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1516 burnley turf moor 04Andre Gray scored an equaliser for Burnley with just over two minutes remaining of tonight’s friendly against Real Sociedad. It gave us a 1-1 draw and ensured that pre-season ended without a defeat in the six games.

Gray finished well, taking the ball on his right foot, going inside the defender before hitting a left foot shot beyond the goalkeeper, and this after Danny Lafferty had produced an Eddie Waring style up-and-under ball which Lukas Jutkiewicz managed to touch forward fortuitously for  Gray who made it nine goals in six games as the Clarets build up to the Premier League season which starts a week tomorrow.

In truth, we hadn’t looked as though we would get back into the game against a very technical side whose movement was so excellent and they were so good at retaining possession although you wouldn’t have thought that’s how the game was going to go in the first fifteen minutes when we looked the better side.

Sean Dyche made two changes to the side that had kicked off at Rangers last Saturday. Matt Lowton was preferred to Tendayi Darikwa at right back, that news coming just after Burnley had confirmed the loan signing of Liverpool’s Jon Flanagan, and Johann Berg Gudmundsson got his first Burnley side with George Boyd dropping to the bench.

It all looked good for Burnley. We took the game to the Spaniards and might have got ourselves in front . The two who came into the side were combining well down the right hand side and that seemed to be our most likely source of a chance.

From one Lowton cross, Ben Mee headed over when he really should have found target and soon after Gray delayed his shot just too long and a defender got in to block him.

But the game soon changed. They forced Tom Heaton into one good save but the Burnley captain could do nothing when they took the lead just past the half hour. They won a free kick down the left hand side which Carlos Vela, the former Arsenal player, took. It found defender Raul Navas unmarked at the far post and his header went back across Heaton and into the far corner.

Michael Keane was close just before half time and Danny Lafferty even closer with a good effort just after, but Sociedad were beginning to control things and should have gone on to win the game more comfortably with a couple of missed chances, one presented to them by Mee that I’m still not sure how they failed to take advantage.

They were the masters at keeping possession and slowing the game down and we just couldn’t get any sort of pressure against them at all, that was until Gray’s expert finish levelled things at the end.

There were positives; we weren’t beaten, Andre’s on fire (no, we don’t want that damn song) and the new floodlights worked. I even coped with the electronic advertising board which referred to the Barclays Premier League with an advert for Carlsberg which was probably not the best advertising in the world.

We’ll come up against teams that like to retain possession, but I’m not so sure we’ll come up against such a technical side as Real Sociedad.

And I’ve not even mentioned our lack of central midfielders.

The teams were;

Burnley: Tom Heaton, Matt Lowton, Michael Keane, Ben Mee, Danny Lafferty, Johann Berg Gudmundsson (George Boyd 61), Dean Marney (Fredrik Ulvestad 83), David Jones, Scott Arfield, Sam Vokes (Lukas Jutkiewicz 83), Andre Gray. Subs not used: Paul Robinson, Nick Pope, Tendayi Darikwa, James Tarkowski, Kevin Long, Aiden O’Neill, Michael Kightly, Chris Long, Rouwen Hennings.

Real Sociedad: Bardají, Martínez, Elustondo, Navas, Héctor, Zube Idia, Pardo, Oyarzabal, Vela, Bautista, Concha. Subs: Ramírez, Mikel, Illarra, Bergara, Iñigo, Juanmi, Granero, Prieto, Sanz, Zurutuza, Yuri, Zaldua.

Referee: Graham Scott (Oxford).

Attendance: 6,522.

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