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On a horrible night at Leyland, weather wise, the youth team warmed us up with an excellent performance in such difficult conditions to beat Luton Town 3-0 in the third round of the FA Youth Cup and give us a fourth round tie at either Liverpool or Fleetwood.

This was very much a new look Burnley side for me. The last time I saw us play an under-18 league game was back in February 2020. Will Hugill and George Walters were the only two of the team that day who were playing tonight. I was seeing so many of these players for the first time and I have to say I was impressed.

We were the better side throughout but could have gone behind when Luton’s Ed McJannet hit a long range shot against Sam Waller’s bar but it was soon after that we took the lead and it was no surprise that it came via a pinpoint corner from the impressive Dane McCullough. His right wing flag kick eventually found defender Jack Leckie. His header back across was met by Hugill who headed home from close range.

It looked as though we would go in at half time with a one goal lead but we doubled our advantage in stoppage time. Sean Etaluku (pictured) was impressing the crowd with his pace and he got down the right, came inside and saw Jacob Cowler save his shot. But the ball came out and Walters did so well to turn and fire home.

Luton were facing a big task in the second half and with the wind now in their favour they opted to play the ball long and quickly. We might have had a couple of nervy moments and an early second half goal for the visitors might have made it tricky, but we were soon back in the ascendancy and wrapped things up with a third.

Etaluku was again involved with a ball in from the right which Luton’s Adam Wedd deflected into his own goal.

The game was over as a contest but there was a dramatic end when McCullough clashed into the hoardings close to the end. Medical staff rushed to his aid along with coach Tony Philliskirk but, thankfully, the youngster from Portadown was able to get up and finish the game.

We now await the winners of Liverpool v Fleetwood this Saturday to learn our fourth round opponents but this had been an excellent team performance on such a horrible night.

The teams were;

Burnley: Sam Waller, Keelan Williams, Jack Leckie, Dan Sassi, Dane McCullough, Sean Etaluku, Joe Bauress, Will Hugill, Kade Ratchford (Will Couch 74), George Walters (Trevon Bryan 77). Subs not used: Charlie Casper, Nathan James, Joe Westley, Ruairi Behan, Bradley Grant.

Luton: Jacob Cowler, Jacob Pinnington (Joshua Odell 77), Jack Bateson, Adam Wedd, Archie Heron, Eddie Corbit, Jake Burger, Tyrelle Newton, Ed McJannet, Oliver Lynch (Millar Matthews-Lewis 65), Josh Allen. Subs not used: Sam Bentley, Zack Nelson, Darcy Moffat, Rio Martucci, Oliver Hemlin.

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