A superb Turf Moor afternoon for the under-21s
Burnley’s Professional Development League game against Queens Park Rangers this afternoon was moved from Leyland to the Turf and our young players turned in an outstanding performance against a team who had four wins from four at kick off.
Ahead of the game, we were chatting about previous games we’ve played on our home ground in this league and in Premier League 2 and remarking how, so often, we never seem to play as well as we do at whichever out grounds we use.
That was not the case today and I think this was as good a performance as I’ve seen at this level for quite some time. We fully deserved our 3-0 win with striker Joe Westley taking the honours with a hat trick.
The team showed just one change from that which had won 4-1 at Colchester in the previous game with new signing Logan Pye making his third appearance, although the first in his own name, since signing from Manchester United. He came in for Brad Grant with Joe Ashton moving over to the left-back position.
Burnley always looked the better team and came close to scoring an early goal only to be denied by the alert goalkeeping of Matteo Salamon, but there was nothing he could do when we did score around three minutes before half time when Westley latched onto an Alex Healy-Byrne ball in from the right to tuck home.
If we played well in the first half, then we stepped it up even more after the break. With Lewis Richardson constantly standing out, it was probably a surprise that goal number two didn’t come until less than twenty minutes from the end.
Richardson found Basilio Rieno Socoliche out wide with a terrific ball and the latter’s cross was turned in by Westley and with that goal we felt we surely had the game wrapped up.
Soon afterwards, QPR went down to ten and I think this will be as easy a decision that any referee can be asked to give. QPR substitute Hamzad Kargbo took a kick at Socoliche on the touchline; it really was dreadful. Referee Oliver Noonan didn’t hesitate and out came the red card.
We just needed another goal to make the afternoon complete and what a goal it was, again coming from a right wing cross, this time from Richardson with Westley completing his hat trick with a superb diving header.
Westley will rightly take the plaudits but this had been an outstanding team performance from the Clarets.
The teams were;
Burnley: Charlie Casper, Alex Healy-Byrne, Logan Pye (Tom Tweedy 56), Dan Sassi, Joe Ashton, Basilio Rieno Socoliche (Marley Leuluai 83), Will Hugill, Jez Davies, Kian Le Fondre (Vernon Masara 72). Subs not used: Sam Waller, Callum West.
QPR: Matteo Salamon, Harry Murphy, Casey Shann, Samuel Sackey, Henry Hawkins, Jaden Ogwuazor, Bryan Ifeanyi (Alfie Tuck 63), Rafferty Pedder, Alfie Lloyd (Hamzad Kargbo 60), Steven Bala, Kieran Petrie. Sub not used: Harry Cant.Follow UpTheClarets:
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