A Kevin Ellison strike in the 79th minute saw League Two Morecambe inflict defeat on the Clarets in the opening pre-season fixture of the campaign at the Globe Arena.
And it could have been more had the woodwork not intervened on three occasions to deny Jack Redshaw, Tony Diagne and Ellison at various intervals in the second half.
But let’s not get carried away with the result. There’s no need for pessimism. It was only an experimental training exercise after all and one which gave the likes of Stevie Hewitt, Jason Gilchrist, Luke Gallagher and Tom Anderson an outing after the break.
At times the Clarets cruised, responding to constant cries of “keep it” from boss Sean Dyche from the sidelines who continuously encouraged his players to pass and move. In the second half particularly, following an overhaul of personnel at half-time, the visitors were dominant, composed in possession and played out confidently from the back. However, a lack of penetration or firepower was evident throughout the 90-minute friendly fixture.
The fixture ended goalless at the break, but it certainly wasn’t short of action. Dyche had 20 players at his disposal, including keepers Tom Heaton and Alex Cisak as well as trialist Scott Arfield. Striker Charlie Austin was left out of the squad after being given compassionate leave following the collapse of his proposed move to Hull City. Meanwhile, Kieran Trippier and Marvin Bartley were also left out of the team.
The hosts started well and immediately identified pacey winger Joe Mwasile as their outlet to storm forward. In the opening exchanges Shrimps forward Jack Sampson picked out the 20-year-old who cut inside Joe Mills only for his cross to float beyond Marcus Marshall at the far post.
The Clarets responded immediately and worked a good opening themselves when Keith Treacy manoeuvred past Stewart Drummond and Robbie Threlfall on the right before clipping a cross towards the penalty spot which Danny Ings headed wide.
Once again Mwasile proved the dangerman for the visitors as he skipped past Mills from Joe McGee’s pass before finding Andrew Fleming whose floated cross-shot was headed off the line by Danny Lafferty.
The Zambian was giving Mills a torrid time and struck again when latching on to Marshall’s measured crossfield pass and teeing up McGee who drilled well wide under minimal pressure from Kevin Long.
The best chance of the half fell to Ings who latched on to Brian Stock’s clever threaded pass, turned skipper Mark Hughes on the edge of the box, only to be foiled by Barry Roche who had thrown himself at the feet of the striker.
Mwasile went close himself as the half wore on after Fleming had intercepted Lafferty’s poor pass, but as he drove towards the box and eased past Long, he sliced his effort wide of the near post left-footed. Treacy went close to opening the scoring when bending a free-kick over the bar following a foul on striker Sam Vokes while Mills limped off injured - after a shocking challenge which went unnoticed by referee Neil Swarbrick - and was replaced by Alex Coleman.
The second half was played at a pedestrian pace, though the Clarets commanded possession and pressed, though without much end product. However, in the restricted periods that the home side did have the ball they proved relatively economical and clinical.
Redshaw struck the bar from distance with Cisak comfortably beaten while Diagne rose moments later to rattle the woodwork with a header from a corner. At the other end former Terriers midfielder Arfield saw his shot beaten away by Andreas Arestidou.
Dyche introduced the club’s young guns midway through the second half as they replaced Lafferty, Arfield and Vokes, but soon after the deadlock was broken. Full-back Luke Denson freed Padraig Amond down the right and his cross was met by Ellison on the edge of the six-yard box who turned the ball in to the corner to make it 1-0.
Second half substitute Ryan Williams fired wide from distance as the hosts looked to double their advantage though Anderson and Stanislas came close to finding the equaliser as the former headed wide from a corner while the latter watched his ferocious shot ricochet wide of the near post off Denson.
And as the fixture came to a close Ellison, who made his presence felt after half-time, had a splendid half-volley from 20 yards tipped on to the bar by Cisak at the expense of a corner. It wasn’t the greatest of outcomes, but it was a necessary warm-up match that the Clarets will build on ahead of their trip to Cork.