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Match Reports

U21 Report: Wigan Athletic 2-0 Burnley

16 February 2016

The Development Squad succumbed to a 2-0 defeat against a strong Wigan side at Christopher Park.

Former Bolton Wanderers and Wales international Craig Davies opened the scoring for the Latics, with Newcastle loanee Haris Vuckic sealed the scoring a minute after the restart.

Coach Michael Jolley had to mix and match with his line-up, with the mass exodus of loan players departing leaving the Clarets short on numbers and experience.

Two trialists, alongside the remaining youngsters, put in a solid performance however, with two defensive slips proving the only difference between the two sides.

The Clarets’ shining light was promising striker Dan Agyei, impressing in his first 90 minutes since sustaining a long-term injury in October.

It was a lacklustre first half from the Clarets in terms of chances, with the ball mainly spent in the Burnley’s half.

Davies was a handful for the inexperienced Burnley back four ahead of his substitution on the hour mark.

And the former Barnsley forward struck across goal early on, only for a routine save from Danijel Nizic to deny the Welshman.

Clarets summer signing Arlen Birch, who is naturally a right back, played the duration admirably at centre half.

However a weak clearance teed up Davies at the edge of the box, but a remarkable diving block from Birch made amends.

Another attempted clearance, this time from Nizic, finally punished the Clarets.

Nizic’s pass forward was short, forcing a foul at the edge of the box, and the in swinging set-piece was beautifully steered in-off the post by Davies.

Kevin McNaughton, who has over 500 professional appearances to his name, then almost set up the hosts’ second on the stroke of the break.

The full back teed up Vuckic, whose bending strike skimmed over the woodwork.

However Vuckic made amends two minutes after the restart, pouncing on a Shaun Hobson slip.

The Clarets second year scholar slipped on the ball, leaving Slovenian international Vuckic through on goal, where he clinically punished the Clarets with a deft finish.

The Clarets two trialists combined five minutes later. The Clarets midfielder’s initial strike was blocked, allowing the forward trialist a strike on goal, but his effort skimmed over the crossbar from 12-yards.

Burnley played the remaining 30 minutes with all four defenders playing out of position, with wingers Brad Jackson and Christian Hill filling in at full-back and Birch and midfielder Aiden O’Neill completing the back four.

There was one final chance for the Clarets when Jackson’s dinked ball over Wigan’s defence set up Agyei.

The former Wimbledon striker’s blistering pace earned him a strike at goal, only for a wonderful save from Lee Nicholls and a last ditch clearance off the line to maintain the hosts’ two-goal cushion.

Burnley: Nizic; Jackson, Hobson (Wilson 56), Birch, Nugent (Frost 60); Green (Smith 79), O’Neill, Trialist, Hill; Trialist (Lowe 69), Agyei

Wigan: Nicholls, McNaughton (Baxendale 70), James (Lingard 58), Anson, Barnett, Hendry, Flores, Chow, Davies (Robles 61), Hamilton (Fitton 84), Vuckic (Cosgrove 61)

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