City 1, Burnley 1

Valley Parade got its first look at the new City - and liked what it saw.

Stuart McCall and Wayne Jacobs were given the warmest of welcomes from the crowd.

And the fans, all packed into the lower half of the Sunwin Stand, were treated to a lively home showing against by far the best team they have faced.

Burnley came across the Pennines with a powerful side, minus only old favourite Robbie Blake who was still nursing a thigh strain. They were leagues above Saturday's opposition North Ferriby - five, in fact.

But City, wearing their new kit for the first time, refused to be brushed aside. Even in these very early days, the McCall steel is clearly evident.

It was decent entertainment for a friendly - until the customary swing-door substitutions in the final half hour - and there were encouraging signs as City count down the days to the real kick-off on August 11.

Kyle Nix, doing his chances no harm in possibly his last chance to still be involved then, nearly broke the deadlock after 20 minutes. The young midfielder latched onto Barry Conlon's well-weighted pass but his shot past the advancing Brian Jensen flicked the outside of the post.

There was a goal two minutes later - at the other end. Michael Duff's pass looked more speculative than spot-on but Ade Akinbiyi gambled and caught Donovan Ricketts in two minds with a prod past the big keeper.

Paul Evans was in the City engine room even though McCall had hinted he would be spared a week's football to rest a niggly ankle. And his dead-ball prowess should have carved a quick equaliser as Mark Bower slipped unnoticed behind the Claret rearguard but half-volleyed a yard wide from close range.

Bower and David Wetherall, who had both played the full match at North Ferriby, were once again pressed into action because of the current centre-half shortage.

Peter Thorne was also missing so McCall opted for a 4-1-4-1 mutation with the two wingers and Nix trying to support Conlon at every opportunity.

Omar Daley has had a good pre-season so far and the Jamaican produced the pass of the first half with a delightful angled ball from one flank to the other to find Joe Colbeck.

Daley also had an eye for cutting inside and shooting and was a whisker away just before the break with a vicious cross-shot from Conlon's supply.

Daley's blistering pace opened up Burnley again and Conlon should have done better. But City's deserved goal duly arrived two minutes from the break, Colbeck stretching Burnley's left flank and cutting back for Evans to sweep the ball inside the far post.

Ricketts pushed out an Alan Mahon drive and Andy Gray nodded over but it had been a promising first half for the home fans.

Kyle Naughton, a young midfielder McCall knows from Bramall Lane, replaced Colbeck at the break while Burnley brought on Hungarian keeper Gabor Kiraly, wearing his customary grey tracky bottoms.

Conlon twice tried to test the new arrival with dipping shots from distance but both were a couple of yards too high and flew into the empty Kop.

The Irishman took a breather just after the hour and, like Evans a couple of minutes before, was loudly cheered from the stand as he went off. It was good to hear Andy Gray getting similar applause when he was one of the rash of Burnley changes.

The visitors tried to pick up the tempo and James O'Connor's jab went close. City responded with Daley's first real involvement of the second half, whipping a ball across the danger zone.

Kiraly was finally called into action in the 76th minute with a stunning save to tip away a Nix free-kick. City went fairly close from the resulting corner with Naughton's flick header flashing wide.

That was the cue for one last influx of substitutes, which included right back Tom Harban, who signed his six-month loan from Barnsley just in time to be involved.

If the changing faces were not confusing enough, Burnley's sturdy centre back Wayne Thomas finished the game in his third different shirt after a clash of heads with team-mate Steve Foster, whose new jersey did not have a number at all.

And he was not the only one - neither did Albanian international Besart Berisha, yet another arrival in the low-key closing stages.

But there was no confusing what the supporters thought.

The chant of "Stuart, Stuart" after the final whistle said it all.