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A Joe Westley goal close to the end of the first half was enough to give Burnley a 1-0 win this afternoon against Wigan Athletic in the Professional Development League.

It proved to be a difficult game at times, but with goalkeeper Denis Franchi (pictured) in outstanding form, we were able to keep a clean sheet which meant Westley’s stunning finished won us all three points.

Arriving in good time, we were faced with long, long queues at the ticket window making us wonder whether we’d actually get in before the start. Fear not, we should have known better in Wigan; the queues were for Rugby League Challenge Cup tickets and to attend our game it was just a matter of walking through an open gate and into the stand.

Wigan were much the better side in the opening quarter of an hour and twice Franchi made good saves to keep the score level. But as the half progressed, we did come more into it and with just over a minute to go before the end of the forty-five minutes, we got ourselves in front. Logan Pye played the ball forward for Westley who took the ball down on his chest before hammering home with a sensational left foot shot.

In front at half time but the second half proved difficult for us. At times it was almost one way traffic but they found Franchi virtually impossible to beat other than early in the half when we escaped from a Wigan corner from which they hit the bar.

More than once during a second half that proved difficult, Franchi came to our rescue and we remained in front going into stoppage time. In the third of eight minutes added on, he made another superb save. It looked as if he might have to come on with substitute goalkeeper Harry Moss preparing to come on, but he was able to stay on; his performance above anything was why we won this game.

The ticket queue for the rugby was still lengthy as we left; that sport must be as popular there as pies and Uncle Joe’s Mint Balls.

The teams were;

Wigan: Tom Watson, Jack Reilly, Steven Sessegnon (Ewan Hampson ht), Harry McHugh, Ethan Mitchell, Kai Payne, Youssef Chentouf, Joe Adams (Abdi Sharif 78), Josh Stones, Chris Sze, Jonny Smith. Subs not used: Matt Corran, Nathan Sandison, Trialist.

Burnley: Denis Franchi, Alex Healy-Byrne, Dan Sassi (Murray Campbell 67), Logan Pye, Joe Ashton, Will Hugill, Jez Davies, Basilio Rieno Socoliche, Lewis Richardson (Kian Le Fondre 83), Tom Tweedy, Joe Westley. Subs not used: Harry Moss, Callum West, Lucas Wane.

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