Date: 26th July 2008 at 6:32pm
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Accrington Stanley 0-3 Burnley

GOALKEEPING errors were the order of the day as Accrington Stanley fell to a 3-0 friendly defeat against Burnley at the Fraser Eagle Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Two long long range free kicks from the Clarets proved to be Stanley’s downfall as both Joey Gudjonsson and Robbie Blake scored from set pieces, against a Kenny Arthur who was surely trying to pull off some stops for the cameras, but it was Albanian forward Besart Berisha who stole the show late on.

Stanley had announced before the game that Blackburn Rovers youngster Jamie Clark had finally joined the club on loan until christmas and Stanley boss John Coleman instantly threw him into the deep end, with a starting berth alongside former Burnley Center of Excellence striker Paul Mullin.

Coleman took to the heights of the camera vantage point in the first half to cast his eye over his new look outfit which saw three of his new captures take a starting place with Chris King and Colin Murdock partnering Captain Peter Cavanagh and Phil Edwards in the back four, with Clarke spear heading the attack. Young midfielder Jimmy Ryan who signed on a free transfer following his release from Shrewsbury took his place amongst an eleven man substitute bench.

Former Burnley striker and brother of Paul, John Mullin failed to make the Stanley side after picking up a knock on his ankle in training.

Burnley manager Owen Coyle was visiting the Fraser Eagle Stadium for the first time since his appointment back in November when he replaced Steve Cotterill at the helm of the Turf Moor club and gave four of his summer signings a chance to impress as Peruvian international Diego Penny took the number one shirt with Christian Kalvenez, Remco van der Schaaf and Martin Paterson also among the starters.

The game started in whirlwind fashion with both sides making positive starts, but it was Burnley who made the first chance of the game when Dutchman van der Shaaf picked out winger Wade Elliott with a crossfield ball, only for Elliott to see his shot tipped onto the woodwork by Arthur, before rebounding to safety.

The pace of the game was picking up as Stanley’s well worked move saw Penny in a spot of trouble as the Peruvian giant took to long and Clark quickly closed him down, eventually blocking the ball before it could be cleared, but the ball found its way to Graham Alexander who cooly cleared the danger.

Blake was proving to be a real handful and won a number of free kicks against the Stanley defence, narrowly firing wide on a number of occasions.

John Miles, who finished last season on loan with Milton Keynes Dons started the game on the right hand side of midfield and started to get involved in the game more as the half wore on and proved to be a menace for Kalvenez, with his teasing crosses and neat footwork, which was getting recognised by both sets of supporters.

Paul Mullin almost had the ball in the back of the net, as young left winger Robert Grant put in a great ball after beating his man, only to see the penalty spot scramble have the ball hacked away.

Half-Time saw the teams go in goalless as both managers decided to ring the changes, and by the end of the day, all 41 players on the teamsheets got on to the field to play some part in the game.

The second half was completely different to the first as the Championship side began to insert their dominance in a game which looked like it had goals in it, and three minutes in Burnley took the lead.

Icelandic midfielder Gudjonsson smashed home the ball from 30-yeards that may have taken a slight deflection off Paul Mullin before beating Arthur’s dive to head into the top right hand corner, but the Scottish keeper seemed to flap at the ball after doing fantastically well to cover his ground and get into a shot stopping position as the ball brushed past his two handed attempt.

Stanley finally managed to pull off their first attempt on goal with 14 minutes remaining at a sun soaked Fraser Eagle Stadium that had over 3,000 spectators inside for the annual Pre-Season event. Mullin’s weak shot however wasn’t enough to test Danish keeper Brian Jensen who comfortabley stopped the ball.

Then as Robbie Williams felled Martin Paterson, Blake showed his brilliance, by smashing home a top corner free kick which was 35-yards out on the left wing, again beating Arthur who was beginning to get some stick from the travelling Clarets behind the goal. Then came the change in keepers as Ian Dunbavin replaced the Scotsman, but even he was unable to prevent Burnley scoring a further goal.

Accrington almost scored a fantastic goal late on but Clark’s powerful snap shot was well saved by Jensen in the Burnley goal, as the Clarets went on to score again with Berisha taking on four defenders before hammering the ball past a helpless Dunbavin who could only stand and watch.

A respectable showing by Accrington though who defended very well at times to keep the Premiership chasers at bay. Next up for Coleman’s boys are Burscough on Tuesday evening with a kick off time of 7:30pm.

Accrington: Arthur, Cavanagh, King, Edwards, Murdock, Proctor, Miles, Craney, Clark, P Mullin, Grant.

Subs: Dunbavin, Richardson, Ouamara, Jahrow, Moore, Ryan, Flower, Turner, Bell, Murphy, Williams.

Burnley: Penny, Alexander, Duff, Caldwell, Kalvenes, van der Schaaf, Mahon, Gudjonsson, Elliott, Blake, Paterson.

Subs: Jensen, Carlisle, Jordan, Kay, Rodriguez, A MacDonald, Jones, Berisha.

Attendance: 3,142