It’s a knockout for the under-23s
A Dan Agyei goal in only the second minute of the game gave us a 1-0 win this afternoon against West Bromwich Albion and took us to the top of our group and the reward is a home tie in the last sixteen of the Premier League Cup.
What a terrific start it was. George Wilson, who came into the midfield for the injured Josh Benson, found Tunde Bayode on the right hand side. The wide man’s ball in was met by Agyei (pictured) who finished well from close range.
It was just the start we wanted. Anything other than a win would see us go out of the competition with a win taking us into the knock out part of a competition in which we reached the semi-finals five years ago in its inaugural season.
Agyei had us on our feet again soon after. He broke through but was denied by the Baggies’ goalkeeper although it looked to me as if he’d been fouled with nothing given by an eccentric referee who had twice pulled the ball back at the start for re-takes of the kick off.
A second goal then would have really set us up but, despite being on top, we were unable to add to our lead and as the first half wore on it settle down and evened out more although, one deflected effort apart, Adam Legzdins had very little to do in our goal whereas Alex Palmer had another couple of big saves to make to keep us out.
We had a real purple patch early in the second half and, as it happened, we really could have done with a second goal. It didn’t come and that gave West Brom some hope that they could still win the game. They pushed forward at every opportunity but we defended so well they rarely got a sight of goal.
During the last quarter of an hour or so we didn’t always get the amount of possession we might have liked but we worked our socks off to put them under as much pressure as we could, from the forwards right back to the defenders and over the whole game we were deserving of the win.
It’s incredible to think we started the competition with a heavy 7-1 defeat against an experienced Bournemouth team. Since we’ve won twice and drawn three times and today, in the final reckoning, we’ve even topped the group which will ensure us a home tie in the next round.
Coach Steve Stone said of his players: “Hopefully days like this will help them remember what’s positive about being a footballer. They’ve put the hard work in and been really well organised and counter attacked like we’ve asked them to do against a good side.”
It’s back to league action now with a trip to Ipswich, who top the southern group, on Monday, while awaiting the draw for the Round of 16 in the cup.
We will play one of the second name teams from each of the groups, those who finished runners-up, and we will be at home.
Group A: Stoke and Sunderland
Group B: Everton and Blackburn
Group C: Burnley and Bournemouth
Group D: Nottingham Forest and Leicester
Group E: Swansea and Wolves
Group F: Derby and Aston Villa
Group G: Reading and Fulham
Group H: Leeds and Newcastle
The teams were;
Burnley: Adam Legzdins, Jordan Cropper, Bobby Thomas, Scott Wilson, Anthony Glennon, Tunde Bayode, George Wilson, Christian N’Guessan (Teddy Perkins 78), Marley Blair (Tinashe Chakwana ht), Rob Harker (Lewis Richardson 66), Dan Agyei. Subs not used: Aidan Stone, James Clarke.
West Brom: Alex Palmer, Nathan Ferguson, Tom Solanke, Kevin Healy, Taylor Gardner-Hickman, Morgan Rogers, Finn Azaz, Max Melbourne, Jonathan Leko (Stanley Asomugha 85), Rayhaan Tulloch, Kyle Edwards. Subs not used: Brad House, Aac Brown, Alex Gilbert, Zak Delaney.Share this page :