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Match Reports

REPORT: Burnley U23s 2 Sheffield Utd U23s 0

Clarets bounce back to claim joint top spot as Blades

13 January 2020

The Clarets bounced back in impressive style to win a feisty Roses battle and re-claim joint top spot.

Goals from Rob Harker and Bobby Thomas got Burnley’s challenge back on track following their first league defeat of the season at Nottingham Forest last week.

That allowed Forest to steal a march in the race for pole position in the U23 Professional Development League.

But only goal difference is now keeping them top of the pile after the Clarets secured a ninth league win of the season with a commanding performance

Jordan Cropper’s addition to the list of players loaned out to gain first-team experience meant another change at right-back with Ollie Younger returning to the Clarets’ starting line-up to fill the void.

And Younger didn’t put a foot wrong until his late red card for bringing down Blades substitute Sam Ompreon as he looked to go clear which saw the Clarets see out the final few moments with 10 men.

The game certainly had a competitive edge to it with Burnley getting their noses in front through Harker after 20 minutes.

Harker goal.jpg

Skipper John Benson, who impressed alongside Mace Goodridge in the centre of midfield, released Nejai Tucker and after good work from the winger forced Jordan Amissah into a save, Tucker pounced to tuck home the rebound from close range.

Jimmy Dunne, lending his experience to the Clarets’ back four, then headed just wide and following another Benson corner Thomas saw a shot cleared off the line by United defender Harrison Foulstone with the last kick of the first half.

The Clarets introduced Will Harris – currently on loan at Warrington Town – for the injured Joel Mumbongo at the break.

And the teenage striker played his part in a lively second 45 minutes which saw the Clarets use the ball well and threaten on the break.

The visitors sniffed a possible equaliser with nearly an hour gone as Lukas Jensen save from Iliman, who was later substituted following his part in a flare-up that followed a challenge on Goodridge that earned the United frontman a yellow card.

But the Clarets grabbed their second goal after 65 minutes to close in on the points.

Set-pieces were always a likely route to goal and from a free-kick, Ali Koiki picked out Thomas to send a fine header back across Amissah and into the far corner.

Thomas goal 2.jpg

Jensen still had to make a superb finger-tip save to turn a Foulstone shot around the post and see out the closing period a man down.

But having shaken the rust out of their system at the City Ground a week ago, the Clarets were back to their best to get their push for a play-off place back in top gear.

Burnley: Jensen; Younger, Thomas, Dunne, Koiki; Trialist, Goodridge, Benson, Tucker; Harker (Thomson 80), Mumbongo (Harris HT). Substitutes: McMahon, Senior, Brennan.

Sheffield United: Amissah; Van Geenan, Grant, Hall; York, Broadbent, Doherty, Foulstone; Ndiaye (Greaves 66), Parkhouse (Omproen 80), Gribbin (Young 59). Substitutes: Kelly, Andall-Gibbons.

Referee: Nat Cox


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