Clarets make third round of U21 Premier League Cup: Report by David Hynds
ALEX Coleman’s last gasp heroics set up a tie with Sunderland in the third round of the U21 Premier League Cup.
The Clarets defender struck in the dying seconds of an absorbing tie at the Alexandra Stadium to complete a second half comeback that saw Ryan Noble cancel out the hosts' first half lead.
Alex Coleman wins it for Burnley
Pic: Courtesy Nathan Stirk
Burnley had started the brighter of the two teams and, with just three minutes on the clock, Danny Lafferty’s low drive fell to Jamie Frost but he was adjudged to be in an offside position.
Cameron Howieson’s corner then fell to Frost but he couldn’t steer his volley on target.
But after further half chances from Noble and Frost, Burnley found themselves behind.
A long ball over the top on the half hour mark was headed behind by Northern Ireland international Lafferty and from the resulting corner, Ballie hit a right footed shot beyond Nick Liversedge.
Crewe open the scoring
Pic: Courtesy Nathan Stirk
The hosts went into the break leading - but in the second half, Burnley fought back valiantly on an absorbing night.
As the Clarets’ looked for an equaliser, Howieson and Noble both had chances before just after the hour mark, Noble finally struck.
Clever work from Lafferty down the left hand side set the former Sunderland man free and the striker, fresh from a substitute appearance against West Ham 24 hours earlier, cut inside and unleashed a right footed shot that looped up off a defender and over keeper Garratt to level things at 1-1.
The hosts almost re-took the lead moments after, but Lafferty was on hand to clear off the line.
And just as extra-time was beginning to seem inevitable, the Clarets’ began to press in search of a winner with coach Simon Weatherstone introducing Jason Gilchrist and Luke Gallagher to the action.
Such substitutions almost paid immediate dividends as Gilchrist made a promising run down the right and into the box before eventually being crowded out by Crewe’s Jon Guthrie and Harry Davis.
But undeterred, the Clarets chances kept on coming.
Gallagher engineered space to shoot outside the box after a sweeping move, only to see his low drive fizz past the post.
And just a minute later, Noble looked to add to his goal tally for the evening with a speculative effort from 25 yards that was just wide.
Burnley were in the ascendency and Gilchrist was again involved when his effort was saved by Garratt.
And such late pressure was not to be in vain.
A scramble in the Crewe penalty area saw efforts from Gallagher and Noble blocked by a gallant Crewe back line after Hewitt’s corner.
But the ball eventually found its way to skipper Coleman, who swept home like a seasoned striker from 12 yards at the death, leaving Crewe with no time to respond.
Burnley were through!
BURNLEY: Liversedge, Lafferty (Conlan 80), Dummigan, Anderson, Coleman, Love, Evans (Gilchrist 75), Hewitt, Noble, Frost (Gallagher 60), Howieson
Subs not used: Nizic, Errington
CREWE ALEXANDRA: Garratt, Ballie, Guthrie, Nolan, Davis, Ellis, Jones, Waters, Clayton (Alcock 80), Leitch-Smith, Murdock
Subs not used: Ng, Johnson, Saunders, Trialist
Report by David Hynds