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Match Reports

Burnley U23s 2 Watford U23s 0

Early goals secure victory as Kevin Long and Nick Pope help secure clean sheet

11 March 2019

Early goals from Tinashe Chakwana and schoolboy Lewis Richardson were enough to give the Clarets the victory that lifts them back into a play-off spot in the Professional Development League.

Burnley never hit any great heights on a windy afternoon at the Barnfield Training Centre after the fixture was switched from Curzon Ashton.

But with Nick Pope and Kevin Long – partnered by the returning Olly Young – drafted in to get the senior pair some game time, a Watford side featuring five trialists never promised to threaten the Clarets’ lead as Steve Stone’s men got back on the winning trail.

Burnley, needing a point to go above Birmingham City in second place behind Leeds in the northern group after seeing their eight-game unbeaten run ended at Ipswich a week ago, went ahead after five minutes when Tunde Bayode whipped over a low dross which Chakwana swept home at the far post.

And the advantage was doubled just 10 minutes later through Richardson's first league goal at this level.

Given the afternoon off lessons to play, the 16-year-old finished coolly as he slotted the ball past Watford keeper Adam Parkes after Bayode and Chakwana had again combined to open up the visitors’ defence.

Chakwana then cracked a shot against the bar and Richardson was just off target with an acrobatic overhead kick.

But the Clarets didn’t move the ball quite to Stone’s liking as Watford – second from bottom of the league’s southern section – were able to re-group and avoid further damage.

The Hornets had their best spell just after the break but Pope was never asked any serious questions as he comfortably chalked up a clean sheet.

And in the final 20 minutes the Clarets went close to adding to their tally.

Bobby Thomas, who replaced Younger after the defender successfully came through an hour in his first game since December, twice went close with headed efforts from corners.

And it took a smart save from Parkes to deny Chakwana a second as the Clarets did what they had to to keep their title hopes alive.

Burnley: Pope; Cropper, Long, Younger (Thomas 60), Glennon; Bayode, Howarth, N;Guessan, Chakwana; Richardson (Harris 75), Agyei (Harker 65). Substitutes: Stone, Wilson.

Watford: Parkes, Bani, Leighton (Maclean HT), Adebiyi (Trialist 65), Trialist, Mukena, Trialist (Bennetts 70), Trialist, Cassidy, Trialist, Trialist. Substitutes: Hoskins, Sankoh, Trialist.

Referee: Aaron Jackson

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