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Match Reports

U21s Report: Burnley 2-5 Rochdale

28 October 2015

Dean Marney played 90 minutes for the Development Squad as the Clarets lost 5-2 to Rochdale at Gawthorpe on Wednesday afternoon.

All seven goals came in the first half against a strong Dale side, who played in front of their watching first-team boss Keith Hill.

It was Marney’s first full game since sustaining an anterior cruciate ligament injury against West Bromwich Albion in February.

Striker Rouwen Hennings and winger Josh Ginnelly were on target as fellow first-team players Kevin Long, Chris Long, Tom Anderson and Fredrik Ulvestad all played the duration.

It took the visitors just two minutes to open the scoring after the powerful Nathaniel Mendez-Laing found James Hooper on the edge of the box, who volleyed expertly past the diving Conor Mitchell.

But the Clarets were level just two minutes later!

Chris Long found Ginnelly on the left flank and the winger’s low cross to Hennings was inch-perfect, leaving the German forward a simple tap-in.

A third goal in the space of six minutes saw the visitors go back in front with a superb header, after some neat build-up play found the striker in the box.

Marney, who had recently suffered a minor setback in his recovery, captained the Burnley side and the midfielder came close to putting the Clarets back on level terms.

The former Tottenham Hotspur and Hull City stalwart burst forward before going for goal from 30-yards.

The strike looked destined for the top left corner, but a great save from Manchester United loanee Joel Castro Pereira denied Burnley a second.

Marney then turned to provider, playing in Arlen Birch down the right, but his flashed ball across the face of goal was cut out before Chris Long could finish.

Rochdale scored their third three minutes later to complete a crazy opening 13 minutes.

A poor clearance from the Burnley defence allowed Mendez-Laing to lay the ball off for a teammate and the resulting strike nestled into the bottom right corner.

And after a brief respite, Rochdale netted their fourth of the afternoon on the half hour mark.

Veteran midfielder Brian Barry-Murphy pounced on a defensive slip after a long kick forward from Pereira and the former Bury midfielder fired home from 20-yards.

Burnley almost reduced the arrears with two golden chances five minutes before the break.

Hennings found himself in a one-on-one situation with just the goalkeeper to beat. Chris Long was in support, but the striker went for goal and saw his strike saved by Pereira.

Not long after, Anderson’s clipped ball down the right was picked up by Ginnelly and the former Shrewsbury Town youngster coolly slotted under the keeper to reduce the arrears.

But the visitors restored their three goal lead on the stroke of half-time after Mitchell pulled off a great save to deny an initial strike, before seeing the rebound bundled in.

The second half was a frustrating one for the Clarets as, despite enjoying the lion's-share of the possession and creating a plethora of chances, their luck was out.

Hennings capitalised on a defensive slip, leaving him through on goal, but the former Karlsruher forward couldn’t find the target, with his shot going agonisingly wide.

On the hour mark some great build-up play from midfield trio Ulvestad, Marney and Frost ended with the latter’s strike fizzing narrowly wide of the upright.

The Clarets then had eight clear-cut chances in the remaining half an hour, but the visitors were thankful for Pereira’s heroics once more.

Burnley were in a three-on-one position with Hennings on his left and Chris Long to his right, but the midfielder passed left to Rouwen, but a wonderful diving save prevented a Burnley third.

Jamie Frost then played two exquisite balls over the defence to subsitutte Ntumba Massanka, whose shot was again kept out, before Chris Long saw a similar chance go begging.

Marney’s inswinging corner from the left then found Kevin Long at the near post, but the defender’s glancing header somehow crept wide.

And in the dying stages there were to be two more Burnley chances. Hennings delivered two wonderful balls from the left but Rochdale’s Portuguese stopper denied Chris Long and Frost to keep the lead at three.

Burnley: Mitchell; Birch (Whitmore 45), Anderson, K.Long, Trialist (Massanka 69); Jackson (Smith 45), Ulvestad, Marney, Ginnelly (Frost 45); Hennings, Long

Unused: Nizic, Wilson

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