Bags of Promise!
Robins and Clarets entertain at Hurst Cross. Report by Jeremy Sayle.
Burnley's mixture of development squad professionals and trialists provided a stern test for Ashton on Friday, resulting in a close and entertaining pre-season clash in the evening sunshine.
A goal-less first half wasn't without chances, firstly Frost grazed the bar for the visitors then team mate Gilchrist had an effort slap back off the woodwork as well - at the other end Dale Johnson went closest, running on to a delightful through ball he beat the advancing Nizic to the ball but his effort went narrowly wide.
Ashton rang the changes in the second half with a mass introduction of half a dozen substitutes, one of whom - Aaron Morris - drew the save of the night from Nizic, blocking an effort at the far post when seemingly beaten. Nizic again came to the visitors' rescue as he was out bravely to block a shot at the feet of another substitute, Martin Hill. Burnley then took the lead just after the hour mark - Morris appeared to have stemmed a dangerous break but one of Burnley's trialists recovered the loose ball and whipped a shot into the far corner of the Ashton net.
Just eight minutes later parity was restored as two Ashton substitutes combined, new signing Joel Melia gave another impressive performance and provided an inch-perfect cross for Martin Pilkington to guide home from close range - however Burnley were ahead again inside 100 seconds, another of the visitors' trialists worked his way into a gap on Ashton's left flank and slotted the ball past Lewis Hindley to complete the scoring on the night.
Ashton will have been encouraged by the performance of three of their own development squad (Dominic Barrett, Hindley and Morris) against the lads from Turf Moor and grateful for a testing run out in which the majority of the senior players at the club featured, including new signing Adam Morning.