U23s REPORT: SHEFFIELD UNITED 0-3 BURNLEY
Clarets secure convincing victory in Premier League Cup opener against the Blades
Burnley got their Premier League Cup campaign off to a superb start with a thrilling 3-0 win against Sheffield United at Chesterfield’s Technique Stadium with goals from Michael Mellon, Ne-Jai Tucker and Max Thompson.
The Clarets lined up in a 4-4-2 formation with Sam Waller in goal. The back four consisted of Fin Armstrong, Bobby Thomas, Jacob Bedeau and Anthony Glennon.
Ben Woods came into midfield alongside Tucker, Mark Helm and Owen Dodgson with Joe McGlynn partnering Mellon up front.
Sheffield United play their league games in the Professional Development League and Paul Heckingbottom’s side had already won their first game in this competition with a 3-1 win at holders Everton.
But it was the young Clarets who took the lead just past the half-hour mark when Tucker’s precise cross found Michael Mellon at the far post. Mellon’s header gave United goalkeeper Marcus Dewhurst no chance for his 11th goal of the season at all levels.
Mellon was close to adding to that tally after good link-up play between him and McGlynn. A solid last-ditch challenge from Harvey Cullinan denied the Burnley number nine.
Burnley doubled their advantage two minutes before the break. Helm was fouled 22 yards from goal and Tucker curled in a superb free-kick that Dewhurst got a hand to but couldn’t keep out.
United’s best chance in the opening 45 minutes fell to Ollie Arblaster but Waller denied him with a fine save with his feet.
Burnley made a triple substitution just after the hour mark. Jake Rooney, Ethen Vaughan and Max Thompson came on with Thomas, Glennon and Dodgson making way.
Almost immediately Thompson made his mark finding McGlynn with an exquisite 40-yard pass but under close attention the striker couldn’t find the target.
Dewhurst made a superb double save to deny Helm and Mellon whose close range header looked destined for the bottom corner.
Moments later Helm tried his luck again from distance but saw his excellent left-foot effort rattle the crossbar with Dewhurst well beaten.
Burnley got a third goal to seal the tie eight minutes from time when last season’s top scorer Thompson touched home Armstrong’s fine low cross.
Michael Jackson’s side withstood some late Blades’ pressure to win their opening tie in style. First-half goals from Mellon and Tucker, and a late strike from Thompson, extended Burnley’s run to six games unbeaten in all competitions.
Next up the young Clarets face Norwich City at home in a Premier League 2, Division 2 fixture on Friday (1pm at Gawthorpe).
Burnley: Waller: Armstrong, B.Thomas (Rooney), Bedeau, Glennon (E.Vaughan): Tucker, Helm, Woods, Dodgson (Thompson): Mellon, McGlynn: Subs: Allen, Costelloe.
Sheffield United: Dewhurst: Starbuck, Grant, Cullinan, Gomis: Maguire (Hackford), Arblaster, Brunt, Brooks: Capello: Gaxha (Lankshear). Subs: Amissah, Angell, Staniland.
Sun, Dec 12, 2021