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Burnley’s youth team followed up last week’s 2-1 win at Cardiff with a first home win of the season this morning with a first half Michael Fowler goal giving us a 1-0 victory.

1718 burnley michael fowler 00 500x500It was good to be back at Gawthorpe this morning. The last time I saw a game there was at the end of last season as we said farewell to the Youth Alliance League with a win against Accrington Stanley.

The first home match had ended in defeat two weeks ago but, although we had some defending to do at times, we got a good win against a very strong, athletic Millwall side.

No report from our training ground would be complete without mention of the weather. Everything looked fair until just before kick off when the rain decided to turn up. Thankfully it didn’t last long and the rest of the time was played in warm, dry conditions.

Millwall started the better, but we saw off that early threat and got hold of the game. James Clarke hit the bar and Fowler, from around 25 yards, missed the target when he tried to shoot into an empty net.

But the goal we needed came in the 27th minute when we won a free kick on the left hand side. Dwight McNeil took the kick which was knocked down for Fowler (pictured) to score from close range.

By half time we might have been further in front but it had been a good half from Burnley and we hoped for more of the same to come. Millwall had different ideas. They pushed us back and put us under some pressure which, for most part, we defended really well.

It certainly wasn’t one way traffic and we probably created the better chances with McNeil and Dylon Meredith looking dangerous from the flanks and Kian Yari doing ever so well playing behind the striker.

Another goal during our best spell would have ended Millwall’s threat but it remained 1-0 and they gave it a real go in the closing stages which went on for almost five minutes beyond the ninety. There were some nervous moments, one in particular when the ball dropped in our six yard box, but we held firm and I felt fully deserved the victory in what had been a very good game.

It’s the first game I’ve seen at this level and the different quality is there for all to see, with no disrespect to those clubs in the Youth Alliance League. It’s where we needed to be as a club and the players are going to gain so much from playing at a higher level.

It’s Ipswich away next week, but I’m hoping to be back at Gawthorpe in two weeks time for the home game against Colchester.

The Burnley team was: Adam Bruce, James Clarke, Oliver Younger, Scott Wilson, Kwasinkosi Mpofu, Dwight McNeil, Dan Moss, Ethan Kershaw, Dylon Meredith (Leighton Egan 85), Kian Yari, Michael Fowler. Subs not used: Marcel Wusiewicz, Richard Taylor, Bobby Thomas, Will Harris.

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