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LFA SENIOR CUP: Burnley 3 AFC Fylde 1

Danny Drinkwater steps up comeback as unbeaten Clarets reach semi-finals

12 November 2019

Danny Drinkwater helped the Clarets reach the semi-finals of the Interfit Lancashire FA Senior Cup as he successfully stepped up his comeback.

Drinkwater made his first appearance since a debut in Burnley’s Carabao Cup exit to Sunderland at the end of August as he completed 90 minutes at the Barnfield Training Centre.

An ankle injury had since sidelined the on-loan midfielder who has now started a games’ programme designed to get him back to full fitness and the chance to challenge for a first-team place.

And the former Premier League winner played a full part as first goals at Under-23 level from Joe McGlynn – who scored twice – and Joel Mumbongo took the Clarets into the last four by extending their unbeaten start to the season to 16 games.

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“It was good to be back out there and to help the lads win,” said Drinkwater.

“It was nice to play the full game and get 90 minutes of competitive action under my belt.

“I need to build on that now and keep pushing up my fitness levels and see what the next few weeks bring.”

While Drinkwater brought the experience of over 300 senior games and three England caps to the Clarets’ line-up, Fylde weren’t short of first-team know-how.

And the National League side – who included ex-Clarets defender Alex Whitmore in their starting line-up – started the better.

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Former Sheffield United and Watford midfielder Mark Yeates clipped the outside of a post with a third-minute free-kick and James Craigen steered a header just wide from a corner.

But the Clarets gradually found their stride, with Drinkwater, Mace Goodridge and Josh Benson forcing the issue from midfield.

Mumbongo cut in to curl an effort just over the bar and then in the final minute of the first half the Clarets grabbed the opening goal.

Goodridge’s pass into McGlynn was perfectly delivered and a superb first touch from the 17-year-old opened a route to goal which the Scottish youth international took with a clinical finish.

McGlynn has stepped up from youth level in impressive fashion in recent weeks and five minutes into the second half he doubled Burnley’s lead with another well-taken effort.

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Drinkwater’s floated pass forward - typical of his tidy use of the ball - was headed down by Mumbongo for McGlynn to collect and chip home a left-footed finish.

And eight minutes later it was all but game over as the Clarets kept alive their prospects of avenging last season’s defeat in the final of the competition with another top-class strike.

This time, right-back Ryan Cooney unlocked the Fylde defence with a lovely ball through for Ne-Jai Tucker to cross to the near post for Mumbongo to neatly flick home his first goal as a Burnley player.

Fylde – led by recently installed manager Jim Bentley – weren’t quite finished and with 20 minutes to go missed a penalty when Yeates, having been tripped by Scott Wilson, saw his penalty well saved by Lukas Jensen.

Jensen then kept out an effort from Nick Haughton with another fine stop before Haughton’s first-time strike into the top corner 12 minutes from time gave the Coasters some reward.

There were no further scares for the Clarets, however, as Drinkwater helped get them over the line and join holders Blackburn Rovers and Preston in the semi-finals, with either Morecambe or Wigan to join them.

Burnley: Jensen, Cooney, Wilson, Glennon, Koiki, Benson, Goodridge (Phillips 58), Drinkwater, Tucker (Bayode 58), Mumbongo (Cropper 86), McGlynn. Substitutes: McMahon, Perkins.

AFC Fylde: Hornby, Montrose (Bradley HT), Duxbury, Jameson, Whitmore (Burke 70), Forbes, Yeates, Ngwatala, Green (Wright 78), Haughton, Craigen. Substitutes: Lavercombe, Trialist.

 


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