Preston North End’s young midfield starlets Josh Brownhill and Alan Browne led a fierce fight-back as PNE beat Premier League new boys Burnley 2-1 at Deepdale.
Brownhill’s last minute wonder strike was his fourth goal in five friendly fixtures and sealed a superb come back for the League One side as they overturned a 1-0 half-time deficit.
A rare slip-up by North End defender Bailey Wright and a poor pass by PNE stopper Jamie Jones allowed David Jones and the lively Lukas Jutkiwicz to rob the ball off Wright.
The striker stole in, stormed in on goal and coolly dispatched the ball past the North End new boy to give the visitors the lead.
But the luck of the Irish started North End’s comeback. Joe Garner’s shot from the top left hand corner of the box deflected off Burnley captain Jason Shackell.
And Irishman Browne profited from the stroke of luck as the ball was served up on a plate for him to smash past former Blackpool stopper Matt Gilks.
In the dying embers of the first-half Tom Clarke popped up to head Paul Gallagher’s fierce free-kick from the right past Gilks but PNE’s captain for the night was ruled offside.
But PNE ploughed on and rippled the back of Burnley’s net twice moreas Browne and Brownhill’s 35-yard set-piece ensured the local clash ended as PNE’s fourth consecutive friendly victory.
In the fourth minute Jutkiewicz stormed down the right flank before picking out Scott Arfield running into the box. Fortunately for PNE Arfield’s first time shot flew way wide of Jones’ right hand post.
Gallagher’s quick feet allowed Brownhill space but the youngster smashed his long range shot straight at Burnley stopper Gilks in the 10th minute.
Jutkiewicz danced his way into the left hand side of the North End penalty box before unleashing a fierce curling shot and forced PNE keeper Jones into a diving fingertip save in the 12th minute.
But the lively striker found the net minutes later and put the visitors in front. PNE stopper Jones’ slow ball from the back left Wright in trouble on the left and the Aussie buckled under the pressure of Burnley duo David Jones and Jutkiewicz.
The English striker nicked the ball off Wright and ran through on goal before clinically slotting the ball into the far corner in the 16th minute.
Browne unleashed the Jakall in the 24th minute - Garner latched on to the young Irishman’s cross-field ball on the left of the Burnley box before attempting to curl the ball over Gilks. But the keeper back-peddled and made a diving save to deny the striker.
And moments later Garner attempted the spectacular but his chip from just outside the box flew over the bar.
And soon after Brownhill stepped up on the edge of the box but he blazed his first time shot over the bar.
Clarke stole in to the Burnley box unmarked and latched onto to Gallagher’s free-kick to power a signature set-piece header into the bottom right corner but the defender was ruled offside just before half-time.
Calum Woods came on in the second half and the PNE new boy made an immediate impact. He steamed down the right hand side he hooked the ball back towards an on-running Browne.
The youngster sprinted in towards the penalty spot but he could not make the right connection and his first time effort trickled towards Gilks in the 48th minute.
But the Irishman made no mistake second time around in the 52nd minute thanks to a touch of luck. Garner’s shot from the left hand corner of the penalty box deflected off Shackell into the path of Browne, who had surged forward for PNE once again and his fierce low shot fizzed into the left hand corner.
Just before he was substituted in the 75th minute last seasons top scorer Garner smashed a 25-yard effort wide of the Burnley goal.
PNE substitute Chris Humphrey ran down the right wing but his floated cross was plucked out of the air by Gilks just as Kevin Davies was steaming in at the far post in the 84th minute.
And the former Blackburn Rovers striker nearly gave PNE the lead as he found space near the penalty spot to launch himself at the ball and smash a scorpion kick towards the far corner.
Just as the fixture looked destined to be a draw Brownhill stepped up to continue his fine pre-season by smashing a thunderous 35-yard set-piece past Gilks in the 90th minute.
PNE: Jones, Wiseman (Woods, 46), Clarke (C), Wright, Kilkenny (King, 46), Gallagher (Humphrey, 60), Garner (Welsh, 75), Little (Hayhurst, 75), B Davies (Buchanan, 78) Brownhill, Browne (K Davies, 75). Subs: Stuckmann, Keane, Laird, Hugill.
Burnley: Gilks, Trippier, Duff, Shackell (C), Mee, Marney, Ings, Jones, Taylor (Wallace, 60), Jutkiewicz (Sordell, 65), Arfield. Subs: Sisak, Lafferty, O’Neill, Sordell, Long, Hewitt, Anderson, Gilchrist.
Referee: Peter Bankes (Merseyside)
Attendance: 5,457 (Burnley, 1,881)