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Match Reports

Preston North End 1 Burnley 2

Jon Walters and Sam Vokes get the goals as the Clarets earn warm-up win at Deepdale

25 July 2017

Jon Walters continued to settle into his new surroundings with another goal-scoring performance as the Clarets stepped up their pre-season preparations with victory at Preston.

The summer signing followed up his opening night strike at Shamrock Rovers with another goal-poacher’s finish as Sean Dyche’s side overcame the first set of Championship opposition they are due to face in the space of five days.

Lancashire rivals Preston made it an honest work-out and a second-half goal from Sean Maguire kept the Clarets going until the end.

But with Sam Vokes joining Walters on the scoresheet - claiming the last touch to a Kevin Long header in front of goal early in the second half to give Burnley a 2-0 lead - the Clarets’ unbeaten start to pre-season was extended ahead of Saturday’s trip to Nottingham Forest as all of Dyche’s available players were given a taste of the action.

Preston had been unbeaten in their own pre-season programme under new boss Alex Neil, whose appointment at the start of July followed the departure of the long-serving Simon Grayson to Sunderland.

The former Norwich City manager is yet to bring in any new faces but saw his inherited squad start brightly as they build up towards their opening game against Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday-week.

Eoin Doyle flicked an attempt just wide from a low Ben Pringle cross and Tom Heaton had to react smartly to smother a goal-bound effort from former Manchester United youngster Josh Harrop as he steered Daniel Johnson’s shot towards the bottom corner.

But after taking 10 minutes to find their feet, the Clarets went on to dominate the remainder of the first half, with top-notch ball retention and some inventive play in the final third.

Robbie Brady created the first chance for Johann Berg Gudmundsson but an excellent covering tackle by teenage full-back Josh Earl prevented the Iceland international from pulling the trigger.

But with 21 minutes gone Burnley did take the lead from a well-worked set-piece.

Robbie Brady delivered a free-kick from the left and when Tom Anderson – a constant threat from set-plays as Long's central defensive partner – headed across goal, Walters was left with a simple close-range finish as the former Stoke City striker nodded home his second goal of pre-season.

Within 60 seconds it was almost 2-0 as Gudmundsson got away again, this time from Ashley Westwood’s fine through-ball, but with his low finish aiming for the bottom corner, Chris Maxwell got down quickly to make a fine save.

Maxwell then held a header from Anderson from another set-piece as the Clarets continued to dictate without being able to add to their tally before the break.

Dyche made just one change at the start of the second half – Nick Pope replacing Heaton in goal – while Preston brought on four fresh pairs of legs.

And in a repeat of the opening 45 minutes, it was North End who threatened first as former Dundalk winger Daryl Horgan curled an effort over the top.

But within moments the Clarets were only inches away from doubling the lead through Walters’ second of the night.

Following a short corner, Matt Lowton delivered a cross which Walters headed against the inside of a post with the ball crossing the face of goal for Brady to shoot into the side netting from a tight angle.

That was a let-off for Preston but they didn’t hold out much longer as the Clarets went 2-0 up after 55 minutes.

Again the source was a set-piece as Brady picked out Long with a corner which the defender headed powerfully goalwards and into the back of the net, via the slightest touch from the outstretched boot of Vokes inside the six-yard box.

With just over an hour gone, Dyche made his first outfield substitutions with Ben Mee replacing Long and Steven Defour and Jeff Hendrick replacing the central midfield pairing of Westwood and Jack Cork, who had both got through an impressive night’s work.

And their introduction coincided with Preston pulling a goal back as the home side made it 2-1 with 25 minutes to go, Defour losing possession in the middle of the pitch and former Cork striker Maguire bursting into Burnley’s box to make space for a low shot which he steered past Pope.

Substitute Alan Browne then shot wide as North End looked for an equaliser before Defour went close to making amends with a long-range effort he fired over the top.

In the closing minutes Dyche completed his substitutions as he gave all his squad a run-out – Chris Long and Dan Agyei both getting a late sighter of goal.

And while some of the early fluidity had gone missing and Horgan threatened again with a curling effort for the hosts, the Clarets had done enough to secure victory and, more importantly, gain further valuable match sharpness with three games to go before the start of the Premier League programme.

Burnley: Heaton (Pope 46), Lowton (C Long 81), Taylor (Ward 71), Anderson, K Long (Mee 64), Brady (Barnes 71), Gudmundsson (Ulvestad 75), Westwood (Defour 64), Cork (Hendrick 64), Walters (Agyei 81), Vokes (Gray 81) .

Preston: Maxwell (Hudson 75), Grimshaw, Boyle, Spurr, Earl (O’Connor HT), Horgan, Johnson (Brown HT), Welsh (Pearson HT), Pringle (Barkhuizen 70), Harrop (Maguire HT), Doyle (Robinson 75). Subs: Vermijl, Cunningham, Huntington, Meulensteen.

Referee: Robert Jones

Attendance: 5,633 (1,755 Burnley)


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