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Kick off 14:00 (UK)

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11 March 2019 Venue The Barnfield Training Centre Attendance

Kick off 14:00 (UK)

Burnley U23
2 - 0
Watford U23

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Match Previews

PREVIEW: Burnley U23s v Watford U23s

Clarets look to bounce back at Barnfield to re-claim play-off spot

11 March 2019

The Under-23s take on Watford at the Barnfield Training Centre this afternoon (Monday) looking to bounce back and re-claim a play-off spot in the Professional Development League.

The Clarets saw their eight-match unbeaten run in league and cup competitions come to an end at Ipswich a week ago when they took a young side to East Anglia.

Steve Stone is likely to bring back a couple of his more established players against Watford when a point would take Burnley back above Birmingham City into second place in the league’s northern group before the Blues play again next weekend.

With five games to go, the race is on to claim what looks likely to be the only play-off spot left up for grabs thanks to Leeds United’s clear lead at the top of the table.

The Clarets also have a last-16 tie against Leicester City in the Premier League Cup to look forward to and a Lancashire FA Senior Cup final with Blackburn Rovers.

And Stone is keen to keep challenging on all fronts to aid the squad’s development.

“It’s only really a game a week at the moment so I want us to keep trying to push for everything,” said the Under-23s’ boss.

“That’s what I’ve said to the lads. It’s up to them to go and try and grasp it. This is what you want.”

Watford are currently second from bottom of the southern group after a run of four defeats in five games.

Coverage of the game, which has been switched from Curzon Ashton to the Clarets' training ground, will be available across the Clarets’ media channels.

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Match Reports

Burnley U23s 2 Watford U23s 0

Early goals secure victory as Kevin Long and Nick Pope help secure clean sheet

11 March 2019

Early goals from Tinashe Chakwana and schoolboy Lewis Richardson were enough to give the Clarets the victory that lifts them back into a play-off spot in the Professional Development League.

Burnley never hit any great heights on a windy afternoon at the Barnfield Training Centre after the fixture was switched from Curzon Ashton.

But with Nick Pope and Kevin Long – partnered by the returning Olly Young – drafted in to get the senior pair some game time, a Watford side featuring five trialists never promised to threaten the Clarets’ lead as Steve Stone’s men got back on the winning trail.

Burnley, needing a point to go above Birmingham City in second place behind Leeds in the northern group after seeing their eight-game unbeaten run ended at Ipswich a week ago, went ahead after five minutes when Tunde Bayode whipped over a low dross which Chakwana swept home at the far post.

And the advantage was doubled just 10 minutes later through Richardson's first league goal at this level.

Given the afternoon off lessons to play, the 16-year-old finished coolly as he slotted the ball past Watford keeper Adam Parkes after Bayode and Chakwana had again combined to open up the visitors’ defence.

Chakwana then cracked a shot against the bar and Richardson was just off target with an acrobatic overhead kick.

But the Clarets didn’t move the ball quite to Stone’s liking as Watford – second from bottom of the league’s southern section – were able to re-group and avoid further damage.

The Hornets had their best spell just after the break but Pope was never asked any serious questions as he comfortably chalked up a clean sheet.

And in the final 20 minutes the Clarets went close to adding to their tally.

Bobby Thomas, who replaced Younger after the defender successfully came through an hour in his first game since December, twice went close with headed efforts from corners.

And it took a smart save from Parkes to deny Chakwana a second as the Clarets did what they had to to keep their title hopes alive.

Burnley: Pope; Cropper, Long, Younger (Thomas 60), Glennon; Bayode, Howarth, N;Guessan, Chakwana; Richardson (Harris 75), Agyei (Harker 65). Substitutes: Stone, Wilson.

Watford: Parkes, Bani, Leighton (Maclean HT), Adebiyi (Trialist 65), Trialist, Mukena, Trialist (Bennetts 70), Trialist, Cassidy, Trialist, Trialist. Substitutes: Hoskins, Sankoh, Trialist.

Referee: Aaron Jackson

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