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REPORT: Port Vale 1 Burnley 3

20 July 2019

Chris Wood continued his 100% pre-season record as the Clarets came from behind to win at Vale Park.

The New Zealand striker struck early in the second half to make it five goals in three games and cancel out Tom Pope’s first half opener, before late goals from Matej Vydra and Robbie Brady rewarded a much improved second half for the visitors.

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For the second time in a week, the first team squad divided to enable as many of the squad to maximise their minutes.

This time, rather than adjoining pitches at Barnfield, they were 13 miles apart, as half of Sean Dyche’s squad headed to nearby Crewe Alexandra.

Those at Vale Park enjoyed a good work out against the League Two side, who narrowly avoided dropping out of the Football League last season.

Within two minutes the Clarets came close to opening the scoring as Brady crossed from the right and Wood clashed in the air with Valiants’ keeper Scott Brown, who dropped onto the ball as it bounced on the goalline.

But in the ninth minute it was Vale who took the lead when Pope, last season’s top scorer, found a yard of space in the box to turn and fire low into the bottom left hand corner of Tom Heaton’s goal.

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Leon Legge headed against his own crossbar soon afterwards as the Vale defender back-pedalled to stop Wood pouncing on Brady’s inswinging free kick.

As the action swung to the other end, Heaton was forced into a double save, first keeping out a free header from a free kick and then denying David Amoo’s follow-up from point-blank range.

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And as the first half drew to a close, Jeff Hendrick fired wide and Aaron Lennon raced onto an under-hit back pass and rounded Brown, only for the angle to deny him a clear shot at goal.

However, it took just eight minutes into the second half for the Clarets to level the scores.

After dominating possession from the restart, Brady picked out Wood with a peach of a ball and the Kiwi coolly nodded home to keep up his terrific pre-season scoring spree, following up his goal against Fulham in the pre-season opener in Portugal and the midweek hat-trick against Accrington Stanley.

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Wood was denied a second by a smart save midway through the half, as Burnley began to turn the screw.

And the confident Kiwi was inches away with a rising drive from Jack Cork’s assist fizzed over the crossbar.

However, Burnley’s dominance eventually paid off 10 minutes from time as Cork drove at the heart of the Vale defence and Wood teed-up strike partner Vydra for a smart finish.

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And five minutes from time the Clarets wrapped things up as Brady rifled high into the net following good work down the right from the impressive Lennon.

BURNLEY: Heaton (Hart 45), Bardsley, Gibson, Tarkowski, Koiki, Lennon, Hendrick, Cork, Brady, Vydra, Wood.

Subs: Wells, Thomas, Wilson, N’Guessan

PORT VALE (starting): Brown, Gibbons, Crooks, Legge, Joyce, Worrall, Pope, Conlon, Smith, Amoom Bennett.

Subs: Maddison, Rawlinson, Kennedy, Burgess, Smith, Cullen, Evans, Gordon.


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