Crewe Alexandra 1 v 0 Burnley (Pre-Season Friendly)
Burnley sent two sides out for pre-season friendlies this afternoon the first match in the Potteries against Port Vale, whilst the second match took place at Crewe Alexandra where Ashley Westwood captained the Clarets against his former club at the Alexandra Stadium.
However, the midfielder couldn’t help the Clarets overcome Sky Bet League Two side Crewe Alexandra as they warmed up for the start of the season with a morale boosting victory. Westwood who started his career with the Railwaymen went onto win promotion and captained the club before he left to join Aston Villa.
Westwood, was warmly welcomed back to his former club and was given the armband by assistant manager Ian Woan, who led the side with U23 boss Steve Stone. It was also a proud day for Westwood’s father Kevin Westwood who is the electrician at Gresty Road.
The Clarets had an early effort when Matt Lowton’s pull-back found Ashley Barnes but his effort was tipped over the crossbar by Crewe keeper Will Jaaskelainen. This was the only real effort in the opening quarter of the game.
Just six minutes later, after a flurry of corners the Clarets were caught on the break as Kevin Long nursed a knock in the opponents area, his defensive partner Jimmy Dunne’s attempted clearance fell to Charlie Kirk at the other end and he slotted the ball past Clarets goalkeeper Nick Pope to give the home side the lead.
Crewe should have extended their lead shortly afterwards when Chris Porter was given the ball, but he drove the ball straight at Nick Pope from a tight angle when Charlie Kirk was better placed to add to the scoreline.
The Clarets who start their league season a week after Crewe were not at full fitness and their sharpness is still to come. However the visitors saw plenty of the ball in the first half without really carrying a cutting edge. Dwight McNeil and Johann Berg Gudmundsson both asked questions of the Crewe defence, but they sent long-range efforts wide before the break.
The secon-half was much the same as the first with the Sky Bet League Two side never overly stretched and showed their customary composure on the ball to give another chance after the break for Kirk, whose first-time effort was saved by Pope.
Nick Pope’s handling was spot-on throught the whole match and midway through the second-half he held a well-struck free-kick from Alex substitute James Jones as the home side had a spell on top. Jay Rodriguez, in his first public appearance back in a Burnley shirt looked the Clarets’ most likely source of an equaliser.
It was Rodriguez who had the two half-chances for the Clarets in the second-half, his first effort failed to hit the target, when he shot over the Crewe crossbar from inside the area. His second effort was a header which he put wide of Jaaskelainen’s right-hand post as the visitors drew a blank in this corner of Staffordshire.
Crewe – Jaaskelainen, Ng, Hunt, Nolan, Pickering, Powell, Wintle, Green, Kirk, Lowery, Porter (Subs) Jones, Richards, Lundstram, Riley, Ainley, Finney, Dale, Davies.
Burnley – Pope, Lowton, Long, Dunne, Pieters, Gudmundsson, Benson, Westwood, McNeil, Rodriguez, Barnes (Subs) Legzdins, Cropper, Glennon, Younger, Harker.
Goals – (Crewe) Kirk (21)
Attendance – 2,058