Preston arrived at the Turf courtesy of a win against Blackpool in the previous round but an early free kick goal from Kieran Trippier, his first Turf Moor goal since the third round of this competition two years ago, and a second midway through the first half, scored by Danny Ings, was enough to ensure there were no more Lancashire scalps for the League One club.
On a warm, and thankfully dry given the club's daft decision to force people into the unprotected lower tier seats, evening, Sean Dyche made four changes to the team that had lost at Brighton three days earlier.
We knew there was going to be one change in goal with Alex Cisak getting his first start but there were recalls in defence for fit again Michael Duff and Ben Mee and David Edgar was given an opportunity in midfield. That saw all of Kevin Long, Danny Lafferty and Dean Marney on the bench which was also occupied by Nick Liversedge who stood in as substitute goalkeeper.
|First Turf Moor goal for Kieran Trippier in almost two years|
The game had hardly got underway when a planned minute's applause for Gary Parkinson, in the second minute, got off to a stuttering start. Many people in the ground looked around baffled as to what was going on.
It did eventually get a good response from the supporters of both teams in what was the third meeting between Burnley and Preston since Gary was hit with a stroke that led to locked in syndrome almost three years ago.
He suffered the stroke just five days before North End were last at Turf Moor in September 2010 when a similar show of support for our 1994 Wembley goalscorer was held during the half time interval.
The second minute was chosen because Gary had predominantly worn that shirt number during his career and it was our current number two who opened the scoring soon after.
Trippier's only Turf Moor goal was our equaliser in the third round tie in this competition against MK Franchise two years ago. On that occasion he curled a free kick into the bottom corner of the net and again last night the goal came from a free kick.
We won the free kick about thirty yards from goal in a central position. Trippier's kick definitely bounced awkwardly for goalkeeper Thorsten Stuckmann but his manager was critical of his efforts to keep it out.
From my vantage point I couldn't see whether the ball moved much but Stuckmann found himself only able to get a foot to it and help it on its way.
It led to a good spell of Burnley pressure. Preston cleared one effort off the line and we gave them a few anxious moments with some decent delivery into the box, but the second goal didn't come and the game started to even out somewhat.
As Preston started to get a foothold into the game they did forced Cisak into his first real save and then the Polish born goalkeeper was relieved to see a header go just wide of his goal.
Then came the second goal that put the Clarets firmly into the driving seat. It had some good fortune to it but in the end was a well taken goal by Ings. Jones played the ball forward to Vokes who in turn found Ings.
The striker looked to have lost control at one point and was perhaps fortunate to regain the ball, but once he did so he took the goal very well, getting himself clear of the defenders before leaving Stuckmann with no chance as he placed his shot into the corner.
Cisak had just one more save to make in the half leaving us 2-0 up at half time, and deservedly so, before another former number two from both clubs, Graham Alexander, received a superb reception during the interval.
I thought we'd, overall, been by far the better side in the first half, but it was a different matter after the break as Preston gave it a real go attacking the cricket field end which housed almost 3,000 of their supporters.
If they'd got an early goal in that half then it might well have been a difficult game for us and they all but got it when Cisak was beaten for the one and only time by Stuart Beavon's header. Jason Shackell came to the rescue with a header off the line.
Sean Dyche admitted that we struggled to retain the ball in the second half and that was too often the case, but after that early scare I'd say that Cisak, who had a really good first game for Burnley, only had one big save to make when he tipped a long range shot over the bar.
Even so, the game should have been wrapped up when Ings went clear. Rather than shoot he tried to take the ball round the goalkeeper and only succeeded in taking the ball to him and allowing him to grab it from him.
Within a minute we were having to defend again but Preston's threat diminished as the game went on and we played out the last twenty minutes of the game comfortably.
Cup games are all about winning and that's what we did. Overall we were the better side and deserving of our place in the next round when, I hope, we don't face another trip to Swindon.
There were some real positives to come out of last night's game. One was the performance of Cisak in goal. I fully expect Tom Heaton to return at Derby but we found last night that we have a very capable deputy.
The back four in front of him all played really well with Duff and Mee both settling back into the team as if they hadn't been away. I think Dyche may well have some decisions to make in that area for Saturday.
Scott Arfield was the pick for me in midfield. Keith Treacy had some good moments too but didn't see anything like enough of the ball.
Now, we await tonight's game and then the draw to find out who we will be playing in four weeks time.
The teams were;
Burnley: Alex Cisak, Kieran Trippier, Michael Duff, Jason Shackell, Ben Mee, Scott Arfield, David Edgar, David Jones (Brian Stock 81), Keith Treacy (Dean Marney 66), Danny Ings (Junior Stanislas 84), Sam Vokes. Subs not used: Nick Liversedge, Kevin Long, Danny Lafferty, Ryan Noble.
Yellow Cards: Kieran Trippier, Jason Shackell.
Preston: Thorsten Stuckmann, Tom Clarke, Paul Huntington, Bailey Wright, Chris Humphrey, Keith Keane, Joel Byrom, Scott Laird, Lee Holmes (Nicky Wroe 63), Stuart Beavon (Joe Garner 89), Iain Hume (Kevin Davies 73). Subs not used: Declan Rudd, David Buchanan, John Welsh, John Mousinho.
Yellow Card: Joel Byrom.
Referee: Paul Tierney (Wigan).