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gawthorpe 1920 1000x500Our under-18s finally got the season up and running this afternoon with a 2-1 win of 2019/20 against Cardiff City to follow the defeats against Millwall and Bristol City.

It was my first visit to the training ground this season and it really couldn’t have been much better under the cloudless skies and very definitely nothing like the weather that greeted the first home game of the season two weeks ago as the rain poured down.

It was a first look at some of the new players too, and with four of the second year scholars moving out on loan yesterday it opened the way for some to get their first games of the season and the team included four first year scholars in defender Jake Rooney, midfielders Corey Brennan and Ben Woods and striker Joe McGlynn.

It all started well too. We put Cardiff under some early pressure which led to us winning a corner taken by Woods. HIs flag kick was met by Mitch George who directed his header over the keeper for our first league goal of the season and an 8th minute lead.

George’s fellow striker McGlynn then had the ball in the net only to see it rightly ruled out for offside by the assistant and from what we thought might be 2-0 suddenly became 1-1 with a Ne-Jai Tucker own goal. He was unlucky to get his name on the scoresheet but a Cardiff effort was clearly going well wide until it hit Tucker and left debutant goalkeeper Lewis Thomas helpless.

We’d probably had the edge in a first half that ended 1-1 but we stepped things up and for much of the second half were the better side. Both Cricky Conn-Clarke and Brennan hit the woodwork, Conn-Clarke hitting the post with a shot from outside the box and Brennan unlucky to head against the bar, but we did deservedly get the winning goal when McGlynn was able to turn a ball home on 63 minutes.

Cardiff didn’t really offer too much of a threat and we didn’t really look likely to lose the lead. It’s a boost to the young squad to get those first points and it was a boost for those of us watching who, for once, had superb weather conditions down at Gawthorpe.

The Burnley team was: Lewis Thomas, Kane Patterson, Jake Rooney, Edon Pruti, Matty Rain, Cricky Conn-Clarke (Joel Connolly 76), Corey Brennan, Ben Woods, Ne-Jai Tucker, Joe McGlynn, Mitch George (Dylan Moonan 90+2). Subs not used: Kai Calderbank-Park, Matthew Carson, Finlay Armstrong.

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