Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Match Reports

Burnley U23s 3 QPR U23s 1

Tom Heaton continues comeback and Dean Marney sent off as Clarets cruise to win

26 March 2018

Tom Heaton continued his comeback but saw most of the action at the other end of Turf Moor as the Clarets cruised to one of their most emphatic league wins of the season.

Heaton played his second Professional Development League game of the international break and was only moments away from back-to-back clean sheets as the Clarets’ club captain competes for a first-team return.

Heaton was beaten in the last minute by substitute Charlie Kendall – moments before Dean Marney was sent off.

But the keeper’s main role was to organise and encourage the young players in front of him as two goals from Tinashe Chakwana and a second in four games from Ntumba Massanka earned Michael Duff’s improving side a third win in five matches to keep alive their hopes of finishing above bottom spot in the northern group.

QPR came north as the fifth-placed team in the league’s southern group but did nothing to suggest they would add to their tally of one win in five games.

A youthful side coached by ex-Jamaica international winger Paul Hall posed little threat and could easily have lost by more as the Clarets sparkled in the sunshine on their return to Turf Moor.

Duff’s men totally dominated the first half with Heaton’s only meaningful action a routine save from Aramide Oteh’s skidding drive.

By contrast, Hoops keeper Marcin Brzozowski was over-worked at the other end and should have been beaten more than twice.

Massanka and Chakwana ran the visitors’ back line ragged but were unable to add to a goal apiece before the break.

The tone was set after a quarter of an hour when Aiden O’Neill won one of a number of challenges to feed the ball for Massanka, who in turn released Chakwana.

Brzozowski denied the striker but only at the cost of a corner to delay the seemingly inevitable.

And when the Poland youth international failed to punch clear, Marney helped the ball back into the box for Olly Younger to tee up Massanka for a smart finish on the volley to give Burnley the lead.

Massanka then missed a great chance to make it 2-0 when he shot too near to Brzozowski from Chakwana’s square pass.

And the Clarets’ pair then took it in turns to set each other up for chances that should have been taken.

Chakwana steered an effort wide after running in behind the Rs’ defence again before Massanka delayed his opportunity and saw a shot cleared off the line.

But it was only a matter of time before the Clarets’ pressure brought a second goal and it finally came two minutes before the break.

Centre-back Teddy Perkins delivered the ball from the back for Marney - adding valuable midfield experience as an over-age player alongside the impressive O'Neill - to unleash Tunde Bayode, whose pace once more took him clear.

The winger then whipped in a superb cross towards the near post which Chakwana converted at the second attempt, hooking the ball over the line after his mis-cueing his first bite at the cherry.

If that was a scruffy finish, Chakwana’s second goal 11 minutes into the second half was a more polished effort as the teenager neatly tucked away a pass from O’Neill to make it 3-0.

And it was no more than the Clarets deserved after the chances continued to come, the creative Dwight McNeil smashing an angled drive against the bar following another mazy run from the lively Bayode.

Massanka was given a breather with an hour gone and when his replacement Craig Ellison limped off shortly afterwards the Clarets lost some of their rhythm.

And in a finish that took some of the gloss off a decent afternoon’s work, the visitors pulled one back when Kendall slotted home following a defensive stand-still and Marney was dismissed for dissent after he felt he had been fouled in the build-up to the goal.

Burnley: Heaton, Cropper, Perkins, Younger, Koiki, Bayode, Marney, O’Neill, McNeil, Chakwana, Massanka (Ellison 60 replaced by Blair 75). Substitutes: Stone, Goodridge, Cook.

QPR: Brzozowski, Mesias, Williams (Orafu 64), Owens, Genovesi, Fox, McDonald (Da Costa 15), Stylianides, Oteh, Akinola (Kendall 78), Cardoso. Substitutes: Dickinson.

Referee: David Underwood.

Advertisement block