Accrington Stanley 0 Burnley 3: NEW LOAN signing Jamie Clarke was rueing the one that got away - but hopes there are plenty more chances to shine for Accrington.
The 19-year-old is on loan until Christmas with the Reds from Blackburn Rovers and came close to a dream debut with a goal against Championship side Burnley on Saturday
He felt he should have done better after pouncing onto a fumble by Clarets new shot-stopper Diego Penny but knows there are more important matches for him to make an impact.
"I should have got a goal against Burnley," said the pacey striker. "But it is only early days and I have come here to hopefully get a lot of goals."
Clarke made his debut alongside Paul Mullin up front with manager John Coleman hoping it will be a productive partnership once the season kicks off.
"Jamie was lively especially in the second half," said the Reds boss. "We had a few chances but didn’t take them."
Meanwhile, Colin Murdock and Phil Edwards got another run out at the heart of the defence together as they look to claim a first team spot against Aldershot on August 9.
And both did well, Murdock heading away a lot of attacks while Edwards kept tabs on Burnley’s £1.3m record signing Martin Paterson.
Both Stanley’s widemen in John Miles and Bobby Grant didn’t see a lot of the ball while it was a tough battle in midfield for Ian Craney and Andy Procter against the Championship opposition.
But Coleman would have been the happier manager at half-time as his side kept Burnley at bay.
The post did save the Reds early on with nippy Wade Elliot getting the better of Chris King and his effort hit the woodwork before bouncing out to safety.
Clarke then had his chance after Peru international keeper Penny lost the ball and the young striker tried to jink past him and play the ball across the area but no one was there to pounce.
It was then a list of Burnley chances with Edwards doing especially well seeing the danger following a quick Alan Mahon free kick and blocking the effort.
However the Championship side soon found a way through four minutes after the re-start.
Joey Gudjonsson was one of three Clarets’ players lining up to take a free kick just outside the area. The Icelandic hitman unleashed a fierce strike which keeper Kenny Arthur got both his hands to but couldn’t stop the ball heading for the top corner of the net.
Both sides then made changes and the Clarets defence largely snuffed out the Reds’ threat.
Robbie Blake is a class act for the Turf Moor side and he showed his skills just after the hour mark.
He scored against the Reds last season on his return to Burnley and this time he caught out Arthur who may have been expecting a cross and Blake’s free kick from the wing was straight into the net.
Reds’ trialists Craig Flowers, Idris Ouamara, Mous Jahrow and Peter Moore all got a run out but it was hard to impress with the home side chasing the game.
They did almost have consolation of an own goal when Stephen Jordan sliced a Moore cross towards his own keeper Brian Jensen but "The Beast" pulled off an instinctive save to spare his blushes.
Then probably the biggest cheer from the Burnley-dominated 3142 crowd came six minutes from time.
Albanian international Besart Berisha skipped past three defenders and, following the horror of a cruciate ligament injury last season, fired past sub keeper Ian Dunbavin from a tight angle to score a comeback goal.
Stanley’s strikers could have done with such a boost but Coleman knows they only count at the start of the League Two season - and would rather they fired on all cylinders on August 9.
"We had a few chances I expected us to take but it wasn’t to be," said Coleman. "We did lose our way a bit in the second half and didn’t create anywhere near enough chances and that was disappointing.
"And we gave away a couple of silly goals.
"You would expect Kenny to do better with both of them and he knows that.
"We got lazy in our minds and fell asleep a couple of times and that cost us."
While there were lessons learnt on the pitch, Accrington got a cash injection off it as the gate money - which could have been around £15,000 - all goes to Stanley.
"It is a financial boost," said Coleman. "We have developed a solid relationship with Burnley and they always bring their first team which attracts a large crowd. We just need these type of crowds to watch us in the league."
STANLEY: Arthur, Cavanagh, King, Edwards, Murdock, Procter, Miles, Craney, Clark, Mullin, Grant: Subs: Dunbavin, Richardson, Ouamara, Jahrow, Moore, Ryan, Flower, Turner, Bell, Murphy, Williams.
BURNLEY: Penny, Alexander, Kalvenes, Van Der Schaff, Duff, Caldwell, Mahon, Gudjonsson, Peterson, Blake, Elliot. Subs: Jensen, Carlisle, Jordan, Jones, Rodriguez, McDonald, Berisha, Kay.