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Match Reports

Wide Boys On Target To Defeat Macc Lads

20 July 2018

Macclesfield Town 0 Burnley 2

Burnley’s wide boys cashed in to give the Clarets a deserved victory at league new-boys Macclesfield.
Johann Berg Gudmundsson, back from his World Cup adventure with Iceland, was on target in an outstanding 60-minute performance on his first appearance since a belated return to training.
And earlier, Aaron Lennon bagged his first goal in Burnley colours as half of Sean Dyche’s squad made their class tell against last season’s National League champions.
The Clarets had divided their squad for two Friday night friendlies, with half heading to nearby Curzon Ashton.
Boss Dyche, assisted by Billy Mercer and Michael Duff, was at Moss Rose to witness a strong line-up that saw Tom Heaton captain the side and a youthful bench including first year scholar and former Arsenal academy midfielder Josh Benson and ex-Bury striker Rob Harker.
And in a good, all-round display from the Clarets, the star turn was undoubtedly Gudmundsson, who tested Town keeper Rhys Taylor with a low drive in the ninth minute, after cutting in from the right.
Last season’s top scorer, Chris Wood, soon headed over from Charlie Taylor’s pinpoint delivery, before the Kiwi was presented with a glorious chance to open his pre-season account midway through the half.
Slick, first time passing down the right saw Jeff Hendrick dissect the defence with a magnificent reverse ball to release Phil Bardsley, but from the cut-back past a stranded keeper, Wood stabbed his first time effort off the foot of the post l.
Gudmundsson was a constant menace and the winger was inches off target with a curler from distance after again creating space by cutting inside.
The hosts, meanwhile, celebrating their return to the Football League following a seven-year absence and now managed by former Clarets midfielder Mark Yates, were lively themselves on the counter, without troubling Heaton.
However, the reliable England keeper was there when called upon for the only time on the half hour, diving smartly to his right to parry away Fitzpatrick’s fizzing drive from distance.
Burnley were immediately back in the ascendancy though and opened the scoring nine minutes from half time. 
Lennon was quick to pounce on a sloppy pass infield and made the right back pay; driving at the exposed last defender, shimmying past him on the edge of the box and slotting coolly over the advancing keeper.
Burnley could have added to their tally before the break, as Gudmundsson’s smart spin and shot from Taylor’s pass brought a fine save, with Wood’s rebound blocked by the man on the line. 
However, the visitors finally doubled their lead three minutes after the restart, as Jack Cork was upended 25 yards from goal and Gudmundsson nonchalantly stepped up to curl home the resulting free kick.
Westwood was agonisingly close to making it three after being teed-up on the edge of the area, shortly before Gudmundsson made his exit.
Macclesfield rallied briefly to threaten to halve the deficit, but as the clock ticked down it was Burnley who looked more likely to add to their comfortable margin of victory.
BURNLEY: Heaton, Bardsley, Dunne, Long, Taylor, Lennon, Westwood, Cork, Gudmundsson (Koiki 60), Hendrick, Wood.
Subs: Legzdins, Clarke, Benson, Harker.
MACC (starting): Taylor, Hodgkiss, Fitzpatrick, Keheller, Grimes, Wilson, Smith, Arthur, Evans, Whitaker, Rose.
Subs: Lowe, Marsh, Gray, Welch-Hayes, Pearson, Blissett, McKeown
Att: 823 (170 Burnley)

* Main pic courtesy of CameraSport.

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