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Match Reports

U21 Report: Liverpool 1-2 Burnley

26 February 2016

Goals from Aiden O’Neill and Brad Jackson sealed victory for the Development Squad against a strong Liverpool side.

O’Neill’s first half goal gave Burnley the lead before Will Marsh equalised on the hour, but Jackson’s 85th minute strike proved to be the winner.

Ntumba Massanka and Josh Ginnelly both played for the Clarets, with the forward on loan at York City featuring for vital minutes, while Ginnelly’s Altrincham are without a game this weekend.

The youngsters faced a stern test with the hosts fielding five players from their first team squad.

Experienced left-back Jose Enrique played alongside Tiago Ilori, Cameron Brannigan, Sheyi Ojo and Jerome Sinclair.

Burnley also had three trialists named in the starting line-up, one being a goalkeeper, who was called upon early on.

Midfielder Alex O’Hanlon struck from the corner of the box, but the stopper was down well to tip the ball wide.

O’Neill had an early chance to open the scoring early on. George Green skilfully played in the Australian midfielder who forced a smart save from Kamil Grabara.

But the former Brisbane Athletic man, who signed his first professional contract in January, didn’t have to wait long to break the deadlock.

10 minutes later, his tireless pressure forced a slip from Grabara and O’Neill did superbly well to finish from a tight angle.

Enrique then combined with Sinclair five minutes later, but 19-year-old couldn’t beat the Burnley trialist in goal.

And on the stroke of half time Burnley were thankful to their goalkeeper, who pulled off a stunning double save; first pushing out a testing cross, before a Sinclair shot from close range was wonderfully saved on the line.

Massanka came close to doubling Burnley’s advantage minutes after the interval.

The York City loanee struck from range and forced Grabara into a superb save just before the hosts levelled.

A cross from the right fell nicely for Sinclair in the box, who squared for Marsh 10-yards out, and the midfielder coolly slotted home the leveller.

In the final 30 minutes, Burnley stood firm in the face of Liverpool pressure but with five minutes to play, they took the lead against the run of play.

Substitute Jamie Frost found the on-rushing Jackson with a superb cross, and the winger steered the winner through Grabara’s legs.

The Development Squad have not beaten Manchester City, Manchester United, Everton (twice) and now Liverpool this season.

Burnley: Trialist (Nizic 45); Birch (El-Fitouri 73), Trialist (Wilson 65), Trialist, Hill; Jackson, Lowe, O’Neill, Ginnelly (Frost 68); Green, Massanka (Nugent 85)

Goals: O’Neill 32’, Jackson 85’

Liverpool; Grabara; Polgar (Maguire 65), Enrique, Jones, Ilori; O’Hanlon, Gomes (Ojo 65), Brannagan, Trickett-Smith (Hart 65) ; Marsh (Kent 65), Sinclair (Dunn 70)

Goals: Marsh 60’

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