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Burnley U23s 4 Barnsley U23s 1

Free-scoring Clarets march on with win over bottom club

5 November 2018

Free-scoring Burnley added four more to their goal tally with a comfortable win over bottom club Barnsley in an incident-packed afternoon at the Tameside Stadium.

The Clarets – the leading scorers in the Professional Development League’s northern section – chalked up a third successive win to move within a point of leaders Leeds United.

Top scorer Tinashe Chakwana chalked up another goal to his collection, with Jordan Cropper claiming Burnley’s second before half-time when he followed up to score from the first of a remarkable three missed penalties.

Barnsley were guilty of two of the misses thanks to excellent saves from Adam Legzdins, although their goal – which came when the visitors were 4-0 down – also resulted from a rebound as Aidy White tapped in following Legzdins' parry of Amir Berkovits’ effort.

Berkovits had taken on the spot-kick duties after captain Louis Wardle had wasted a penalty opportunity for the second game in a row.

And Wardle's attempt could have made a difference to the outcome, striking a post via the finger tips of Legzdins early in the second half after Ali Koiki had been penalised for a foul on Romal Palmer.

From the possibility of seeing their lead halved, the Clarets responded with two more goals in the space of three minutes to wrap up the points through Dwight McNeil and Josh Benson as Barnsley were reduced to 10 men with the dismissal of Will Smith.

Benson had also played a part in Burnley’s opening goal 28 minutes in, cleverly threading the ball through for Chakwana – the league’s leading goalscorer – to slot home his 10th goal of the season.

Following a scrappy start, the Clarets had taken control with their pacey front four causing the visitors all sorts of problems before half-time.

But with McNeil twice dragging efforts just wide, Jon Pepper's side had only two goals to show for their superiority with Cropper ramming home his first goal of the season after Dan Agyei’s penalty, awarded for handball, had been saved.

Chakwana did almost make it 3-0 two minutes into the second half, but a fine save from Emmanuel Idem prevented the striker from extending his purple patch.

And the Tykes, who had lost their last four games, then countered with Palmer hitting the post from a 15 yards before Wardle did likewise, courtesy of Legzdins' fine stop, to continue the penalty jinx.

Making the most of that reprieve, Burnley then upped the tempo to kill the game off.

McNeil powered in a far-post header from Benson’s corner with an hour gone.

And Benson then showed his set-piece prowess again to supply a classy fourth goal.

Agyei’s pace and power was stopped only by a foul by Smith on the edge of the box, which cost the Barnsley defender a second yellow card.

And Benson added to the punishment with a peach of a free-kick into the top corner.

The Clarets - who gave a long-awaited debut to Australian midfielder Oscar Woods after he finally received international clearance - did concede when Cropper was penalised for handball and the experienced White was able to pounce with 25 minutes to go.

But that was never likely to affect the outcome, as the Clarets keep climbing on the back of an impressive five-match unbeaten run and a haul of 14 goals in their last three games.

Burnley: Legzdins, Cropper, Cook, Clarke, Koiki, Bayode (Harker 64), Benson (Woods 73), Howarth, McNeil, Agyei, Chakwana (Conn-Clarke 75). Substitutes: McMahon, Thomas.

Barnsley: Idem, Wardle, White, Smith, Fielding, Otim, Berkovits (Feeney 73), Palmer (Helliwell 61), McDonagh, Chissem (Moon HT), Barnett. Substitutes: Simpson, Kendrick.

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