The weekend started badly for Prestwich due to a plethora of injuries, work, cricket and other reasons limiting Steve Lorenzini to a 13 man squad which included the 40 something Paul Mercer on the bench.
Fielding 7 changes including 4 starting debutants Prestwich came up against a rugged, athletic and very large Burnley side that are so far unbeaten this season. Despite their size disadvantage Prestwich battled throughout the game and although beaten in the end by a stronger side could have gained some reward with a bit of luck and more clinical finishing.
Throughout the first half chances were created at both ends of the pitch with both keepers making important saves. Martin Hill had Prestwich’s first chance when he shot from the edge of the box and although it was well saved by the keeper he will be disappointed not to have scored.
Shortly after Callum Spencer saved from Burnley’s centre forward when he got through on goal, for once onside, and later he got through again only to blaze his shot well wide.
Prestwich were unlucky later in the half when Rafael Straszewski had the ball in the net but was flagged offside, he later swore this was wrong. A similar fate was in store for him when again he was flagged offside, this time his shot came off the bar.
Prestwich competed extremely well in the heat and by and large matched their opponents in a highly entertaining game. An early blow for Prestwich saw James Mercer leave the field with a cut head giving Ellis Agnew his competitive first team debut off the bench on 19 minutes.
With the roll on roll off rule now being used this switch was effected several times as the cut refused to stop bleeding until after half time. The game ending the half in a goalless stalemate.
The second half broadly followed the pattern on the first with chances at both ends. Spencer made a couple of smart saves low down and Burnley hit the crossbar with a very well executed drive from the edge of the box.
Shortly after Prestwich broke down the right and Martin Hill hit a rasping drive that cannoned off the inside of the post but no one could get to the rebound.
Burnley broke the deadlock after winning a series of quick corners when a viscously in swinging corner from the right sailed over the head of an under pressure Spencer and was bundled in at the far post for 0–1.
Prestwich continued to work extremely hard to get back in the game but Burnley with a full compliment of subs were able to introduce fresh legs at regular intervals giving them an edge as the game wore on. Prestwich in contrast had only one sub to work with as Paul Mercer was only ever going to be used if they went down to 10 through injury.
In the end this advantage paid off for Burnley when in the 83rd minute one of a multitude of long balls was latched onto by a Burnley forward who outpaced Pearse Connery, managing to cut inside Spencer in goal and also wrong foot a desperate effort by Connery to tap in the second to secure the game.
Still Prestwich pushed to salvage a goal but it was not to be.
Once again though the lads who pulled on the shirt for this game can take pride in the never say die attitude shown throughout and if this level of effort and commitment can be carried through to next season, better results are sure to come.