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Match Reports

Preston North End 0 Burnley 0

1 September 2020

Alex Neil’s side were denied a pre-season win over Premier League Burnley by the lack of HawkEye at Deepdale on Tuesday afternoon.

Just before half-time Scott Sinclair smashed an effort that was headed onto the cross bar by a Clarets centre half, but the ball came down behind the line and then bounced clear, but the officials did not see it and without the technology, the goal was not awarded.

And despite having the better chances on the afternoon, the game finished goalless.

It was a completely different outfield line-up to the one that were victorious in the EFL Cup three days earlier, whilst Burnley had a powerful looking frontline including Chris Wood, Jay Rodriguez and Dwight McNeil.

The Lilywhites started brightly in the warm September sunshine, with Billy Bodin capitalising on a mistake by young centre half Bobby Thomas and almost closing down Will Norris in the visitors’ goal, the former Wolves custodian just getting the ball clear at the feet of the onrushing Welshman.

McNeil, who was surprisingly left out of England’s U21 squad this week, saw a snap shot saved low to his right by Connor Ripley – playing 90 minutes for the second game in succession, but after the first half drinks break the home side were on top.

On the half hour mark, Sinclair saw an effort blocked by Thomas, after a superb defence-splitting through ball by skipper Paul Gallagher and shortly after Bodin saw a right-footed effort saved by Norris.

Six minutes before the interview, PNE’s No.39 was brought down by Jimmy Dunne just inches outside the penalty area and Gallagher fired a vicious free kick past the wall, with Norris making a superb stop, at full stretch, push the ball around his left-hand post and out for a corner.

Just before the break came the controversial moment that could have broken the deadlock. A Gallagher cross from the right was powered deep into the six yard box and headed down by Jayden Stockley perfectly into the path of Sinclair who fired on target, with Phil Bardsley getting his head on the ball, but it came off the bar, down behind him and out, with referee Jeremy Simpson and his assistant at that end, Phil Dermott neither seeing the ball had crossed the line and without the HawkEye system, no goal was given.

After the half-time break it was PNE who continued to be on the front foot; more good play from Stockley – this time down the left – saw him create space, before reversing the ball back to the former Celtic man, but his curling effort was wide of the right-hand post.

With 17 minutes left, some clever footwork from Bodin, saw him backheel the ball from the edge of the box to create space for Johnson and Sinclair, but neither could get the ball out from under their feet and between Dunne and Thomas they were able to smother the ball away.

Jordan Storey – who did well against Wood and Rodriguez, alongside Ben Davies – went close with 13 minutes left, heading a Gallagher free kick from the left just over the bar.

But, as is always the case, the side had to be wary to the last, with Ripley making a good save low to his left with a minute to go, to deny Swedish substitute Joel Mumbongo from grabbing a winner for Sean Dyche’s men, which would have been very much against the run of play.

PNE line-up: Ripley, Rafferty, Hughes, Ledson, Storey, Davies, Bodin (Barkhuizen, 81), Gallagher (c) (Potts, 78), Stockley, Johnson (Bayliss, 81), Sinclair. Subs not used: Hudson, Earl, Pearson, Bauer, Harrop, Huntington.

Burnley line-up: Norris (Jensen, 46), Bardsley (Lowton, 61), Dunne, Thomas, Taylor (Pieters, 61), Gudmundsson (Goodridge, 71), Brownhill (Elva-Fountaine, 81), Westwood (c) (Benson, 61), McNeil (Richardson, 81), Wood (Vydra, 61), Rodriguez (Mumbongo, 71). Subs not used: Richter, Thompson.

Referee: Mr J Simpson


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