Wigan Athletic 2, Burnley 2

Jay Rodriguez scored Burnleys opener
Jay Rodriguez scored Burnleys opener
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Burnley let slip a two-goal lead as they were held by Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium in their latest pre-season warm-up.

Ben Mee returned after missing the last two outings, in a side which looked very close to Sean Dyche’s strongest available, give or take an debate over the front two or the goalkeepers.

Nick Pope was again absent, along with Ben Gibson and Robbie Brady.

The Clarets started superbly, slicking the ball about in the teeming rain, and were two goals to the good within 11 minutes.

First, Ashley Barnes, noticeably playing deeper than strike partner Jay Rodriguez, used his body well to turn out and slip in Johann Berg Gudmundsson, who could have gone for goal, but unselfishly squared for a tap in for Rodriguez, to the delight of the travelling fans, eager to chant: “He’s one of our own”...

Burnley continued to dominate the ball, but were almost undone by Michael Jacobs and Josh Windass, with Ashley Westwood coming back to intercept and kill the danger.

And within moments, Gudmundsson fed the ball into Barnes, and from his lay off, Dwight McNeil found the bottom corner with a precise finish.

It could have been three but for a desperate block to deny McNeil at the far post, while the England Under 20 wideman then sent a rising shot just over from a well-worked corner routine.

Lewis Macleod found a way to clip McNeil’s wings, albeit illegally, as he collected a booking for a poor challenge.

And Wigan had their first effort at goal in the 25th minute, as Darwen lad Anthony Pilkington lashed over from the angle of the box.

Moments later, Windass dragged a shot wide of the far post from Joe Garner’s lay off after Gudmundsson was caught in possession.

Heaton made his first save, to deny Pilkington, and from the corner, from Windass’ pullback, Pilkington side-footed home to halve the arrears.

Wigan has their tails up, and Windass tried his luck from 40 yards, sending his effort just over as Heaton back pedalled.

Burnley reasserted their control, and Gudmundsson and Barnes almost combined to tee up Rodriguez again, before Gudmundsson found the side netting after racing onto Jack Cork’s pass.

Barnes then had a half volley turned round the post after superb control from Tom Heaton’s clearance.

There was a worry right on half-time as Mee went down holding his right knee after a Burnley corner, and initially struggled to bear weight on it, but recovered to finish the last minute or so.

Mee came out for the second half, as Dyche made no changes, former Claret Danny Fox coming on to make a back three for Wigan.

That allowed Leo Da Silva Lopes to push on from right wing back for the hosts, and his weaving run and centre almost picked out Windass for the equaliser.

Barnes was booked for a late challenge on Windass just over halfway, and as Wigan again pressed, Heaton saved from Jacobs, before sub Nathan Byrne volleyed at the skipper.

Midway through the second half, the equaliser came when sub Joe Geldhardt picked up the ball on the left of the box and drilled it past Heaton into the bottom corner.

Chris Wood looked to maintain his record of scoring in every pre-season game to date, as he was played in by fellow sub Jeff Hendrick, but lifted his effort just wide from close range when closed down by David Marshall.

Burnley: Heaton; Lowton (Bardsley 61), Tarkowski, Mee (Long 61), Taylor (Pieters 70); Gudmundsson, Westwood (Hendrick 70), Cork, McNeil (Lennon 70); Rodriguez (Vydra 79), Barnes (Wood 61). Subs: Hart, Younger.