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Match Reports

Burnley U23s 3 Huddersfield Town U23s 3

Dwight McNeil strikes twice and Dean Marney completes 90 minutes as Clarets hit back to draw

6 November 2017

Dwight McNeil hit a double as the Clarets twice came from behind to earn a point in a six-goal thriller at Turf Moor.

Seventeen-year-old McNeil made himself the Under-23s’ leading scorer as he took his tally to four goals in his last five starts.

His contribution – which also included the corner that produced the Clarets’ other goal for Ollie Younger – was not enough to give Burnley the win they needed to go above Huddersfield and climb off the bottom of the Professional Development League’s northern section.

But the way his side fought back from shipping two early goals in a poor start, and then struck back again after the break to level for a second time, will have pleased boss Michael Duff.

And on another plus in the first game of the season in this competition at Turf Moor, Dean Marney successfully completed his first 90 minutes since returning from long-term injury with a commanding performance in the middle of the pitch.

Ollie Younger heads the Clarets' opening goal

With the Clarets slowly out of the blocks, they found themselves 2-0 down after 21 minutes.

The Terriers struck first when a cross from Jack Boyle was palmed away by Aidan Stone to Isaac Marriott, who drilled the ball home at the second attempt.

And the visitors didn’t have to do much more to double their lead when Denilson Carvalho rolled over a low cross for Joe Lolley – the only visiting player with first-team experience - to sweep the ball into the bottom corner.

Burnley had been second best but kick-started a comeback with two goals in two minutes.

Marney got the Clarets on the front foot as he burst into the box and sent a deflected effort just wide.

And from the resulting corner, Younger got the final touch to McNeil’s in-swinger by nodding in from virtually on the goalline to make it 2-1.

Midfield play-maker McNeil was becoming increasingly influential and grabbed the equaliser himself moments later.

Tunde Bayode’s cross found McNeil on the penalty spot and the second-year scholar allowed the ball to drop before shooting home left-footed.

Dwight McNeil makes it 2-2 with his first goal

But rather than keep the initiative, Duff’s side handed it back as Town went back in front 13 minutes before the end of a breathless first half.

McNeil conceded a free-kick and when Lolley drove the ball into a crowded six-yard box, it took a deflection to beat Stone and make it 3-2.

Even then there could have been a sixth goal before the break as Huddersfield keeper Tadhg Ryan had to dash off his line to save from Bayode and then got away with clattering into Tinashe Chakwana, with the referee deciding the foul had occurred inches outside the penalty area when the contact looked to have been made inside.

Aidan Stone denies Olly Dyson

Ryan made amends with a smart save from Rahis Nabi as the substitute managed to thread a free-kick past the wall.

And then after Harry Limb had fired over on the break for the Clarets, Town almost extended their lead again in stoppage time when Olly Dyson forced Stone into a sharp save with Lolley firing the rebound wide.

The chances continued to come early in the second half, Chakwana nicely making space but then dragging a shot wide when an equaliser beckoned.

The Clarets then had a let-off when they were caught short on the break following a corner but saw Lolley’s square pass just evade Dyson in front of goal.

And the hosts made the most of that reprieve with just over an hour gone when McNeil struck again to make it 3-3.

Dean Marney continued his comeback with a first 90 minutes

Bayode mis-judged a shooting chance from a Marney corner but managed to smuggle the ball into the path of McNeil, whose angled drive gave Ryan no chance as it flew into the far corner.

Chakwana then had another chance to give the Clarets the lead for the first time but after a good first touch from Bayode’s cross, the winger couldn’t beat Ryan to reward Burnley's growing dominance.

As they stepped up the pressure further in search of a fourth goal, McNeil dipped a free-kick just over the bar and the lively Bayode also sent an effort just over the top following another driving run.

There looked to be only one winner in the closing stages as the Clarets went all out for maximum points and a third league win.

But when Bayode lifted the final opening over the bar in the last minute, Duff’s side instead had to settle for a third draw of the campaign.

Burnley: Stone, Birch, Koiki, Howarth (Nabi 17), Clarke, Younger, McNeil, Marney, Bayode, Limb (J Thomas 72), Chakwana (N’Guessan 82). Substitutes: King, B Thomas.

Huddersfield: Ryan, Thomas, O’Malley, Marriott, Cogill, Kane, Lolley, High (Obiero 72), Dyson, Boyle, Carvalho (Tear ht). Milovanovic, Edmonds-Green.


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