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Match Reports

Burnley U18s 0 Plymouth Argyle U18s 1

Late winner sends Clarets out of FA Youth Cup as giant-killers march on

5 January 2018

FA Youth Cup giant-killers Plymouth did it again as an injury-time winner sent the Clarets crashing out in heart-breaking fashion at Turf Moor.

League One Argyle – who play their football in the Football League’s South West Youth Alliance – knocked out Manchester City on penalties in the third round.

On that occasion the Devon club shut City out for 120 minutes and this time 94 minutes was enough to deny Burnley a place in round five for the first time since 2014/15.

Danny Cadamarteri’s Clarets had virtually all the chances but couldn’t find a way past goalkeeper Michael Cooper, who made his first-team debut against Blackburn Rovers earlier this season and is set to sit on the bench against Bury tomorrow after getting back in the early hours of the morning.

And just as they were heading towards extra-time, Burnley were delivered a sucker-punch as Argyle broke away to clinch a dramatic winner through Billy Craske to spark scenes of celebration moments later from players, staff and supporters who had made the 640-mile round trip.

Plymouth, who had also got past Eastleigh and AFC Wimbledon to reach this stage, showed early on how they had frustrated City as they got plenty of men behind the ball and were never too ambitious going forward.

The Clarets had chances to force a change of mindset as Jordan Barnett volleyed wide inside the opening 10 minutes and Tristan Jumea shot into the body of Cooper from a Dwight McNeil cross.

Striker Michael Fowler also dragged a shot wide and Barnett threatened with his pace from the left wing.

But the longer they stayed level, Arygle grew in confidence and centre-forward Klaidi Lolos wasn’t far away with a long-range effort which just went over the bar.

No doubt mindful of Plymouth’s reputation for resilience, the Clarets knew the importance of the opening goal and three minutes before the break it almost came in spectacular style.

Jumeau won the ball to feed McNeil and from fully 35 yards dangerman McNeil let fly with a dipping left-footer was set to drop under the bar before Cooper made a superb finger-tip save.

A minute into the second half McNeil tried his luck again and wasn’t far off target with another well-struck effort that flew just over the top.

And as the Clarets continued to press, former Liverpool youngster Marley Blair curled an effort wide minutes after coming off the bench to make his Burnley debut.

Plymouth were always in the tie, though, and gave Cadamarteri’s side a scare mid-way through the second half when the influential Cameron Sangster – whose League One debut came as a substitute just before Christmas – worked a short corner and teed up Elliott Crawford who shot just wide.

At the other end the Clarets were getting closer, the lively Blair and McNeil again forcing Cooper into saves before it was Fowler’s turn to be frustrated by the Pilgrims’ keeper, one of the stars of his side’s shoot-out win over City.

But it was getting edgy with the prospect of extra-time looming as Plymouth sensed they could get grab a late winner, Luke Jephcott stabbing the ball just wide from a Craske cross with five minutes to go.

That chance wasn’t taken but two minutes into four minutes of stoppage time Plymouth did strike to book their place in the last 16 and claim another scalp, Craske racing clear to calmly slot home with his side’s only effort on target and leave the young Clarets crestfallen.

Burnley: Bruce, Clarke, Wilson, Younger, Mpofu (George 90), Moss, Jumeau (Blair 58), Yari, McNeil, Barnett, Fowler (Cropper 85). Substitutes: Allen, Kershaw.

Plymouth Argyle: Cooper, Purrington, Law, Sangster, Downing, Crawford, Craske, Peck, Lolos, Garside (Ward 67), Jephcott. Substitutes: Hodges, Childs, Ward, Goulty, Burn.

Referee: Thomas Kirk

Attendance: 410

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