Preston North End 0 Burnley 0 - Match report from Deepdale as pre-season derby ends goalless

Preston North End and Burnley drew a blank in their behind closed doors pre-season friendly at Deepdale.

Tuesday, 1st September 2020, 4:08 pm
Updated Tuesday, 1st September 2020, 4:14 pm

It was an entertaining enough clash in the sunshine despite the lack of goals and North End might have won it had the goalline technology system not been given the afternoon off.

Scott Sinclair's close-range effort in the run-up to half-time hit the underside of the bar and appeared to bounce down over the line.

But the goalline technology was not in use for the friendly and play continued.

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Preston North Ene defender Jordan Storey challenges Burnley striker Jay Rodriguez at Deepdale Picture courtesy of PNE

Clear-cut chances were few and far between, Burnley's first-half keeper Will Norris having to save very well from a Paul Gallagher free-kick.

At the other end, Connor Ripley got down well to hold Dwight McNeil's daisy-cutter.

North End manager Alex Neil made made 10 changes from the side which had beaten Mansfield 4-0 in the Carabao Cup last Saturday, Ripley the one player to stay in.

His side lined-up in the usual 4-2-3-1 system, Jayden Stockley leading the attacking with Scott Sinclair on the left, Billy Bodin on the right with Daniel Johnson in an advanced midfield role.

Preston North End winger Billy Bodin in action against Burnley Picture courtesy of PNE

It was a slow burner in terms of anything meaningful early on, Bodin chasing the ball into the box in the fifth minute forcing Norris to slide and kick clear.

At the other end, a cross from the right-wing was too far in front of Chris Wood as he stretched to try and meet it at the far post.

The pace of the game started to pick-up as the first-half went on, with more chances certainly created.

In the 28th minute, McNeil's first-time low shot from the edge of the box was saved by Ripley diving to his right

Sinclair saw a shot in the box blocked by Bobby Thomas, while Bodin's shot forced Norris to dive and save - quite comfortably it has to be said - after Gallagher's pass had played him in.

Burnley centre-half Thomas met a corner from McNeil but sent his header over the bar from six yards.

North End went close in the 40th minute after Josh Brownhill's foul on Bodin brought them a free-kick right on the edge of the box.

Gallagher and Johnson hovered over it, Gallagher being the one who hit it - Norris diving to his right and getting a strong glove to the ball to take it past the post.

Three minutes before half-time, PNE should have taken the lead and would have done had goalline technology been in use.

Gallagher's cross from the right-wing travelled towards the far post where Stockley climbed to head it back into the middle.

From close range Sinclair managed to scoop a shot up against the underside of the bar, with the ball appearing to bounce down a few inches over the line - replays showed as much.

Referee Jeremy Simpson or his assistant couldn't be sure and play continued.

In the early stages of the second half, Johann Gudmundsson put a header too high after being picked-out by Charlie Taylor's cross from the left.

As the hour mark approached, Stockley did well to hold off a challenge on the left hand side of the box and lay the ball inside into the path of Sinclair who shot wide of the target.

Bodin's smart piece of skill - a back heel on the edge of the box - played Johnson into a shooting position but he took too long getting a shot away and the Burnley defence crowded him out.

North End went close in the 78th minute, Gallagher whipping over a free-kick right-footed from the left-wing which Jordan Storey got on the end of but headed over.

Late on, Clarets substitute Joel Mumbongo tried his luck with a shot from the edge of the box which Ripley got down to and touched behind.

Neil used his substitutes sparingly as he looked to push a number of players through 90 minutes, Brad Potts, Tom Bayliss and Tom Barkhuizen coming off the bench in the latter stages.

PNE: Ripley, Rafferty, Storey, Davies, Hughes, Ledson, Gallagher (Potts 78), Bodin (Barkhuizen 82) Johnson (Bayliss 82) Sinclair, Stockley. Subs (not used): Hudson, Huntington, Pearson, Harrop, Bauer.

Burnley: Norris (Jensen 46), Bardsley (Lowton 60), Thomas, Dunne, Taylor (Pieters 60), Gudmundsson (Goodridge 70), Westwood (Benson 60), Brownhill (Richardson 81), McNeil (Elva-Fountaine 81), Wood (Vydra 60), Rodriguez (Mumbongo 70). Subs (not used): Richter, Richardson, Thompson.

Referee: Jeremy Simpson (Carnforth)