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Burnley were held to a 1-1 draw by Birmingham City this afternoon at Gawthorpe in the U18 Professional Development League at Gawthorpe after coming from behind to earn the point with an equaliser right on half time.

It was never going to be a classic in horrendous conditions brought about by the strong winds but both sides did well with Birmingham probably having the advantage in the first half.

This was a much changed team from the one that had beaten West Brom in the FA Youth Cup. Tony Philliskirk made ten changes with only goalkeeper Harry Allen playing in both games. Alongside him, only Udoka Chima came from the second year scholars and the pair lined up alongside four first years and five under-16s making it a very young team indeed.

Birmingham seemed to believe that the best way to make use of the conditions was to fire in medium to long range shots. Allen (pictured) saved really well twice before, on twenty minutes, they went into the lead with a strike that flew into the top corner.

For much of the half, we struggled to sustain any sort of pressure but then, right on half time we drew level. We’d started to come into the game more and won a free kick on the right hand side. Michael Mellon headed the free kick against the bar and it came out invitingly for Chima to hammer home from close range.

Unfortunately, as conditions worsened, the second half was lacking in opportunities at both ends although it was Birmingham who came closest with Joel Connolly making a superb clearance off the line to keep us level.

It all ended 1-1 on a day when the weather and conditions were hardly suitable for good football.

The Burnley team was: Harry Allen, Joel Connolly, Matty Carson, Udoka Chima, Finlay Armstrong, Ruairi Behan (Jacob Hamilton 62), Corey Brennan, Will Hugill, George Walters (Trialist 74), Michael Mellon, Joe Smyth-Ferguson (Jackson Coppack 35). Subs not used: Sam Waller, Dylan Moonan.

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