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Development Squad: Burnley 4-3 Rochdale

1 December 2015

An experienced Development Squad edged out Rochdale 4-3 in a friendly at Gawthorpe.

It was a belated 19th birthday present for free-scoring Ntumba Massanka as the striker scored in both halves to take his recent tally to 15 goals in 13 starts.

Chris Long and Michael Kightly also contributed with goals, as a number of the first team all gained valuable game time.

Eight out of the starting 11 have all featured for the Clarets’ first team this season, with Massanka, Aiden O’Neill and Tom Anderson the only players yet to make their debut.

The Clarets were behind after just six minutes through the powerful Nathaniel Mendez-Laing.

The winger collected from the full-back on the left before cutting inside and wonderfully finding the bottom right corner from the edge of the box.

However, Burnley were level just a minute later with an instant response.

After mayhem in the Rochdale box, the ball finally broke to Massanka six-yards out and the striker clinically found the bottom left corner on the spin.

Massanka could then have completed a first half hat-trick, as two more chances went begging.

An inch-perfect cross from the left from Kightly first found Massanka on the penalty spot, but the forward was caught in two minds, whether to head or volley and the opportunity passed.

The former Manchester United schoolboy was then through on goal before rounding Josh Lillis, but just as Massanka pulled the trigger, a Rochdale defender raced back to clear.

Three goals were scored in the last five minutes of the first half, and Massanka was involved once more.

Fredrik Ulvestad threaded in the former Youth Team striker, who coolly squared to strike partner Long for a simple tap-in.

But a minute before the break the visitors restored parity.

A defensive slip from Burnley allowed Dale’s forward to collect before punishing the Clarets with a fine finish.

However, in a breathless end to the half, Burnley were ahead once more within a minute, this time from the spot.

Striker Long was brought down by Lillis, allowing Kightly to smash the resulting spot kick down the middle.

Massanka proved to be a thorn in Rochdale’s side all day, and the forward – who turned 19 on Monday – grabbed his second of the game after a neat one-two with Long ended fanatically with a curling strike which nestled into the far corner.

Rochdale then completed the scoring, reducing the arrears again from the penalty spot after former Burnley schoolboy Billy Hasler-Cregg was knocked over in a 50-50 header with Anderson, and Lewis Alessandra converted.

The U21’s are next in action on Friday afternoon when they travel to Fleetwood Town.

Burnley: Gilks; Lowton, O’Neill, Anderson, Ward; Kightly, Marney, Ulvestad, Taylor; Massanka, Long

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