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An unfamiliar looking Burnley under-23 side were beaten 2-1 tonight by Hull City at Curzon Ashton but it was very much a defeat that should have been avoided in what was one of the best overall performances of the season.

1718 burnley ntumba massanka 00 500x500We included Jake Barrett (Manchester United), Josh Benson (Arsenal) and Stephen Duke-McKenna (Everton) in the starting line up with Harvey Whyte (Liverpool) and Moise Kroma (Leeds) on the bench.

We went into the game having beaten Nottingham Forest last time out and we continued the good form we showed then in the first half tonight. We were the better side, and by some margin, throughout the half and really should have been in front by half time.

The closest we came to a goal was when Ntumba Massanka (pictured) hit the bar, although that would have been ruled out for a harsh offside, but there were other chances, some of which should have been taken yet at the other end there was just one shot for Conor Mitchell to deal with.

Hull started the second half a little brighter and just as we were preparing to make our first substitution they took the lead with a header from Tom Powell following a corner.

Burnley provided the perfect response. Dwight McNeil saw a shot go just wide before finally, just past the hour, we got the ball in the net when Massanka converted from close range following a low cross across the box from Benson.

Incredibly, Hull scored again through Powell and this time it proved to be the winner although quite how I don’t know given the chances we had to win it. Christian N’Guessan and Massanka had the best of them but Hull, wasting as much time as possible, hung on to beat us.

Michael Duff said after the game: “We were the better team. We conceded from two poor set plays which is difficult when you’ve got three trialists in the team because you’ve got a new set of players. You can half understand that, but I thought there were some good performances.

“We missed a hatful of chances. As I told them, both boxes win and lose you games. We could have played a little more in the second half and passed it a little bit better, but if you look at that and say we had six under-18s in the team and three trialists we were more than happy with that. Of course you want to win the game, but there were a lot more positives than negatives.”

The under-23s are next in action in four days time at Charlton with the next home game on the following Monday, 26th March, against QPR at Turf Moor.

The teams were;

Burnley: Conor Mitchell, James Clarke, Jake Barrett, Oliver Younger, Ali Koiki, Tunde Bayode (Tinashe Chakwana 53), Josh Benson (Harvey Whyte 80), Christian N’Guessan, Stephen Duke-McKenna (Moise Kroma 81), Dwight McNeil, Ntumba Massanka. Subs not used: Aidan Stone, Scott Wilson.

Hull: Callum Burton, Moses Odubajo (James Yates ht), Josh Clackstone, Dan Batty, Lewis Ritson, Adam Curry, Greg Luer (Elliott Holmes 83), Max Sheaf (Greg Olley 68), Tom Powell, Billy Chadwick, Liam Edwards. Subs not used: Jonathan Saltmer, Robbie McKenzie.

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