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The signings of Harry Flowers and Aidan Stone meant a pre-season friendly for the under-23s this year at Brocton which was played last Friday evening with the Clarets recording a 3-1 victory against the Midland League side.

The M6 provided the biggest obstacle. We endured a long and difficult journey down, as did other Burnley supporters, and worse still the team who arrived later than scheduled putting the kick off back by just over ten minutes.

1718 burnley harry limb 00 500x500Once underway, not surprisingly, we did look the better team, but the home side kept any chances down to a minimum and occasionally looked a threat themselves although it was something of a surprise when we fell behind. Brocton won a corner on the right which was met by Anthony Juxon who headed home.

That spurred us into action and more than once Adam Jenkins, in the Brocton goal, came to their rescue with some very good saves but there was nothing he could do with two efforts in the space of a minute which saw Burnley level.

Firstly we fired a shot against the woodwork. It was half cleared but we quickly picked up the ball. It was played through to Jamie Thomas who made no mistake as he stroked the ball into the bottom corner some four minutes before half time.

A quiet start to the second half ended when Michael Duff made four changes on 56 minutes and from then we stepped things up and put Brocton under far more pressure. We won a penalty on 62 minutes when Harry Limb, one of the four players to come on, went down in the box. I’m not so sure; it looked harsh to me but Limb got up and saw his spot kick go right into the top corner to give Burnley the lead for the first time.

We dominated from that moment on and should have scored more goals, but chances were missed as the weather took a dramatic turn. We’d had rain before kick off and during the first half but for two long spells we then saw torrential rain that left me thankful I had a seat on the back row of the small stand.

We did miss a couple of sitters and I did think Limb should have been given a penalty for a foul in the box; maybe this one balanced things up. It looked set to end 2-1 but in the very last minute of the contest we got a third. Khius Metz got possession after a defensive lapse and his shot from outside the box, rolled into the bottom corner.

It’s not often one of our under-23 games is watched by a former England international but Ron Flowers, on his 83rd birthday, was there to see grandson Harry in the Burnley side. He was also on hand to award the Brocton man of the match while ours went to Arlen Birch who played alongside Flowers in the centre of defence.

Our two returning Brocton players both received warm welcomes but so did all those of us who had travelled from Burnley. It was very much an enjoyable club to visit and I wish them all the very best for the new season.

The under-23s will next be in action this Tuesday when we play at Wisbech as part of the deal that saw Limb (pictured) join the Clarets last season. Kick off is 7 p.m.

The teams on Friday were;

Brocton: Adam Jenkins, Ellis Liggins, Jamie Evans, Anthony Juxon, Shaun Stuart, Kenny Devoir, Josh Mansell, Desean Martin, Leon Taylor, Dan Griffiths, Joe Hartshorne. Subs: Ben Douglas, Paul McMahon, Josh Stack, Declan Green, Charlie Sneddon, Sam Edmonds, Matt Holland.

Burnley: Aidan Stone, Luke Hendrie (Dan Moss 68), Harry Flowers (Bobby Thomas 77), Arlen Birch, Trialist (Nashé Chakwana 56), Robbie Leitch (Dylon Meredith 68), Christian N’Guessan (Mark Howarth 56), Rahis Nabi (Ethan Kershaw 67), Ali Koiki, Jamie Thomas (Harry Limb 56), Tommy Wood (Khius Metz 56). Sub not used: Connor King.

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