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The sun setting on a hot night in Morecambe
The sun setting on a hot night in Morecambe

Burnley’s pre-season continued last night with a 1-1 draw at Morecambe with Andre Gray equalising for the Clarets after a Paul Robinson mistake had gifted the home side the lead.

I don’t know what it is about our trips to Morecambe. I recall being close to getting drenched there after a pre-season game at Christie Park in 2009 as the rain poured down but our visits to the Globe Arena have always been met with the sun beating down and temperatures that are far from normal on the North West coast of England.

I suppose they do encourage it with the playing of Bring Me Sunshine before the start of each half. You could see a number of Burnley fans joining in with it, certainly those of a certain age I would say.

The players, lots of them, were warming up when I got inside the ground. There was, obviously, no sign of the two new signings but the young players who had travelled to the training camp were all there as was Josh Ginnelly.

Again, Sean Dyche opted for a different team in each half with Robinson in goal throughout the game and the announcer had a problem with our squad, struggling to get his tongue round such names as Ulvestad, Tarkowski and Jutkiewicz before finally giving up when confronted with Darikwa.

He surpassed himself at half time. When revealing that we were making ten changes he said there were too many to announce so we should work it out for ourselves.

It’s difficult to report on these games sometimes because it is all about fitness but I thought there were some real positives in each half, made even harder when the opposition don’t bother with shirt numbers.

It might be wrong to single out players but I think everyone would have been pleased with how Fredrik Ulvestad played in the first half and Chris Long, in an unfamiliar wide position, in the second half.

We were the better side in the first half hour or so and could so easily have been in front but for two excellent saves from home goalkeeper Barry Roche. Early in the game he got down really well to deny Ashley Barnes’ downward header and he then spread himself really well to keep out a Rouwen Hennings effort after a typical ball through from Ulvestad.

Morecambe had their moments but generally we were the better team in the first half and that probably continued after the break although we did fall behind once and were very fortunate and thankful to referee Neil Swarbrick that we didn’t go behind again.

I’m afraid the Morecambe goal that did count was down solely to our goalkeeper Robinson. He failed to hold a ball and could do no more than knock it up for Rhys Turner to head home from close range; he won’t get an easier chance all season.

By this time it wasn’t too easy seeing what was going on down at the far end due to the setting sun but when George Boyd picked up the ball on the left and fed Gray, the now regular sight of seeing the ball in the back of the next was clear with Gray firing into the bottom left hand corner from what looked to be just outside the penalty box.

Morecambe were making a number of changes and, although probably passing unnoticed to most Burnley supporters, two Burnley players from last season came on. Firstly Luke Conlan who has now signed for Morecambe and I think this was his first action since he suffered a bad injury a couple of weeks before the end of last season. He came on before Burnley’s equaliser and was followed by goalkeeper Danijel Nizic who I assume was one of the several trialists on view.

Although we looked the more likely to get a winner, it was Morecambe who had the ball in the net after a slip by Danny Lafferty only for the referee to give us a fortunate free kick.

But 1-1 it was on a night when it was exhausting watching football let alone play it. And still some would like summer football.

The teams were;

Morecambe: Barry Roche, Aaron McGowan, Ryan Edwards, Dean Winnard, Trialist, Alex Kenyon, Trialist, Tom Barkhuizen, Rhys Turner, Lee Molyneux, Cole Stockton. Subs: Kevin Ellison, Luke Conlan, Paul Mullin, Aaron Wildig, LiamWakefield, seven trialists.

Burnley First Half: Paul Robinson, Matt Lowton, Michael Keane, Ben Mee, Cameron Dummigan, Scott Arfield, Fredrik Ulvestad, David Jones, Michael Kightly, Rouwen Hennings, Ashley Barnes.

Burnley Second Half: Paul Robinson, Tendayi Darikwa, Kevin Long, James Tarkowski, Danny Lafferty, Chris Long, Aiden O’Neill, Dean Marney, George Boyd, Lukas Jutkiewicz, Andre Gray.

Referee: Neil Swarbrick (Preston).

Attendance: 1,640 (including 872 Clarets).

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