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FA Youth Cup: Burnley U18s 2 Bradford City U18s 0

13 December 2016

Burnley launched their FA Youth Cup run with a comfortable win over Bradford City to set up a home tie with 2013 winners Norwich City in round four.

The young Clarets eased through at a rain-soaked Turf Moor with goals either side of the break from Dwight McNeil (above) and Tommy Wood.

Michael Duff’s improving side was rarely threatened thanks to a solid defensive performance as they eased into the last 32 of the competition with a sixth win in their last eight games, which could have been even more emphatic.

And they will now get their chance to test themselves against the only club to have beaten Chelsea in this competition in the last five years when they meet Norwich in a date to be confirmed in January.

Bradford had got past Hartlepool and Boston to reach this stage, while three of their starting line-up had also gained senior experience this season in the shape of outings in the Checkatrade Trophy.

However, one of those – right-back Tom Windle – lasted only 13 minutes before limping off injured.

And before the visitors could make their substitution, the Clarets should have been ahead.

Tinashe Chakwana had a second-half chance to add to Burnley's tally

The lively Olatunde Bayode slipped in Tommy Wood but with only goalkeeper George Sykes-Kenworthy to beat, Wood dragged his shot wide of the far post.

Wood caused City frequent problems and went close again with 20 minutes gone with a fine header which flew just wide from McNeil’s cross.

And as Burnley pressed for the opener, Sykes-Kenworthy became a central figure for the visitors.

The City keeper spent much of the first half almost doubling up as a sweeper as the Clarets looked to get in behind the visitors’ defence.

Tinashe Chakwana thought he had done it successfully from another Bayode through-ball before seemingly being bundled over by defender Alexander Laird.

But in the last minute of the first half the break-through finally came when Sykes-Kenworthy was caught out.

Again Bayode was the provider with a flighted pass which McNeil ran onto before rounding the stranded keeper to roll the ball into an empty net.

And 10 minutes into the second half the Clarets all but secured their passage through when they doubled their lead.

McNeil continued his good night’s work with another driving run and through-ball for Wood, who coolly advanced to slot home.

Wood then looked to tee up Chakwana as Burnley broke clear again but Wood's pass gave his strike partner too little angle to work with as he could only find the side netting from beyond the far post.

Left-back Ali Kioki also went close to capping an impressive performance with a third goal at the end of an eye-catching run as the hosts looked to increase their advantage.

But Burnley gave nothing away at the other end as the assured figure of James Clarke marshalled a well-organised back four.

And skipper Connor King only had one real test to pass to keep at bay any prospect of a late fightback form City with a smart save to turn away Ville Moilanen’s fierce shot as the Clarets completed a job well done.

Burnley: King; Grogan, Clarke, Wilson, Kioki; Bayode, Shrimpton (Fenton 86), Howarth, McNeil; Chakwana, Wood (Pingling 75). Substitutes: Wusiewicz, Mpofu, Jumeau.

Bradford: Sykes-Kenworthy; Windle (Maltby 13), Laird, Wright, Warren (Aitken 74); Farrar (Taglione 59), Boateng, Peters, Hudson; Powell, Moilanen. Substitutes: Mullett, Ellington.

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