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Burnley were beaten by Preston North End this afternoon in the first round of the Lancashire Senior Cup as the young Clarets came up a very strong Preston side who even included former Blackburn player Paul Gallagher and John Welsh, a veteran from the famous FA Cup tie of January 2005 when we sent Liverpool home from Turf Moor on the end of a 1-0 win for the Clarets.

It was a shock to see the North End line up to be honest. There was experience throughout with every player in the starting eleven having played first team football and that was against a Burnley team whose oldest player was the 21-year-old Harry Flowers.

1718 burnley jamie thomas 00 500x500The game took a while to get going with neither side really threatening too much although we were the better of the two sides, but the deadlock was broken with a bizarre own goal midway through the first half. It came from a right wing cross that didn’t seem to be causing us too much danger until Arlen Birch tried to head it out for a corner but only succeeded in putting the ball past goalkeeper Aidan Stone and into the net.

Preston went close to doubling that lead but then Burnley came back when Khius Metz won a free kick over 25 yards from goal. Up stepped Jamie Thomas (pictured) to beat the wall and fire his set piece into the bottom corner.

There were eight minutes of the half remaining but there were still three goals to come in a four minute spell, goals that proved to determine the final result. Preston scored two goals in two minutes but with us checking our watches for the half time whistle we pulled one back. Metz run on to a poor back pass. He took the ball in his stride and stroked it into the bottom corner.

Preston went into the break with the lead and came out determined to extend it. They dominated the play for some time but Burnley defended ever so well, none more so than Flowers and youth teamer Oliver Younger. The pair of them were outstanding for us in the centre of the defence.

We saw off that threat without any further damage and the game turned completely with us now the team on top, and how close we came to getting a draw. We put the home defence under pressure, we hit the post through Nashé Chakwana, had a penalty claim turned down and saw Declan Rudd make a couple of good saves.

By the end we deserved to at least have drawn level, but it wasn’t to be and it’s Preston who go through to the second round of this season’s competition.

The teams were;

Preston: Declan Rudd, Marnick Vermijl, Andy Boyle, Tommy Spurr, Kevin O’Connor, Calum Woods, Paul Gallagher (Harry Garstang 71), John Welsh (Oscar O’Neil 71), Ben Pringle, Josh Harrop (Melle Meulensteen 63), Callum Robinson.

Burnley: Aidan Stone, Arlen Birch, Harry Flowers, Oliver Younger, Ali Koiki, Olatunde Bayode, Rahis Nabi, Mark Howarth (Christian N’Guessan 80), Nashé Chakwana, Jamie Thomas (Dwight McNeil 83), Khius Metz (Jordan Cropper 86).

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