Burnley’s Development Squad ran out 2-1 winners at Ashton United’s Hurst Cross, in their opening game of pre-season.
Two trialists scored either side of Martin Pilkington’s goal to secure the win, in a game the Clarets controlled.
Striker Jason Gilchrist could have had a hat-trick in the opening half an hour with two well saved chances and a glancing header that crept wide.
The first chance of the game fell to forward Jamie Frost who came millimetres from the opener. His mazy run breezed through the Ashton defence before a chipped effort to the far post clipped over off the crossbar.
The Clarets had four trialists featuring on the night and one was in on the action 10 minutes in. A testing delivery from the right perfectly found Gilchrist waiting in the box, but the striker could only glance just wide.
Ashton almost took the lead 10 minutes later if it wasn’t for a little luck from the referee. Danijel Nizic found himself in a one-on-one situation and had no choice but to clear his lines. Nizic appeared to have fouled the advancing Dale Johnson, but the referee deemed the tackle fair.
Half way through the first half the trialist winger and Gilchrist linked up once more. A lovely through ball found Gilchrist baring down on goal, but his dinked effort again could only find the crossbar.
Gilchrist’s final chance of the half came after another neat build-up. A firm ball from Nathan Lowe was elegantly flicked on by Frost but Paul Phillips in Ashton’s goal was equal to the striker’s strike.
After the restart it was the hosts who started on the ascendancy. A chipped ball to the far post was headed goal bound, but a wonderful stop by Nizic denied the opener.
It was the Clarets who then took the lead just after the hour mark. Half time substitute Josh Dolling set up the trialist who neatly struck low into the far corner.
Two goals in the space of two minutes followed eight minutes after the opener. Joel Melia’s cross found Pilkington at the far stick and the forward couldn’t miss to put the game level.
Straight from the restart the Clarets took the lead for the second time. Frost once again was at the heart of the attack, teeing up a trialist, who was a second half substitute and the winger chipped over Kevin Leadbitter impressively.
Gilchrist, who was replaced at half time, was forced to come back on and play the remaining 10 minutes. And the forward came close once more, but Leadbitter was alert to keep the deficit to one.
Burnley: Nizic; Trialist, Whitmore, Hobson, Trialist; Jackson (Trialist 46), Lowe (Bianga 46), Trialist, Frost; Gilchrist (Dolling 46).
Unused subs: Mitchell
Goals: Trialist, Trialist
Ashton United: Phillips (Leadbitter 50); Jacobs, Mason, Connor, Gorton; Haining, Rick, Gee, Harrop; Johnson, Morning.
Subs: Leadbitter, Hill, Pilkington, Morris, Barrett, Melia.