Date: 11th July 2010 at 9:45am
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A game of two halves took on a new twist at Gigg Lane yesterday in our pre-season match against Bury.

The line-ups for both sides underwent radical changes in the second half.Brian Laws assessed his tactical options and player fitness of virtually his whole squad by fielding effectively two different teams in each 45 minute spell. Laws in fact made nine changes for the start of the second half and there were more changes to follow. Even the subs got subbed!

Bury also tried similar tactics but lost out in both cases.

Burnley Team One beat Bury Team One 2-0 in the first half and Burnley Team Two beat Bury Team Two 1-0 in the scond-half!

Overall then a 3-0 victory thanks to goals by debutant boy, Ross Wallace, Steven Thompson and Chris Eagles.

The Clarets first line-up for the start of the game read:

Jensen, Eckersley, Bikey, Duff, Fox, Alexander, Elliott, McCann, Wallace, Thompson, Rodriguez.

The subs bench named was effectively the rest of our squad with even some more coming on that were not named!

The only first-team player missing from the team sheet was Tyrone Mears and before Clarets fans read anything into that in view of the speculation he could be leaving Turf Moor, the reason he did not feature according to the Official Burnley website was the fact he had picked up a slight hamstring strain.

As the game got underway, it was obvious this was a first game in pre-season with both sides struggling to make an impression. The first 30 minutes or so were pretty dull to be honest with attacks few and far between.

The deadlock though was finally broken on 33 minutes. Chris McCann, who was one of liveliest looking players on the pitch and showing no ill-effects from the injuries that kept him out for most of last seaosn, was the key playmaker in the goal.

He pounced on a mis-placed Bury pass out of defence and stormed forward laying off the ball to our new signing from Preston, Ross Wallace. Charging into the box, the winger got in a left footed shot that beat Bury keeper, Belford to put the Clarets 1-0 up.

The Clarets were now taking charge of this match without really having to break sweat and we doubled our lead in the final minute of the first half.

The goal was the end result of some impressive passing that must have involved at least a dozen moves. It was Rodriguez who finally nodded down a chipped ball from Elliott for Thompson to pounce and cooly slot home to make it 2-0 Clarets at half-time.

As said earlier, Laws made nine changes for the start of the second half with only Jensen and Eckersley keeping their places.

Clarets fans though did now get the chance to see our two other new signings of the summer,Chris Iwelumo and Dean Marney.

I won’t even bother saying what other changes were made for the start of the second-half but just list the new starting eleven! One interesting tactical experiment though was testing out Edgar as an holding midfielder as we lined-up for the second half as follows:

Jensen, Eckersley, Carlisle, Cort, Easton, Edgar, McDonald, Marney, Eagles, Paterson, Iwelumo.

As the game progressed, other changes would be made. The forgotten man of football, Diego Penny would come on to replace Jensen in goal and after an impressive run-out of 68 minutes, Richard Eckersley enjoying his chance to shine at right-back in the absence of Mears, was finally replaced by young Alex-Ray Harvey.

Wes Fletcher would also make a late appearance coming on in the 90th minute to replace Paterson!

The second-half followed along similar lines to the first although if anything was less entertaining with even fewer changes in attack. Burnley were simply strolling through this match and rarely came under any pressure from a lacklustre Bury side who seemed to be struggling more from all the unsettling team changes with a number of new faces and trialists trying to bed in.

The pace of the game was also noticeably slower although that may have had more to do with the effect of the sun on this warm day.

The Clarets finally put the game beyond Bury’s reach in the 82nd minute. A pass from Harvey found Eagles who appeared to be on form and enjoying himself despite rumours of a move to a Premier league club.

Eagles calmly chipped the ball over Belford’s head and it sailed into the far corner to make the final score 3-0 in the Clarets favour.

So a good first workout and one that would have made 1,815 travelling Clarets fans reasonably happy. Oldham next then this Monday night ( 12th July 7:30pm Kick Off)

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