Port Vale 1 v 3 Burnley (Pre-Season Friendly)
In the Clarets second match of the day striker Chris Wood continued his pre season goal scoring record as the Clarets came from behind to beat Port Vale at Vale Park. The New Zealand striker struck early in the second half to make it five goals in three games and cancel out Tom Pope’s first half opener.
For the second time in a week, the first team squad divided to enable as many of the squad to maximise their minutes. However this time rather than adjoining pitches at Barnfield, they teams were thirteen miles apart, as the other half of Sean Dyche’s squad headed to nearby Crewe Alexandra. Those at Vale Park enjoyed a good work out against Sky Bet League Two side who narrowly avoided dropping out of the Football League last season.
The Clarets came close to opening the score on two minutes as a Robbie Brady crossed from the right and Chris Wood clashed in the air with Valiants’ keeper Scott Brown who dropped onto the ball as it bounced onto the goalline. On the ninth minute, Port Vale took the lead when Tom Pope, last season’s top scorer, found a yard of space in the box to turn and fire low into the bottom left hand corner past Tom Heaton into the goal to make it 1-0.
The Clarets nearly drew leave shortly after the opening goal, when Port Vale defender Leon Legge headed against his own crossbar as the Vale defender back pedalled to stop Chris Wood pouncing on a Robbie Brady inswinging free kick.
As the action swung to the other end, Heaton was forced into a double save, first keeping out a free header from a free kick and then denying David Amoo’s follow-up from point blank range. As the first half drew to a close, Jeff Hendrick fired wide and Aaron Lennon raced onto an under-hit back pass and rounded Brown, only for the angle to deny him a clear shot at goal.
Sean Dyche made a number of changes at half-time including bring on former England International goalkeeper Joe Hart, it took the Clarets just eight minutes in the second-half to draw level as Robbie Brady picked out Chris Wood with a peach of a ball and the Kiwi coolly nodded home to make it 1-1.
Chris Wood was denied a second goal by a smart save midway through the half, as Burnley began to turn the screw and the confident Kiwi was inches away with a rising drive from Jack Cork’s assist fizzed over the crossbar.
Burnley’s dominance eventually paid off 10 minutes from time as Cork drove at the heart of the Vale defence and Wood teed-up strike partner Vydra for a smart finish. Then five minutes from time the Clarets wrapped things up as Brady rifled high into the net following good work down the right from the impressive Lennon.
Port Vale – Brown, Gibbons, Crooks, Legge, Joyce, Worrall, Pope, Conlon, Smith, Amoom Bennett (Subs) Maddison, Rawlinson, Kennedy, Burgess, Smith, Cullen, Evans, Gordon
Burnley – Heaton, Bardsley, Gibson, Tarkowski, Koiki, Lennon, Hendrick, Cork, Brady, Vydra, Wood (Subs) Hart, Wells, Thomas, Wilson, N’Guessan
Goals – (Burnley) Wood, Vydra, Brady