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A 64th minute goal from Dwight McNeil proved to be the difference between the two sides tonight as Burnley beat Leeds United 1-0 in the Professional Development League in what was our first game at Curzon Ashton’s Tameside Stadium.

And it was a deserved victory in the end after a second half performance that was much improved on the first 45 minutes when we might have fallen behind had Leeds taken their chances.

1718 burnley dwight mcneil 00 500x500One chance apart, we didn’t offer too much in the first half. That chance came when Jamie Thomas fired just wide after a ball in from Olatunde Bayode and while Leeds were hardly setting the place on fire, they certainly should have scored from one of their efforts when Eoghan Stokes blazed over the bar as he got on to a brilliant ball in from the right.

The same player failed with another couple of half chances but that was about it for the first 45 minutes during which neither goalkeeper was really tested.

However, things changed after the break with Michael Duff having made a couple of changes. He explained: “We struggled to get a press on them so we changed the formation to try and get a few more bodies in the middle and with the pace we’ve got at the top end of the pitch we looked like hurting them on the counter.”

That we certainly did, with Khius Metz down the middle, Bayode on the right and substitute Nashé Chakwana down the left, and we began to look the more likely side and had already had a couple of close efforts when we took the lead with the only goal of the game.

McNeil (pictured), who had moved into a more central position after the reshuffle, got into the box. It looked as though the chance had gone but the ball hit a defender and dropped nicely for McNeil who made no mistake.

Leeds worked hard to try and get back into the game but Burnley defended well necessary and we always looked likely on the counter and perhaps should have ensured victory with a couple of really good opportunities that we spurned.

But in the end we were worthy winners, making it successive victories for Duff’s team having won at Newcastle last Friday in the Premier League Cup. The only downside was picking up four yellow cards from over enthusiastic referee Alex Kirkly.

The teams were;

Burnley: Anders Lindegaard, Arlen Birch, Harry Flowers, Oliver Younger, Ali Koiki, Olatunde Bayode, Mark Howarth, Christian N’Guessan (Rahis Nabi ht), Dwight McNeil, Jamie Thomas (Nashé Chakwana ht), Khius Metz. Subs not used: Aidan Stone, James Clarke, Tommy Wood.

Leeds: Will Huffer, Paul McKay (Kun Temenuzhkov 81), Paudie O’Connor, Liam Kitching, Bryce Hosannah, James Shackleton, Oriol Rey, Alex Machuca (Ousama Siddiki 86), Madger Gomes, Jack McKay, Eoghan Stokes (Tom Pearce 76). Subs not used: Kamil Miazek, Hugo Rodriguez.

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