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Match Reports

REPORT: Burnley U23s 4 Crewe Alexandra U23s 2

Mumbongo at the double as Clarets keep pressure on leaders

25 November 2019

Joel Mumbongo struck twice as the Clarets hit four for the first time this season to stay up with the pace at the top of the table.

Mace Goodridge also claimed his first goal in a Burnley shirt in a one-sided first half as the Clarets made it 17 games unbeaten in all competitions from the start of the season.

Blackburn Rovers are likely to provide a stiffer test of that record in Friday’s Premier League Cup encounter at Ewood Park.

But Burnley – who rested a number of players in readiness for the Group G showdown – did what was required to move back within a point of co-leaders Birmingham City and Nottingham Forest at the summit of the U23 Professional Development League’s northern group with a fifth league win of the campaign.

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The side, currently being looked after by Andy Farrell, hadn’t played a league game for three weeks but showed no ring rustiness following two training-ground run-outs last week.

Three goals inside a 14-minute burst effectively banked the points for the Clarets by half-time.

And the lead could easily have been bigger as Burnley peppered the Crew penalty area.

A young visiting side didn’t help their cause by attempting to play out from the back and inviting pressure.

But the Clarets also deserved praise for forcing the issue and not the letting the opportunity pass them by.

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Mumbongo got an early sighter in the opening minutes as Crewe were caught out for the first time but from Tunde Bayode’s low cross the striker delivered a weak finish which was easily saved by Sam Booth.

Goodridge was less forgiving with just over a quarter of an hour gone with a classy finish, curling the ball into the top corner following a quickly-taken free-kick from Adam Phillips.

And Mumbongo then got in on the act as he twice over-powered the Crewe defence to claim a quick-fire double.

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First, he seized on a headed back-pass from Travis Johnson to force the ball over the line and then from Scott Wilson’s fine ball forward he out-muscled Billy Sass-Davies before rounding Booth to make it 3-0.

Booth kept it that way at the break with a superb save from Bayode’s dipping long-range strike and the Clarets also hit the woodwork through top scorer Ali Koiki and Anthony Glennon’s free-kick.

A fourth goal should then have come five minutes into the second half but from Koiki’s pass, England youth international Richardson failed to beat Booth.

And from nowhere Crewe gave themselves a glimmer of hope when Wilson tripped Aaron Lomas and Regan Griffiths pulled one back from the spot.

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The Clarets immediately restored their three-goal advantage on the hour when Bayode was gifted possession and strode forward to drill a low drive into the bottom corner.

But in a wide-open game Crewe weren’t quite finished as defender Sass-Davies headed home from a free-kick before Bayode almost added a late fifth at the other end with an effort well saved by the busy Booth as the Clarets continue to march on.

Burnley: Jensen; Cropper, Younger, Wilson, Glennon; Bayode, Goodridge, Phillips, Koiki; Richardson (Tucker 67), Mumbongo. Substitutes: McMahon, Cooney, N’Guessan, Harker.

Crewe: Booth; Djalo, Johnson, Sass-Davies, Woodthorpe; Offord; Lomas (Lokko 71), Lundstram, Robbins (Goodrich 84), Heath; Griffiths. Substitutes: Lloyd, Hartshorn.

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