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REPORT: Under-23s 1Coventry City U23s 1

Bayode hits late leveller as Drinkwater makes Burnley bow

19 August 2019

Danny Drinkwater made his first appearance in a Burnley shirt as the Clarets hit back to extend their unbeaten start to the Professional Development League season.

Drinkwater played the first half as an over-age player to build up his match fitness following his deadline-day signing from Chelsea.

There will be more minutes to come – possibly later in the week – for the on-loan midfielder, but a first taste of Turf Moor in claret and blue was a step forward towards his eagerly-awaited return to Premier League action.

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Goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell also made his Burnley bow following his arrival from Leeds United as the Clarets followed up their opening draw at Millwall with another share of the points.

But this time they should undoubtedly have had all three after dominating for most of the game and creating a catalogue of chances before Tunde Bayode finally made the pressure tell with an explosive finish 10 minutes from the end.

Peacock-Farrell had little to do but was beaten after 15 minutes as Coventry grabbed the lead.

A long ball over the top from ex-Fleetwood full-back Junior Brown allowed Max Biamou to get in behind the Clarets’ defence and the striker – who has almost 50 first-team games under bis belt – lifted the ball over the Northern Ireland international to add to his winner in the opening round of games.

Burnley then went on to dictate the remainder of the first half but were unable to convert a succession of chances.

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And striker Rob Harker was the one to feel most aggrieved as he could have claimed a hat-trick before the break.

Drinkwater – who had one sight of goal himself with an effort he lifted over the top – created the first opening before the visitors had scored but from the midfielder’s pass, Harker produced a tame finish to make life easy for City keeper Tom Billson.

The Clarets’ number nine then headed against a post from a superb cross from Bayode, who along with summer signing Ryan Cooney delivered a steady stream of high-quality deliveries from the right flank.

And when Anthony Glennon changed things up by pulling the ball back from the left-hand side, Harker couldn’t believe his luck when his side-foot finish was blocked in front of goal.

Strike partner Lewis Richardson also carried a threat as he weaved his way in and out of the City defence, forcing Billson into a save with his legs before shooting too high as Coventry somehow held out.

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The change of ends did little to alter the flow as the Clarets again racked up the chances to equalise at the start of the second half.

Harker poked another Bayode cross just the wrong side of a post and the elusive Richardson also put efforts just wide either side of an Ali Koiki shot which Billson saved at the expense of a corner.

Bobby Thomas met the set-piece with a typical header but again it was blocked to deny the defender a repeat of his goal at The Den on the opening day of the season.

Coventry - who included ex-Clarets' Academy defender Arlen Birch as a trialist - looked to pinch a second on the break and did create a chance for substitute David Bremang.

But he shot straight at a well-positioned Peacock-Farrell and almost immediately the Clarets finally got their reward.

Glennon created the opening with a superb diagonal ball to Bayode and this time the winger went it alone to cut in and bury a fierce, angled strike into the top corner to give the Clarets the least they deserved.

Burnley: Peacock-Farrell; Cooney (Cropper 83), Thomas, Dunne, Glennon; Bayode, Benson, Drinkwater (Phillips HT), Koiki; Richardson, Harker. Substitutes: McMahon, Younger, N’Guessan.

Coventry: Billson, Birch, Williams, Drysdale, Brown (Burroughs 73), Bartlett, Young, Ngandu, Biamou, Wakefield (Bremang 67), Bapaga. Substitutes: Walters, Tyler, Eckersill.

Referee: Nat Cox


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