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Burnley’s under-23 team fell to another defeat yesterday afternoon in the Professional Development League, going down to a 3-0 defeat at Huddersfield, but the positive news was the return of Stephen Ward from injury.

1718 burnley stephen ward 00 500x500The goals all came in the last half hour of the game, this after we’d been the better side for the first hour during which time we failed to convert a penalty, hit the woodwork direct from a corner and also saw another effort cleared off the line.

The deadlock was broken by Huddersfield’s big January signing Alex Pritchard who converted a penalty, which was given for a foul outside the box, and two minutes later we were 2-0 down with a goal from Dom Tear. Huddersfield completed the scoring nine minutes from the end with a goal scored by Rekeil Pyke.

Coach Michael Duff said after the game: “It was a strange game. For an hour we were good and should have been comfortably winning the game, but it’s a less they’ve got to learn. You’ve got to be ruthless.

“I think we should have been at least 2-0 up in the first half. The start of the second half was even stevens and then a dubious penalty, which was probably outside the box. I was happy for an hour and then the reaction and the way some of the lads sort of crumbled a little bit was disappointing.”

Back in mid-December, Ward was forced off in the 1-0 win against Stoke with an injury that’s kept him out of the side since. Yesterday, he played the first 72 minutes and said: “It felt really good. It’s just important to get back on the pitch and get used to playing.

“It’s nice to be feeling good and strong and to get a few minutes out there. It’s not really in my hands but I’m feeling good and ready to go. I’m feeling a lot sharper, so we’ll see what happens. We’ve had a great season and the more bodies we can have back now, hopefully that will help us have a strong finish.”

As for the under-23s, the team is back in action this Friday evening with the Premier League Cup clash at Colchester.

The teams were;

Huddersfield: Ryan Schofield, Mason O’Malley, Romoney Crichlow-Noble, Rarmani Edmonds-Green, Jordan Williams, Matty Daly, Regan Booty, Dom Tear (Scott High 87), Alex Pritchard (Luca Colville 73), Lewis O’Brien, Rekeil Pyke (Micah Obiero 85). Subs not used: Luke Mewitt, Isaac Marriott.

Burnley: Conor Mitchell, Arlen Birch, James Clarke, Scott Wilson, Stephen Ward, Tunde Bayode (Jamie Thomas 20, Tommy Wood 74), Rahis Nabi, Christian N’Guessan, Brad Jackson, Dwight McNeil, Ntumba Massanka. Subs not used: Connor King, Oliver Younger.

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