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Having lost the previous four games, there was some relief for our under-18 players this morning when the referee’s final whistle blew to end our 1-0 win against Sheffield United, a first league win since beating Sheffield Wednesday seven weeks ago.

1718 burnley dylon meredith 00 500x500The goal came from a free kick on the right hand side on 24 minutes. Taken expertly by Dylon Meredith, it curled into the far corner past the despairing Blades’ goalkeeper.

Meredith (pictured) was back in action from injury as was central defender Scott Wilson. He hasn’t played since early season and his return was timely given that James Clarke has been with the under-23s this week deputising for Harry Flowers and then, yesterday, Oliver Younger who himself is now out injured.

Leighton Egan was also out, as was Michael Fowler who has undergone surgery this week, so it was an unfamiliar looking line up which included recent recruit Jordan Barnett and a couple of trialists, one in the centre of defence and one up front.

It was certainly Gawthorpe at its best this morning. It was a very autumnal setting on a still morning with the sun shining as the teams lined up to observe a minute’s silence ahead of kick off on this the 11th day of the 11th month.

In front of a healthy crowd, we looked nothing like the team that had lost a one goal lead last week at Crewe before going on to lose the game 5-1. There was a strong resolve right through the team against a Sheffield United side who made it a tough, physical encounter.

We had twice come close before the goal with Wilson probably the closest with a header from a corner, and there is no doubt that the lead, when it came, was deserved.

For the rest of the first half we remained the better side and never looked likely to relinquish the lead, but we suffered a blow when Kwasinkosi Mpofu went down in a challenge. It was on the far side of the pitch, right in front of the coaches and subs, so was difficult to determine too much, but Mpofu didn’t move before he was stretchered off, forcing a reshuffle with Kian Yari coming on in his place, Barnett going to left back.

The second half was scrappy and niggly at times. Sheffield United did hit the bar with one fortuitous effort but generally didn’t look too likely to get back in the game but for much of the half we didn’t really look any more likely to add to our lead.

But eventually we ran down the clock very well and dominated the last ten minutes or so before the referee finally blew the final whistle to signal this important win that will certainly do much to lift the confidence.

Burnley win with a Meredith goal – that’s a headline that has a familiar ring to it.

The team was: Adam Bruce, Jordan Cropper, Trialist, Scott Wilson (Bobby Thomas ht), Kwasinkosi Mpofu (Kian Yari 39), Tristan Jumeau, Ethan Kershaw, Dan Moss, Dylon Meredith (Jayden Major 70), Jordan Barnett, Trialist. Subs not used: Kai Calderbank-Park, George.

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