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The news that the under-23s have drawn this afternoon against Sheffield Wednesday at Curzon Ashton shouldn’t really come as any surprise, nor should it that the final score was 1-1.

We’ve now played 14 league and cup games and we’ve drawn ten of them with seven of those ten ending in a 1-1 scoreline. Today’s result means four of our last five games have ended with that final score.

Mace Goodridge enjoyed his first start in over a year following injury
Mace Goodridge enjoyed his first start in over a year following injury

Today’s game saw us make wholesale changes from the team that had played at Leeds seven days ago. Lukas Jensen, Christian N’Guessan, Adam Phillips and Lewis Richardson were all missing while the other two, Ryan Cooney and Ne-Jai Tucker were on the bench with the latter coming on during the second half. Much of that is probably down to the fact that we are involved in the Premier League Cup against Crystal Palace this Thursday.

That meant an opportunity for such as George McMahon, Jordan Cropper, Mace Goodridge, Tunde Bayode and Joel Mumbongo to stake a claim for a more regular place in the team and it also saw a return from injury for central defender Oliver Younger.

The Sheffield Wednesday side had a bit more experience than ours with Tom Lees, once a target for us, and Jordan Rhodes, often a target for our fans, both starting and it was Rhodes who was prominent early in the game when he twice appeared to elbow Burnley players. The assistant waved frantically after the second but the referee considered it only worthy of a quiet work despite the fact that Scott Wilson will be needing an early visit to see his dentist.

There’s no doubt that for much of the first half, it was Wednesday who looked the more likely and they eventually went in front ten minutes from half time with the inevitable Rhodes goal. Just a few minutes before, they thought they’d gone in front only for us to clear off the line but when they got clear down the left, the low cross was met by Rhodes who had the easiest of finishes.

Thankfully we were level within eight minutes as Bayode, who did himself no harm with this performance, created two gilt edged chances. Rob Harker failed to score with the first but there was no denying leading scorer Ali Koiki with the second as he got onto a low Bayode cross at the far post to hit home.

We should have gone in front early in the second half and it was Bayode again who set up the chance for Harker with the striker failing to find the target from his early ball into the near post, but we had a really strong period in the second half with Goodridge, who was starting for the first time in over a year, very prominent as he looks to get back to the sort of form which impressed in the early part of last season prior to his cruciate ligament injury.

The young team became even younger when youth team players Joe McGlynn and then Tucker came on but we just couldn’t conjure up a winner and so, once again, the game ended in a 1-1 draw.

The teams were;

Burnley: George McMahon, Jordan Cropper, Oliver Younger, Scott Wilson, Anthony Glennon (Ne-Jai Tucker 60), Tunde Bayode, Mace Goodridge, Josh Benson, Ali Koiki, Rob Harker (Joe McGlynn 54), Joel Mumbongo. Subs not used: Lukas Jensen, Ryan Cooney, Ben Woods.

Sheffield Wednesday: Josh Render, Ash Baker (Ben Hughes ht), Tom Lees (Jack lee 63), Jordan Thorniley, Osaze Uroghide, Jordan O’Brien (Fraser Preston 49), Liam Waldock, Alex Hunt, Conor Grant, Jordan Rhodes, Liam Shaw. Subs not used: Luke Jackson, Preslav Borukov.

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