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Today saw both the under-18 and under-23 teams play for the first time in pre-season. After yesterday’s lull weather wise it was back to blazing sun and high temperatures with certainly no respite stood out in the open at Gawthorpe.

It was, in some ways, a difficult match to watch, particularly in attempting to report it, and that’s why there isn’t one as such. With so many new players in the squad, with a lot of changes made during the game and the team playing in an all navy blue kit with no numbers and, because of continuing work, a difficult vantage point, made it difficult to follow.

1718 burnley ntumba massanka 00 500x500However, Michael Fowler claimed the first Burnley goal I’ve seen this season in just the eighth minute with Fleetwood replying on the half hour, the game ending 1-1.

Then it was the dash up to Colne to take in the under-23s. With no Michael Duff or Andy Farrell, Nicky Law and Jon Pepper took charge on a day when we used 19 players including a couple of trialists.

The first of them was goalkeeper George McMahon who played in the first half and impressed with some very good saves. Over a weekend when the first team have played in Ireland and won with a goal scored by an Irishman, it’s probably appropriate that we had another Irishman with us; McMahon was the Republic of Ireland’s under-18 goalkeeper last season.

The other trialist was midfielder Joe Thompson who played in the second half although it hasn’t been possible to obtain any further information on him.

The friendly against Colne is becoming something of a regular fixture on the calendar but, result wise, this one didn’t go to plan with the home side winning the game 2-1.

They took a 27th minute lead through Luke Higham but it took the young Clarets just ten minutes to level when Ntumba Massanka (pictured) headed home the equaliser.

It had been a decent first half with both sides looking capable of adding further goals but things quietened down in the second half and the former Burnley pair of Alex Coleman and Chris Lynch looked comfortable in the Colne defence.

When the winner came it was an absolute stunner from Bradley Knox. He was some thirty yards from goal when he saw Adam Bruce off his line and fired in an unstoppable shot that crashed against the underside of the bar before dropping into goal.

Next up for the under-23s is Stalybridge Celtic this Wednesday. Hopefully by then it might have cooled down somewhat.

The teams were;

Colne: Hakan Burton, Luke Higham, Lee Pugh, Chris Lynch, Alex Coleman, Simon Nangle, Leon Creech, Joe Garvin, Joe Gaughan, Alex Curran, Danny Pilkington. Subs: Trialist, Connor Hughes, Bradley Knox, Sam Robinson, Trialist.

Burnley:

First Half: George McMahon, Jordan Cropper, James Clarke, Scott Wilson, Ali Koiki, Tunde Bayode, Josh Benson, Mace Goodridge, Marley Blair, Tinashe Chakwana, Ntumba Massanka.

Second Half: Adam Bruce, Jordan Cropper (James Clarke 68), Ed Cook, Teddy Perkins, Anthony Glennon, Dan Moss, Joe Thompson, Christian N’Guessan, Josh Benson (Mace Goodridge 68), Rob Harker, Tinashe Chakwana (Ntumba Massanka 68).

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