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Match Reports

Burnley U23s 4 Bournemouth U23s 2

Clarets stage second-half fightback to secure first win and keep hopes

18 January 2019

A superb second-half fightback saw the Clarets secure their first win in the Premier League Cup in a six-goal thriller at the Tameside Stadium.

After leading at the break through the first of Marley Blair’s two goals, Burnley went behind as unbeaten Group C leaders Bournemouth looked to close in on a place in the knock-out phase.

But Blair’s equaliser set up a storming finish from Steve Stone’s side, whose first win of 2019 was sealed by a quick-fire double from teenagers Rob Harker and Bobby Thomas as Burnley kept their own hopes of a top-two finish and progress to the last 16 alive.

The Clarets had lost 7-1 in their opening group game at Bournemouth against a Cherries’ side boasting plenty of first-team experience.

But on a more level playing field they quickly went in front in a bid to avenge that defeat and hand Bournemouth a first defeat in the competition.

The visitors didn’t help themselves as defender Corey Jordan gave the ball away in an attempt to play out from the back – a tactic that could have cost them even more dearly in a first half the Clarets should have ended with a more than a one-goal lead.

Blair collected the stray clearance and following one-two with Tinashe Chakwana advanced into the box to fire a left-footed shot across goalkeeper Tom Parker-Trott and into the top corner.

Bournemouth saw plenty of the ball early on and were a threat on the break.

But Nick Pope - given his most vigorous work-out yet since returniung from injury last month - provided a re-assuring presence behind the Clarets’ defence, with his pick of first-half saves a fine effort to keep a Kyle Taylor volley out the top corner.

And the best chances all came the Clarets’ way as Bournemouth keeper Tom Parker-Trott kept his side in the game.

Firstly, he saved from Rob Harker after Mark Howarth’s excellent ball over the top had given the striker two sighters at goal.

And then, after Chakwana had failed to get a touch in front of goal from Tunde Bayode’s teasing ball in, the 17-year-old stood tall to deny Chakwana after Blair’s through-ball had left the Burnley number nine in the clear.

But all the real drama was still to come in a five-goal second half that saw both sides come from behind before Burnley finally finished on top.

Bournemouth missed a chance to level three minutes after the re-start as Tyrell Hamilton poked a close-range effort wide.

But two goals in the space of three minutes leading up to the hour mark turned the tie as the Cherries grabbed the lead.

Pope mis-judged a corner for Jordan to nod in the equaliser at the far post and Clarets’ skipper Anthony Glennon was then unfortunate to divert a cross into his own goal.

But rather than accept their fate and a likely exit from the competition, the Clarets responded superbly to set up a storming comeback to grab three goals in 15 minutes to snatch victory.

Blair got his second of the game to make it 2-2 with a composed right-foot finish, cutting in to fire into the top corner after Bayode had robbed Dinesh Gillela and found substitute Dan Agyei to unlock the Cherries’ defence.

And the Clarets were then back in front thanks to another clinical strike from Harker, who was again found by Howarth and this time made no mistake as he created space to crash a left-footed drive into the roof of the net.

The momentum was now with Burnley and second-year scholar Thomas quickly added the fourth to put the game beyond Bournemouth’s reach when he powered home a header from a Bayode corner.

Having surrendered the lead once, Stone’s men were not about to do it again, defending superbly to keep Bournemouth out and avoid any late scares and Harker hitting a post as he looked to relieve the pressure at the other end.

Pope threw himself in front of everything and a superb goalline block from Jordan Cropper to somehow keep put a close-range shot from Cherries substitute Jake Scrinshaw summed up the Clarets’ desire to revive their interest in the competition – with two home games to come against Liverpool and West Bromwich Albion set to determine the outcome.

Burnley: Pope, Cropper, Thomas, Glennon, Rain, Bayode, Howarth, Benson, Blair, Harker, Chakwana (Agyei 60). Substitutes: Stone, Kershaw, Moss, Cook.

Bournemouth: Parker-Trott, Seaman, Vincent, Ofoborh, Jordan, Gillela, Kilkenny, Butcher (Anthony HT), Hamilton (Scrimshaw 74), Taylor, O’Connell. Substitutes: Nippard, Stewart, Hanfrey.

Referee: Rebecca Welch

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