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Chesterfield came from 2-0 down to beat Burnley 3-2 in a preseason friendly on the day Sam Clucas edged ever closer to a move away from the Proact.
Burnley took the lead through Lukas Jutkiewicz and George Boyd soon doubled the advantage, before Spireite youngster Jake Orrell pulled one back just shy of half time.
An astonishing overhead kick from a rejuvenated Armand Gnanduillet drew Chesterfield level, leaving substitute Byron Harrison to seal the win late on.
In the absence of Clucas, whose move to Hull City is set to be confirmed immanently in a deal worth £1.3 million, Chesterfield manager Dean Saunders handed a start to Orrell a day after his 18th birthday to partner Sylvan Ebanks-Blake.
Tendayi Darikwa was named in the starting XI despite reportedly handing in a transfer request in recent days in a bid to force through a move to Preston North End.
Burnley manager Sean Dyche, influential captain of Chesterfield’s 1997 FA Cup run, brought a full strength side from Turf Moor with new signing and Chesterfield-born Matt Lowton starting at right back from the visitors.
The Clarets started quickly and Blues ‘keeper Tommy Lee was soon involved with an excellent stop to deny Jukiewicz from close range, an instinctive save tipped the forward’s volley over the bar.
Chesterfield could not find the early rhythm which saw them on top against Hull City on Tuesday night and Burnley soon took the lead.
Midfielder Fredrik Ulvestad found Lowton down the right flank for the full back to deliver a low cross which picked out Jutkiewicz at the front post, his run left defender Sam Hird wanting and the frontman fired home past Lee on 14 minutes.
Chesterfied 0-1 Burnley (Jutkiewicz, 14’)
The Spireites could produce little in response and Burnley were quickly in a similar position as Boyd had a scrambled effort cleared off the line by Darikwa.
Saunders’ side were far from the outfit which forced Hull City on to the back foot in midweek, with Burnley dominating in midfield to leave Chesterfield short of meaningful possession.
Dyche’s visitors doubled the lead on 22 minutes as Ulvestad was again involved to feed through Boyd whose well-timed run beat Chesterfield’s offside trap and dispatched his one-on-one effort past Lee.
Chesterfield 0-2 Burnley (Boyd, 22’)
Chesterfield responded well and Dan Gardner found Darikwa down the right wing with a clever pass for the latter to deliver a pin point delivery across the face of goal for young signing Orrell to finish into far corner, recording his second goal in pre-season.
Chesterfield 1-2 Burnley (Orrell, 25’)
After raking one back the Spireites were dealt a blow midway through the first half when Hird collided awkwardly in a challenge with Jutkiewicz and was subsequently forced off to be replaced by Charlie Raglan.
Burnley could then have capitalised on Chesterfield’s defensive rejig had it not been for Lee’s excellence to deny Lowton with a double save from close range.
Chesterfield switched Gardner and Orrell for Gboly Ariyibi and Gnanduillet just after the interval as the latter pair on the fringes of the first team look to impress enough to earn a starting berth in the season opener against Barnsley.
Burnley’s threat continued as Michael Kightley found Jutkiewicz with an excellent crossfield pass to nullify Raglan in defence, but the forward’s heavy first touch allowed Lee to gather at the forward’s feet.
Further Chesterfield substitutions saw young prospects, including Michael Onovwigun and Mani Dieseruvwe, record valuable minutes against first class opposition and the pair impressed alongside Ariyibi and Gnanduillet, with Chesterfield looking more of a threat as the game grew on.
Gnanduillet looked a revitalised figure operating between Burnley’s centre half and left back, producing a display of consistent strength, pace and ability, the frequency of which has perhaps evaded the Ivorian at times in his two-and-a-half years with Chesterfield.
Each time Chesterfield had the ball in Burnley’s final third Gnanduillet was able to find the by line and pick out Harrison or Dieseruvwe who stalked the Claret’s six yard box.
A similar story was told by Ariyibi on the opposite flank who was brought down several times and was unlucky not to be awarded a penalty when felled by Ben Mee.
On 67 minutes Chesterfield were again threatening down the right flank and Darikwa delivered a cross which was met by a sublime overhead effort by Gnanduillet which went in over the post to the amazement of the 2,556 in attendance.
Chesterfield 2-2 Burnley (Gnanduillet, 67’)
Sam Morsy saw an effort from distance fly just over Tom Heaton’s crossbar on 75 minutes as Chesterfield’s foothold in the game was clear to see.
Burnely were running out of the steam which saw them dictate play in the first half and Harrison secured the win for Saunders’ side with a deft touch to convert Gnanduillet’s cross cum shot from the left.
Chesterfield 3-2 Burnley (Harrison, 88’)
Full Time: Chesterfield 3-2 Burnley
After the match, Saunders gave his take on his side’s impressive second half comeback. He said: ‘It’s a good win for us, we’ll get some good confidence from going 2-0 down to come back and win 3-2.
‘For the first 20 minutes we couldn’t get near them, we showed them a bit too much respect and sat off them so they passed the ball around us. The first goal was a terrible goal to concede. After that we started pressing and stopping them playing from the back and we gradually ground them down.’
On the performance of Armand Gnanduillet, the manager said: ‘I put Armand on and from what I can gather that’s the best he’s ever played. He was good; he’s got lots to learn yet but he’s scored a great goal and his general play was good. He looked quick, strong and Byron [Harrison] and Mani [Dieseruvwe] came on and they all looked a handful.’
One absentee from the Spireites line up was Drew Talbot and Saunders provided an update on the 29-year-old’s progress: ‘Drew Talbot’s probably a week away, he’s in the gym with Mal [Purchase] now working to strengthen his leg so hopefully he doesn’t break down again. He’s been to have orthotics put in his shoes because there was a bit of an imbalance on his legs. Hopefully that will clear up the problems that he’s been having.’
Clucas’ immanent departure from the Proact is one of disappointment for Saunders, the 51-year-old said: ‘It’s a big blow to all of us but especially to me, he’s one of our better players and I’m disappointed to have lost him but we got a massive bid of £1.3 million and I’ll be able to reinvest some of that back into the squad.
‘Good luck to him, he’s a great lad and a great player. We’re all disappointed but that’s football.’
On where the money from the sale of Clucas will go, Saunders added: ‘I have been given some money to go and reinvest into the team. I’ve got more money to spend so I can actually stretch it further and maybe pay a player a bit more money and make him come to the club.
‘There are lots of players on trials at Premier League and Championship clubs that find themselves not getting a deal and I’m hoping that some of them don’t get deals because I’ve got my eye on a few. Maybe when they get that rejection I can dive in.’
Chesterfield continue their preseason preparations with a trip to Ilkeston on Tuesday night before a behind-closed-doors match against Sheffield Wednesday. On Saturday the Spireites will travel to Hartlepool to conclude their preseason schedule at Victoria Road a week before the season opener with Barnsley.
Darikwa, Evatt, Hird (Raglan, 39’), Jones (Humphreys, 67’);
O’Shea (Dieseruvwe, 67’), Morsy, Banks (Onovwigun, 59’), Gardner (Ariyibi, 50’);
Orrell (Gnanduillet, 50’), Ebanks-Blake (Harrison, 62’).