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FC Stade Nyonnais 1 Burnley 3

15 July 2016

The Clarets cruised to victory in their first pre-season outing to round off a successful training trip.

The squad crossed Lake Geneva from Evian by boat to take on Swiss part-timers FC Stade Nyonnais in Nyon.

And by half time the part-timers trailed in Burnley’s wake through goals from Andre Gray, Ashley Barnes and Michael Keane.

Sean Dyche had warned this first friendly, against their Swiss lower league hosts, would be classed as purely a fitness exercise.

And good as his word, two different sides were named for each half, with only Paul Robinson in goal starting both.

Gray led the line in the opening 45 minutes, and was twice denied in the opening eight minutes, by a last ditch tackle and a timely block, as the striker exploited space on an expansive pitch.

And it was unlucky for Gray in the 13th minute when he was brilliantly denied from point-blank range by goalkeeper Damien Djuric, following a sweet move and clever cut-back by George Boyd.

But finally, in the 20th minute Gray got his rewards at the fourth time of asking, racing onto Ashley Barnes pinpoint ball and holding off his marker to rifle the ball into the roof of the net from 12 yards.

And five minutes later, the visitors doubled their lead when Aiden O’Neill hung a short corner routine up to the far post, where Barnes’ downward header crept in at the foot of the post.

Barnes was soon denied by an unconvincing parry as the early onslaught continued.

There was a rare scare six minutes before the break when Gentian Bunjaku fired a shot across the goal with no yellow shirt able to convert.

And when former Juventus youngster Stipe Simunac picked up a loose ball 25 yards from goal as half time approached, his low drive into the bottom corner gave Robinson no chance, to reduce the arrears.

However, Burnley ended the half as they began it, as Michael Kightly floated a free kick to the far post, where Keane rose highest to squeeze a header past Djuric.

It was all change for the outfield players for the restart, but it was Nyonnais who came closest to scoring with the first chance, as Karim Chentouf side-footed wide from 18 yards.

And as the hour passed, the only other incident of note saw Northern Ireland U21 goalkeeper Conor Mitchell make his debut in place of Robinson.

Midway through the half Lukas Jutkiewicz, making his first start since suffering a knee injury last September, headed Matt Lowton’s cross home, only for the goal to be mysteriously chalked off.

But there would be no way back for the Swiss, as the Clarets continued to dominate possession without adding to their first half salvo.

They came close, as Jutkiewicz again saw his acrobatic overhead kick smack the face of the crossbar before Rouwen Hennings follow-up shot was blocked.

But with no injuries, this was still an excellent first work out before the Premier League new-boys return home to step up their preparations for life back in the top flight.

Burnley (1st half)
Paul Robinson (Conor Mitchell 62), Tendayi Darikwa, Michael Keane, Ben Mee, Cameron Dummigan, Dean Marney, Aiden O’Neill, George Boyd, Michael Kightly, Andre Gray, Ashley Barnes.

Burnley (2nd half)
Paul Robinson, Matt Lowton, Kevin Long, James Tarkowski, Danny Lafferty, Chris Long, Fredrik Ulvestad, David Jones, Scott Arfield, Rouwen Hennings, Lukas Jutkiewicz

Pictures kindly provided by Michael Perret

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