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Match Reports

Burnley 1 Hannover 96 0 (abandoned at half-time)

Ben Mee goal in vain as match abandoned after crowd trouble

5 August 2017

Ben Mee gave the Clarets a half-time lead but sadly his goal will not be remembered for long after Burnley’s final pre-season friendly was abandoned.

The game was called off at the break on police advice after concerns over supporter safety following unrest in the Cricket Field Stand, which housed around 500 supporters of the German club.

After scoring his goal, Ben Mee urged supporters to calm down.

But with his plea seemingly falling on deaf ears there was to be no second 45 minutes for Sean Dyche’s men to continue fine-tuning their preparations ahead of their Premier League opener at Chelsea.

With the start of the season just a week away, Dyche has looked to take the opportunity to get as many players as possible up to full speed, while doubtless reinforcing a few thoughts ahead of the trip to Stamford Bridge.

Scott Arfield was given his first start of the pre-season campaign after his Gold Cup duty with Canada earlier this summer, while Ashley Westwood also played from the off in a four-man midfield after missing the mid-week draw against Celta Vigo with a minor knock.

The Clarets started brightly with Robbie Brady curling a free-kick over the bar but Hannover stepped it up to enjoy a period of dominance mid-way through the opening half.

Arfield was on hand to nod away a header from Felipe from Hannover’s opening corner and Tom Heaton was then called into action for the first time to turn away a long-range effort from full-back Miiko Albornoz following a short free-kick.

But the best chance for Hannover – promoted back to the Bundesliag’s top flight and preparing to start their campaign with a German Cup tie next weekend – fell to Felix Klaus, who failed to hit the target after Niclas Fullkrug had made the most of James Tarkowski’s slip to leave the midfielder with just Heaton to beat.

The combination between Klaus and Fullkrug was a productive one for the visitors and after after Fullkrug had steered a Martin Harnik cross just wide with a crisp, first-time effort, Klaus teed up up Fullkrug for a stinging drive Heaton did well to parry away, low to his right.

Burnley had found it tougher going at the other end, but five minutes before the break went 1-0 up as things were going wrong in the stands.

A robust challenge by Pirmin Schwegler on Andre Gray did not impress the Clarets’ striker but the real punishment came from Brady’s fine delivery which picked out Mee’s run for the defender to score with a brave header.

Mee immediately gestured to the visiting supporters, an action repeated by Harnik as unpleasant scenes behind the visitors’ goal blighted the end of the first half.

But with fears of further disruption forcing the hand of the police, the defender’s goal will ultimately count for nothing at all.

Burnley: Heaton, Lowton, Mee, Tarkowski, Ward, Cork, Westwood, Brady, Arfield, Gray, Walters. Substitutes: Pope, Mitchell, Bardsley, Anderson, Long, Taylor, Ulvestad, Gudmundsson, Defour, Hendrick, Vokes, Agyei.

Hannover 96: Esser, Albornoz, Waldemar, Fullkrug, Harnik, Klaus, Korb, Prib. Sane, Schwegler, Felipe. Substitutes: Tschauner, Bahre, Bakalorz, Benschop, Fossum, Hubner, Karaman, Maier, Ostrzolek, Schmeidebach, Sorg.

Referee: Chris Kavanagh

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