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Match Reports

Burnley 0-2 Preston NE

5 December 2015

Burnley 0-2 Preston NE

Two second half goals gave Preston all three points as Burnley’s nine game unbeaten run came to an abrupt end.

Will Keane, twin brother of Michael, gave the visitors the lead just after the hour mark before Daniel Johnson killed the game off with Preston’s second with five minutes to play.

And Burnley were left to rue a bad day at the office, which included a controversial moment just seven minutes into the second half with the game still scoreless, when Marnick Vermijl - already on a yellow card - escaped a red following a blatant body-check on Ben Mee.

As expected, Sam Vokes returned to the Clarets’ starting line-up after missing the previous two outings with a groin injury, dropping Chris Long out of the 18-man squad.

And after a high tempo start – at a wild, wet and windy Turf Moor - Burnley came the closest after nine minutes.

Mee collected, moments after taking the initial throw-in, and the full-back spun and rifled his diagonal effort inches wide past Jordan Pickford’s far post.

Preston settled though and Keane was denied with a superb reaction block from Tendayi Darikwa, after hooking the ball goal-bound from a Marnick Vermijl long throw.

The visitors then grew in confidence, with Alan Browne’s fierce effort needing a timely deflection off Tendayi Darikwa.

But it was the Clarets who again came close midway through the first half on the counter.

Vokes, fresh from his return from injury, played in Andre Gray down the flank and the striker had Joey Barton to his left.

The forward delayed his first time pass, but then found his team-mate at the far post, but the England international couldn’t steer his volley on target.

And Preston were thankful to their goalkeeper Pickford for going into the interval level, with two fine saves.

On the half-hour mark the England U21 international clawed away a testing Joey Barton free-kick.

Then the Sunderland loanee wonderfully got a fingertip to Vokes’ shot on the swivel, which looped onto the crossbar in the gusting wind before the Lilywhites finally cleared.

The howling wind continued to play havoc from the restart.

And Burnley were aghast in the 52nd minute when Vermijl escaped with a final warning from referee Kevin Friend after taking Mee out as he bombed forward down the left.

Pickford then again came to Preston’s rescue when another Barton free-kick – this time more centrally – was well saved.

The Clarets then executed a training ground corner on the hour mark which saw David Jones’ set-piece dummied by Michael Duff, allowing Gray time at the edge of the box, but his venomous strike flew agonisingly wide.

And Pickford’s heroics punished the Clarets as the visitors took the lead three minutes later.

After Vokes was clutching his knee after being robbed of possession on the centre spot, Preston broke forward before Keane powerfully found the back of the net with a low drive that fizzed off the slick surface and under Heaton.

Friend had little option but to hand Barton a final warning when the Clarets midfielder caught his man late near the by-line.

Barton then failed to find the target with a lashed volley from the edge of the box as time ticked away.

And Johnson went one better five minutes from time, doubling Preston’s lead to seal the game.

Joe Garner skilfully beat Duff before pulling back for the Jamaican, who clinically buried the ball through a ruck of Burnley defenders on the line.

BURNLEY: Heaton, Darikwa (Lowton 77), M Keane, Duff, Mee, Arfield (Kightly 77), Barton, Jones, Boyd (Taylor 71), Gray, Vokes

Subs: Marney, Ward, Hennings, Gilks

Yellow: Barton 72’, Lowton 95’

PRESTON: Pickford, Vermijl. Cunningham, Clarke, W Keane (Hugill 77), Johnson (Welsh 93), Gallagher, Garner, Browne, Huntington, Reach.

Subs: Kilkenny, Doyle, Woods, Brownhill, Kirkland.

Goal: Keane 63’, Johnson 86’

Yellow: Cunningham 32’, Keane 42’, Vermijl 43’

Ref: K Friend

Attendance: 18,614 (2399 away)

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