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michael duff 300x400Trialist Ed Cook, playing in the centre of defence alongside latest professional recruit Oliver Younger, scored the only goal of the game this afternoon against Crewe Alexandra in the Professional Development League with the 1-0 win taking us to within one point of Barnsley.

The only goal came in the 41st minute. We won a free kick some 25-yards from goal that was taken by Dwight McNeil took. His effort was saved by William Jaaskelainen but Cook was on hand to fire home high into the net.

It hadn’t been the best of first halves with chances at a premium and prior to this a shot straight at the goalkeeper from Jon Walters had been the only effort on target.

Against a young, but experienced Crewe team in terms of first team football, it certainly improved in the second half. Until the closing stages we kept Crewe at bay, other than one effort which saw them hit the woodwork before the follow up was blocked, but we had chances of our own to extend the lead. Substitute Tinashe Chakwana, Brad Jackson and McNeil all came close but when the chances weren’t taken it left the door open for Crewe to come back.

They might have done too but for one outstanding save from Conor Mitchell who, that apart, had been largely redundant, particularly in the second half.

That’s four wins from the last seven games to pull ourselves ever closer to the teams just above us and we’ve still five games to play although four of them are away from home. That starts at Colchester in three days time where, I’m sure, we’ll be looking to avenge the defeat that led to our exit from the Premier League Cup.

Michael Duff said of today’s game: “We had a real mixed bag today. We had an international with fifty caps, two trialists and a couple of younger ones and a couple of older ones in the group, so the structure of the team probably wasn’t quite as organised as we have been.

“But it’s always nice to win and keep a clean sheet, which we haven’t done a lot of, and I thought we saw the game out quite well.”

The teams were;

Burnley: Conor Mitchell, Arlen Birch, Ed Cook, Oliver Younger, Ali Koiki, Tunde Bayode (Tinashe Chakwana ht), Christian N’Guessan, Dwight McNeil, Brad Jackson, Alan Fleming (Mace Goodridge 56), Jon Walters. Subs not used: Aidan Stone, Teddy Perkins, Ntumba Massanka.

Crewe: William Jaaskelainen, Travis Johnson, Rio Adebisi, Regan Griffiths, Joshua Lundstram, Brad Walker, Tom Lowery (Connor Heath 74), Oliver Finney, Lewis Reilly, Luke Walsh, Alex Hurst. Subs not used: William Appleyard, Billy Sass-Davies, Luke Barlow, Challis Johnson.

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