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Two goals in the first 14 minutes were enough to give the under-23s all three points with a 2-0 win at a blustery Gawthorpe this afternoon.

1819 burnley tinashe chakwana 00 500x500Tinashe Chakwana opened the scoring after five minutes and nine minutes later it was a first goal for under-16 player Lewis Richardson in the Professional Development League on an afternoon that hardly reached the heights in the difficult conditions.

It really was a mixed bag of a line up. First team squad members Nick Pope and Kevin Long both played to add some experience alongside a young team featuring the young goalscorer. There was also a return to action for central defender Oliver Younger who has been out some weeks with injury.

Chakwana (pictured) turned in a low cross from the right while Richardson set himself up with an excellent first touch to finish comfortably, and it looked as though there were more goals to come; Chakwana smashing one effort against the bar and Richardson coming close to a second.

It remained 2-0 at half time but the second half never really threatened to offer any further goals. Watford enjoyed a short period on top without ever really threatening and when we did assume control again the final ball was never able to give us any further opportunities.

The performance didn’t altogether please coach Steve Stone. He said afterwards: “I tried to open up the team a bit and asked them to go and play, and I thought at times we struggled with it. As a coach you’re always looking to see how you can set your team up and some of the players showed today that moving the ball quickly and playing two-touch was a problem for them and they have to get better than that.

“We know they can fight and scrap, but the next level up you have to be able to handle the ball in tight spaces and some of them struggled today. The tight areas are difficult to play in and the good players can do it. We got better towards the end, but the game had died a bit by then and I’m looking for my players to do it in the first 45 minutes when it’s tight and everyone’s got real energy.”

We are still awaiting a date for the Premier League Cup against Leicester and that’s likely to be before the next league game which is two weeks today against Bristol City at Ashton Gate.

Today’s teams were;

Burnley: Nick Pope, Jordan Cropper, Kevin Long, Oliver Younger (Bobby Thomas 60), Anthony Glennon, Tunde Bayode, Christian N’Guessan, Mark Howarth, Tinashe Chakwana, Lewis Richardson (Will Harris 75), Dan Agyei (Rob Harker 65). Subs not  used: Aidan Stone, Scott Wilson.

Watford: Adam Parkes, Alkeo Bani, Tom Leighton (Ryan Maclean ht), Emmanuel Adebiyi (Trialist 65), Trialist, Joy Mukena, Trialist (Jayden Bennetts 70), Trialist, Ryan Cassidy, Trialist, Trialist. Subs not used: James Hoskins, Imaad Sankoh.

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