Burnley’s Development Squad fell to a narrow 3-2 defeat at Derby County’s Moor Farm Training Ground.
Striker Ntumba Massanka scored a brace in a game that saw the Rams first-team central defender Jake Buxton step up his return to fitness after six months out.
The Clarets were a goal down with just five minutes on the clock, when Alefe Santos’ inch-perfect delivery from the right was clinically headed into the bottom corner by Charles Vernam.
Burnley were thankful to goalkeeper Dan Nizic for keeping the deficit to one midway through the first half.
Another good ball into the box was glanced to the far post and the Australian was down low well to keep it out.
And 10 minutes before the break the Clarets were level as Massanka picked up Bradley Jackson’s through ball before finding the bottom corner from 20-yards with a lethal finish.
After the break the hosts started lively and on the hour mark the Rams saw their pressure pay dividends. A wonder strike from 30-yards from Shaquille McDonald left Nizic rooted to the spot.
And a goal two minutes later killed the game off after a slip in the box saw McDonald tee up Alban Bunjaku to make it 3-1.
With a minute to play Massanka pulled a goal back for the Clarets. Josh Ginnelly’s mazy run ended with a strike at goal which was parried out and the onrushing Massanka found the back of the net.
Speaking after the defeat, Senior Professional Development Phase Coach Michael Jolley stressed that the young group aren’t the finished article.
He said: “The group is still in an early stage of development and we have got a number of new young players to add to our current young group which is intentional because we want the lads to be here as long as possible to develop.
“The performance today is an indication of where the group is at, at the moment and there are some really positive signs at the moment and I thought that Ntumba was superb with Steven Hewitt, Luke Hendrie and Josh Ginnelly also putting in a decent display.
“Putting all the positives aside, there are still some key areas we need to work on as we have conceded three goals, which is disappointing.
“We didn’t start as we intended, going down 1-0 early on, and not for the first time, so we need to look at that but overall it’s development football, we look at the positives and we move forward.”
Burnley: Nizic; Trialist, Hendrie, Whitmore, Trialist (Ginnelly 56); Hewitt, Wilson (Agyei 67), Lowe (Jackson 10), Smith (O’Neill 56); Frost, Massanka