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Following the 1-1 draw at Morecambe four days ago, the Clarets pre-season moved over the border into Yorkshire this afternoon and a game against League One Bradford City and it ended with us comfortable 4-1 winners.

Three goals in six first half minutes ensured this was going to be a Burnley win and there was no doubting that we fully deserved the win as the pre-season levels were moved up a notch as you would expect.

Two goals for Andre Gray
Two goals for Andre Gray

Andre Gray got the first two with Ben Mee catching Michael Keane in the centre-half goals contest, and late in the game a fourth from Michael Kightly wrapped things up after the home side had pulled one back just before half time.

Although a number of players got over an hour this time, rather than the 45 minutes they’d all previously had, we still used a total of 23 players with none of the starters on the pitch at the end. The game provided Nick Pope with his first appearance for the club while Dan Agyei and Josh Ginnelly stepped up from the development squad to get their first taste of first team football.

It was another warm day, one more suited to cricket I would think. For those who opted for the summer sport and Old Trafford it was a 250 from Joe Root but for those of us in the Midland Road stand at Valley Parade it was an enjoyable day watching the Clarets, this time playing in the new away shirt but with sky blue shorts socks, a collection that met with a bit more approval generally than that worn at Morecambe.

City had the first chance of the game but shot wide. They were soon to pay for that as Burnley took total control after a start where neither side had threatened to really get on top. Suddenly from 0-0 it was 3-0 with the visiting fans particularly enjoying the second of them.

Gray headed home a George Boyd cross from the left, getting to the near post to leave £1 goalkeeper Colin Doyle with no chance, but just three minutes later we were celebrating another Gray goal.

This time, Dean Marney, just outside his own box, played a delightful ball forward. Gray took it down with his left foot before lobbing Doyle with his right foot, a superb piece of work from the striker.

Marney was as impressive as anyone on the pitch. We’ve not really seen him fully fit since February of last year but his performance today suggested that he’s determined to make up for lost time with him and David Jones, now with even more hair, forming a formidable midfield partnership (this, however, Mr Garlick, should no be taken as a suggestion that we don’t bring in any new midfielders).

We were all still talking about that goal when Ben Mee headed home a Jones corner from the right to make it three and, at that point, you wondered just how many we might score. Football doesn’t quite work out like that though and the half ended with some problems for us as we suffered two hamstring injuries either side of a Bradford City goal from Filipe Morais.

Ashley Barnes walked off as the interval drew close with what was later reported as a hamstring problem, and was replaced by Lukas Jutkiewicz who was all ready to come on for the second half.

By the time the half had finished, Morais had scored from a rebound after Tom Heaton, who was playing his first Burnley game as an England international, had saved a Billy Clarke effort, and then Jutkiewicz himself, who got to half time, felt a tightening hamstring and took no further part.

Rouwen Hennings for Juke, and Pope for Heaton, were the only half time changes but the second half, generally, was a quieter affair and suffered disruption as both teams made changes, Burnley making another nine as the half went on.

The young players all did well and it was pleasing to see Agyei involved in the fourth goal. He got onto the ball in the box on the right and played it across. The City defender could do no more than divert it to Kightly who had the easiest of chances to complete the scoring.

Three weeks away from the start of the season, we have three more games to go before then with League One again providing the opposition on Tuesday when we travel to Bolton where we might just get our first glimpse of Johann Berg Gudmundsson.

Today’s teams were;

Bradford City: Colin Doyle, Tony McMahon, Daniel Devine, Nicky Law, Nathan Clarke, Nathaniel Knight-Percival, Mark Marshall, Timothee Dieng, Paul Anderson (Trialist 61), Billy Clarke (Reece Webb-Foster 74), Filipe Morais (Jordy Hiwula 61). Subs not used: Rouven Sattelmaier, Kwame Boateng.

Burnley: Tom Heaton (Nick Pope ht), Tendayi Darikwa (Matt Lowton 73), Michael Keane (Kevin Long 73), Ben Mee (James Tarkowski 73), Stephen Ward (Danny Lafferty 66), Scott Arfield (Josh Ginnelly 81), Dean Marney (Fredrik Ulvestad 66), David Jones (Aiden O’Neill 81), George Boyd (Michael Kightly 73), Andre Gray (Dan Agyei 66), Ashley Barnes (Lukas Jutkiewicz 43, Rouwen Hennings ht).

Referee: Geoff Eltringham (Sunderland).

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