Burnley 2 v 0 Bradford City (Michael Duff Testimonial Match)
Clarets legend Michael Duff celebrated the start of his twelfth season by leading the side out having being made captain for the day for his testimonial match against Bradford City at Turf Moor.
Bradford City arrived at Turf Moor having just signed Paul Anderson that morning from Ipswich Town, Anderson didn’t feature in the game, however he did travel with the squad and take part of the pre-match warm up.
City also gave a debut to Nathan Clarke and had former West Ham goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen in goal for the second-half as he is at the club on trial. Burnley also had a new summer signing, right-back Tendayi Darkiea who signed from Chesterfield last made his debut for the Clarets.
Burnley had the first chance of the game on four minutes when a George Boyd free-kick was charged down just outside the area. Tendayi Darikwa then picked up the loose ball and his cross found Jelle Vossen in the area, but his header went over the crossbar.
Just three minutes later Michael Kightly picked up the ball from a Tom Heaton goal kick he then cut into the City penalty area, but his left-footed angled drive was on target but Ben Williams held onto the ball at the second attempt.
City’s first opening of the game came shortly afterwards, however, when Hanson sent a glancing header wide from Billy Knott’s cross.
Hanson was nearly involved again minutes later when Vessen’s attempted back-pass to Heaton looked to be dropping short. With Hanson interested, the striker tried to reach the pass before Heaton but the ball just skipped away from him off the surface and the danger was gone.
With City seemingly enjoying a good period in the contest at this stage, Duff then had to send the ball behind for a corner from Josh Morris’ goal-bound header following Christopher Routis’ hanging ball into the box.
The City corner directly afterwards came to nothing but the one afterwards seconds later saw David Jones block out Rory McArdle’s header for goal from Tony McMahon’s set-piece delivery.
Burnley showed a signal of their intent soon after though when Jutkiewicz headed Scott Arfield’s long ball into the box down into the path of Vossen.
The Belgian forward fired for goal with a half-volley from the edge of the box but the effort was pushed behind by Williams for a corner. City then had to kick clear Michael Keane’s downward header from the resulting set-piece.
Vossen was in the action again midway with the opening period when George Boyd’s teasing cross found him in space. The striker could only slice an air-kick wide of goal, however, while well placed inside the box.
His strike-partner Jutkiewicz was troubling City in Burnley’s next attack when a searching cross from Darikwa found the former Middlesbrough man in the middle. His downward header from around eight yards out was kept out by Williams before Darby could smash the loose ball clear.
Just past the half hour mark, Jutkiewicz nearly had a sight of goal again when Boyd’s through-ball played him into space. The recovering Darby managed to block the striker’s path to goal, however, with a recovery tackle.
Kightly had the ball back into the mix was a low cross just seconds later but Williams was eventually able to gather.
On thirty-seven minutes Lukas Jutkiewicz punished the City defence after Michael Kightly sent a low cross towards the near post which found Jutkiewicz, he held off the advances of McArdle before firing past Williams and into the far bottom corner with an angled drive.
The Bantams nearly responded less than ninety seconds later but Hanson fired agonisingly wide of Heaton’s near post with a low stab at goal after being found in the area by a neat pass from Billy Clarke.
As the rain began to lash down, City then went close again a minute or so later when McMahon’s looping volley from outside the box sailed not too far away from a diving Heaton’s near post.
Not for the first time during the opening period though, the threatening Jutkiewicz was involved again roughly five minutes before the break when Boyd robbed Morris of the ball. Jutkiewicz fired for goal from the edge of the box but the low drive was held by Williams.
City had another chance for an equaliser in forty-first minute, however, when Knott was felled just outside the box. McMahon took responsibility for the resulting free-kick, and he proceeded to rattle Heaton’s crossbar with a fine effort.
Knott kept the danger alive with a floating cross towards the back post but Hanson’s close range header was kicked off the goal-line by Keane.
As an entertaining first period came to a close, Boyd and Jutkiewicz nearly linked up once more but the former’s low cross along the six yard box was just out of reach of the sliding Burnley striker.
City had a new ‘keeper in goal for the second period, with Jussi Jaaskelainen replacing Williams during the interval.
Jaaskelainen had his first meaningful touch of the half roughly three minutes in when Darikwa’s searching cross picked out the lurking Jutkiewicz. The forward’s diving header was on target but City’s Finnish shot-stopper was able to repel the effort with a low block.
After going close from a free-kick in the first half, McMahon was at it again at the start of the second period, this time Heaton having to tip over his set-piece delivery from around twenty-five yards out.
Routis’ cross into the area a minute or so later gave City another glimpse of goal but Morris and James Meredith both saw efforts inside the box blocked.
In the fifty-seventh minute, Darby was substituted and replaced by Gary Liddle. Hanson, who would see a shot from the edge of the box blocked by Keane shortly afterwards, took over the armband.
The introduction of Liddle also meant McMahon moved from his starting holding midfield role to right back.
Just before the hour mark, Boyd saw his drive from outside the box tipped over the bar by Jaaskelainen. At the same time, Darby was seen walking back to dressing room for a well-earned shower, the away crowd greeting him with a resounding rendition of his song ‘Stephen Darby Baby’.
City tried to counter-attack from the resulting set-piece but Routis’ touch from Billy Clarke’s pass was a tad heavy and the Frenchman eventually could only send a deflected cross into the arms of Heaton.
Routis tested Heaton to a greater extent minutes later when the midfielder’s forceful drive from outside the area had to claimed at the second attempt by the Burnley shot-stopper.
Shortly after a triple substitution for the hosts which saw Jutkiewicz, Vossen and Jones all replaced, Hanson fired over the bar from around the penalty spot with a fierce rising half-volley following Morris’ cross into the box.
City’s third change of the afternoon came in the seventieth minute when Mark Marshall replaced Knott.
Burnley doubled their lead in the seventy-fourth minute thanks to a superb effort from a player only on the field for a couple of minutes.
Substitute Matt Taylor – once of Portsmouth and Bolton Wanderers – curled a delightful free-kick from around twenty yards out into the corner with one of his first few touches of the afternoon, beating his former team-mate Jaaskelainen at his near post in the process.
Shortly after Taylor’s goal, City replaced Hanson and Billy Clarke in attack with Steven Davies and Luke James. Alan Sheehan then came on for James Meredith.
With just less than ten minutes of the contest to go, Boyd played second half sub Sam Vokes into space inside the box but the striker’s low effort was seemingly tipped around the post by Jaaskelainen.
The match referee disagreed though, giving City a goal-kick instead – much to the bemusement of the Burnley players close by.
Man of the day Duff was then given a standing ovation by the Burnley crowd as he was swapped for Stephen Ward in the final few minutes of the friendly.
Speaking after the match manager Sean Dyche said, “Michael is a real warrior and the club’s longest-serving player, age is only a problem if you let it get to you and Michael doesn’t.
Speaking about the game Dyche said, In the first half, we didn’t score as many as we could have done, we should have been 3-1 ahead at half time. The second half we looked more solid and passed the ball better and better as the game went on.
The only black spot on the day, which saw Matt Lowton miss out through injury, was a worrying knock sustained by Norwegian midfielder Fredrik Ulvestad, who went to hospital for an X-Rays on his ankle.
Unfortunately we’ve had a few knocks so we’ve had to use this game wisely, with Jelle Vossen, Dave Jones and Lukas Jutkiewicz all coming off, just to be careful and make sure they’re well. Freddy has taken a knock, so we will await news on that, he has gone off for an X-Ray and at this stage I must make it clear that’s precautionary.
Tendayi has come into the club on Thursday from Chesterfield and with Matt Lowton being injured Tendayi has come into the side today and had an excellent debut.”
Burnley – Heaton, Darikwa, Keane, Duff, Mee, Arfield, Jones, Kightly, Boyd, Jutkiewicz, Vossen (Subs) Gilks, Ulvestad, Vokes, Taylor, Sordell, Anderson, O’Neill, Dummigan, Ward.
Bradford City – Williams, Darby, Meredith, McArdle, Clarke, McMahon, Routis, Morris, Knott, Clarke, Hanson (Subs) Jaaskelainen, Sheehan, Hendry, Leigh, Liddle, James, Marshall, Grant, Motley-Henry, Davies
Goals – (Burnley) Jutkiewicz (32), Taylor (74)
Attendance – 4,825