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This summer’s under-21 team pre-season has been played out mainly behind closed doors with only the game at Lancaster two and a half weeks ago open to the public prior to tonight’s game against Ashton United.

Before the 3-0 defeat at Lancaster, we’d drawn 2-2 against Celtic in a game never publicised by the club, and we’ve since beaten Leeds and Hibs and lost against Rangers and Blackburn.

Tonight we travel to Hurst Cross, home of Ashton United, for our final scheduled pre-season game before our Professional Development League gets underway in just under two weeks time with a trip to Millwall.

The game could see us come up against Jason Gilchrist, a player who came close to making a first team debut for Burnley in the 1-1 draw at Watford, only to sit back on the bench when Scott Arfield scored our equaliser.

As for the Burnley team, there has only been one signing for the under-21s this summer, that of Basilio Rieno Socoliche who had previously been with Crystal Palace. A number of players have left the club since the end of last season including Keelan Williams, Seb Thompson, Kade Ratchford, Ne-Jai Tucker and Deji Sotona and we’ve now lost Benn Ward and Michael Mellon who have gone out on loan to Swindon and Morecambe respectively in League Two. It will be a much changed team tonight.

Gilchrist played for Burnley on the last occasion we played there which was in pre-season eight years ago.  We won 2-1 with both our goals coming from trialists. Dan Agyei, who we signed from Wimbledon, scored the first with John-Prince Rylah, who didn’t feature again for Burnley, scoring the winner. Burnley’s team that night, back in July 2015, was: Dan Nizic, Trialist 1, Shaun Hobson, Alex Whitmore, Trialist 2, Nathan Lowe (Andreas Bianga ht), Jamie Frost, Aiden O’Neill, Brad Jackson (Trialist 4 ht), Trialist 3 (Jason Gilchrist 80), Jason Gilchrist (Josh Dolling ht), Sub not used: Conor Mitchell.

Ashton play in the Premier Division of the Northern Premier League and this will be their final friendly before kicking off the season this Saturday with an away game against Workington.

Kick off tonight is 7:45 p.m. and admission is £5 and £1 for under-16s.

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