Cheltenham Town 0 Burnley 4
BURNLEY turned in arguably their most impressive pre-season performance to date as they eased past League Two Cheltenham Town.
A brace from the outstanding Charlie Austin was built on by further strikes from Joseph Mills - his first goal for the club - and another effort from distance from Ross Wallace ensured the Clarets made it four wins from four in their warm-up games, a fortnight before Bolton visit Turf Moor for the Championship kick-off.
In front of Steve Cotterill, former manager of both clubs, Cheltenham won two early corners, but Burnley had the first shot at goal as Kieran Trippier picked up a Wallace pass and fired a left-foot effort wide.
And Wallace then forced a save from Scott Brown moments later, turning the ball round the post for the first of two corners, the second of which broke to David Edgar, who leaned back and sent a great chance over from 12 yards out.
Austin had a header deflected over from a Junior Stanislas corner, and from Wallace's subsequent flag kick, Dean Marney dummied and Trippier dragged a shot wide.
At the other end, Russell Penn skidded a shot past the post, although there was an off-side flag raised, but Burnley continued to dominate, as Wallace sent a fierce strike just wide from 30 yards.
Wallace then had a shot saved from close range after a Mills throw was chested on by Austin for Chris McCann, who swept the ball to the right of the box.
A weak back header from Edgar almost let in Alan Bennett, but while he lifted the ball over Lee Grant, it went across goal with no-one following up.
Just after the half hour, the Clarets got the goal they deserved as Wallace took a short corner with Stanislas, whose cross picked out Austin at the back post for a thumping header back across the keeper.
Martin Paterson's measured curler was somehow tipped against the angle and behind by Brown, and Stanislas whipped a free kick wide towards the end of the half, before Austin had a header turned round the post from a Wallace cross, and Joseph Mills bent a right-footer just wide from Paterson's lay-off.
Paterson then hit the upright from McCann's pass after sneaking the ball past Brown, as the Clarets went in 1-0 up.
Michael Duff, Ben Mee and Sam Vokes came on at half-time for Edgar, Stanislas and Paterson, as Burnley reverted to 3-4-1-2, and within moments of the restart Wallace's corner was met by a bludgeoning header from Austin to make it 2-0.
Vokes then had a falling volley turned wide from a Trippier cross, and with a quarter of the game remaining, Trippier provided the third.
Austin flicked on Grant's goal kick for Wallace, who fed Trippier, and his cross was headed against the post by Austin, and the loose ball turned in by Mills.
Wallace thumped in a 25-yarder as Cheltenham retreated to emphasise Burnley's dominance in the scoreline.
Vokes had a shot beaten away by Brown from substitute Alex MacDonald's clever pass, and MacDonald almost made it five with a spectacular volley from a Lafferty cross, but th Clarets settled for four in a convincing win.
Burnley: Grant; Trippier (O'Neill 88), Edgar (Duff 46), Shackell (Long 88), Mills (Lafferty 70); Wallace (MacDonald 73), Marney, McCann (Hewitt 70), Stanislas (Mee 46); Paterson (Vokes 46), Austin (Porter 88). Subs: Ings, Stewart.
Attendance: 1,082 (285 Burnley)
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Sunday 26 May 2013
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