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Morecambe 1 Burnley 1

19 July 2016

Andre Gray was again on target as the Clarets came from behind to earn a share of the spoils in sun-drenched Morecambe.

The prolific Clarets striker, who grabbed 25 goals last season, had wasted no time in opening his account in the pre-season opener in Switzerland.

And as the Clarets swapped scenic Lake Geneva for Morecambe Bay, Gray was again on target, cancelling out Rhys Turner’s opener with a classy strike.

In searing heat, and following a hard training session earlier in the day, the Clarets again fielded two different sides in each half, with Paul Robinson again the constant .

Tom Heaton, just back in training after his shortened summer break, and new signings Nick Pope and Johann Berg Gudmundsson all sat out the game.

And in Mediterranean temperatures, this was more welcome fitness in the tank for the squad.

Wearing their new blue away kit the visitors were soon on the attack, with Ashley Barnes forcing a fine save from Barry Roche with a firm downward header at the far post from Michael Kightly’s cross.

A shot from distance from a numberless Morecambe player in the 18th minute forced Paul Robinson to dive low to his left to turn the ball for a corner.

But in the early stages, it was confident possession from Burnley, and midway through the half Fredrik Ulvestad’s driving run and disguised pass freed Rouwen Hennings for a low drive that Roche saved with his outstretched leg.

Twice in a matter of seconds, The Shrimpers came close, first with a weak header straight at Robinson and then a drive from distance that bounced just wide of Robinson’s left hand post.

It was all change at the break – and immediately there was a freshness to the play. Lukas Jutkiewicz, so unlucky not to open his pre-season account in Switzerland, bulleted a Dean Marney corner inches over the crossbar.

However, it was the hosts who broke the deadlock eight minutes into the half. Paul Robinson couldn’t hold a low cross and Rhys Turner headed home the loose ball.

Jutkiewicz twice flashed headers just wide from Chris Long’s drilled right wing crosses and Gray’s deflected shot looped just wide as the Clarets stepped up the pace.

But Roche was helpless to stop Gray’s low drive to level the scores in the 65th minute.

George Boyd capitalised on a poor clearance and fed the Championship player of the year, who rolled the ball out of his feet and found the bottom corner with aplomb from outside the box.

Andre Gray scores the equaliser

There was applause for former Clarets keeper Danijel Nizic, on trial at the Globe Arena, when he replaced Roche 13 minutes from time

And despite late pressure on his goal, the Clarets couldn’t quite force the winner as the spoils were shared.

BURNLEY 1st Half: Robinson, Lowton, Mee, Keane, Dummigan, Kightly, Ulvestad, Jones, Arfield, Hennings, Barnes

BURNLEY 2nd Half: Robinson, Darikwa, Tarkowski, K Long, Lafferty, Boyd, Marney, O’Neill, C Long, Gray, Jutkiewicz.

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