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After suffering a first league defeat of the season last Tuesday, the under-23s got back to what they do best this season by winning and completing a double over Sheffield United with a 2-0 win at Curzon Ashton.

The win keeps us in second place in the table and it was a fully deserved victory against a Sheffield United side who hardly threatened to become the first away team to beat us this season.

On a cold afternoon in Tameside, the first half did little to enthuse although we were, throughout, the better team and the one goal came on twenty minutes after Josh Benson played the ball to Ne-Jai Tucker who was playing on the left. Twice he almost got into position to find a shot but he twice had to manoeuvre the ball away and finally got his chance. When he did from the left hand side, the goalkeeper was just able to get a touch but only to the oncoming Rob Harker who finished from close range.

Without really threatening again in the first half, we got to half time with the lead intact and goalkeeper Lukas Jensen not having had much to do. although he did make one save in the second half on what was a rare move forward from the Blades.

But on 66 minutes the result was all but decided. Sheffield United had started to give away too many needless free kicks. This time Ali Koiki’s dead ball into the box found Bobby Thomas who headed it back across, over the goalkeeper and into the far corner.

Jensen was called into action again but Andy Farrell took the opportunity to introduce recent signing Max Thompson who came on for goalscorer Harker with 12 minutes remaining, just as the game was getting more feisty with a couple of brawls bringing things to a halt.

He went straight up front but five minutes later found himself at right back after Oliver Younger was dismisses for preventing a goal scoring opportunity. The player looked amazed and I did think it might have been a bit harsh. There were just over seven minutes left and the referee added another four but we didn’t ever look as though we might lose the lead and had there been another goal it would have been us to score it as we remained on top.

The second half had been a much better affair and we’d also had the opportunity to take a closer look at trialist Henri Ogunby who played right in front of us on the right.

The teams were;

Burnley: Lukas Jensen, Oliver Younger, Bobby Thomas, Jimmy Dunne, Ali Koiki, Henri Ogunby, Mace Goodridge, josh Benson, Ne-Jai Tucker, Rob Harker (Max Thompson 78), Joel Mumbongo (Will Harris ht). Subs not used: George McMahon, Joel Senior, Corey Brennan.

Sheffield United: Jordan Amissah, Noah van Geenan, Karmarl Grant, Ashton Hall, Reece York, George Broadbent, Jordan Doherty, Harrison Foulstone, Illiman Ndiaye (Oliver Greaves 67), David Parkhouse (Sammy Ompreon 77), Callum Gribbin (Jake Young 57). Subs not used: Sam Kelly, Ta’Shae Andall-Gibbons.

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