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Burnley U23s 2 Watford U23s 0

12 September 2016

Ten-man Burnley made it through to the group stages of the Premier League Cup with a comfortable 2-0 Turf Moor victory over Watford.

Dunne heads the Clarets ahead

Despite having Kevin Long sent off in the first half, Patrick Bamford’s first goal for the Clarets, following on from Jimmy Dunne’s early opener, saw off the Hornets in the second qualifying round to set up an East Lancashire derby double-header with Blackburn Rovers.

Burnley will now face Rovers home and away in the group stages, along with Cardiff City and Sunderland.

A Watford side coached by Harry Kewell - and who had won their first four Premier League Development games - had the first chance as Rhyle Ovenden was denied by Nick Pope.

Burnley, however, with four outfield first-team squad members in a strong starting-line-up, soon found their stride.

And when Bamford's free-kick was deflected off the wall high into the air, Dunne was there to nod home past Charlie Bannister in the Watford goal.

The visitors’ best chance of the half came soon after, when a well-worked free kick from Folivi saw Ovenden pick up the ball out wide and square the ball into the box for unmarked Ogo Obi to fire over from six yards.

The visitors then enjoyed their best spell of the game - and when Obi broke through on goal, last man Long brought the forward down, resulting in a red card for the Irish defender.

Ali Koiki in action

However, Burnley regrouped and stood strong to restrict Watford to little in the way of clear-cut opportunities.

Watford did start the second half in the ascendancy, and it took a brilliant block from Arlen Birch to deny Ola Adeyemo.

Substitute Freddy Yao then came close to doubling the lead on hour mark as he rifled a 30-yard shot that Bannister could only parry into the feet of Bamford, whose first time effort was again blocked by the Hornets’ stopper.

But the sting in the Hornets' tail came in the 75th minute as Bamford was clumsily cut down in the box while trying to latch on to Brad Jackson's square ball in from the right.

And the on-loan Chelsea striker stepped up to effortlessly caress the resulting spot kick high into the net to secure the victory and put the Clarets through to the group stages.

The top two sides from each group will now progress to the knock-out, last 16 stage.

BURNLEY: Pope, Flanagan, Long, Dunne, Birch, Koiki, O'Neil, Howarth (Yao 58), Jackson (Leitch 86), Bamford, Chakwana (McNeil 81).
Not used: Mitchell, Pingling

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