heaton recovered from a calf injury.
A few minutes later, David Jones found Jutkiewicz in the area, and his curling effort forced a good save from Jamie Jones.
An opening goal seemed inevitable for the visitors - and after only 15 minutes, Burnley had their goal.
Jutkiewicz suddenly found himself one-on-one with the goalkeeper after Jones had dis-possessed Bailey Wright, and the former Middlesbrough striker made no mistake, slotting under the advancing keeper to make it three goals in as many games.
The goal inspired a further period of dominance for Burnley, although Joe Garner - North End’s lively danger-man - looked to restore the balance by unleashing a fine drive from 20 yards, which Gilks saved well.
That sprung the home side into life; Garner soon attempting an audacious lob, which just cleared the bar.
Burnley’s high pressing game and quality in keeping possession had been a feature of the opening half, but the work-rate of their League One counterparts made for a lively contest and right on half time, the home side thought they had their equaliser.
A dangerous free-kick delivered into the area found the head of captain Tom Clarke, who planted his header under Gilks only to have his joy short-lived through an offside flag.
The Clarets made no changes at the break as a strong starting 11 gained more valuable fuel in the tank.
However, North End stepped up the pace and after Calum Woods, on as a substitute, picked out Browne for an effort that Gilks saved with ease, the Lilywhites soon levelled matters.
Garner worked the ball to Browne, who this time made no mistake with a low side-footed shot that took a deflection off skipper Jason Shackell.
By now, Simon Grayson’s men had their tails up, with Brownhill fizzing a shot from 25 yards which Gilks saved well.
However, Burnley were relatively comfortable as the home side looked to counter-attack from deep.
With two minutes to go, substitute Kevin Davies wasted a glorious chance to win it for the home side as he saw his audacious scorpion kick saved by Gilks.
But just as it looked like their chance had gone, Brownhill sized up a free kick from fully 30-yards and saw his ferocious shot find the top corner in magnificent fashion, leaving Gilks with no chance.
In stoppage time, the Clarets went pressed hard for an equaliser, and Jones saw his long-range volley saved by his namesake as North-End ran down the clock.
Burnley: Matt Gilks, Keiran Trippier, Michael Duff, Jason Shackell, Ben Mee, Dean Marne, Danny Ings, David Jones, Matt Taylor (Wallace ‘61), Lukas Jutkiewicz (Sordell ’65), Scott Arfield
PNE (starting): Jamie Jones, Scott Wiseman, Tom Clarke, Bailey Wright, Neil Kilkenny, Paul Gallagher, Joe Garner, Andy Little, Ben Davies, Josh Brownhill, Alan Browne
Att: 5,457 (1,881 Burnley)