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U23s Report: Burnley 1 The Tigers 2

U23s Report: Burnley 1 The Tigers 2

Two second-half headers from Tom Powell saw the Under-23s register a 2-1 victory against Burnley at Curzon Ashton’s Tameside Stadium on Thursday night.

Moses Odubajo made his long-awaited return from the knee injury that he suffered in a pre-season fixture at Grimsby in July 2016. Only Josh Clackstone, Dan Batty, Adam Curry and Greg Luer remained in the starting eleven from the defeat to Leeds five days earlier. Robbie McKenzie was also due to start for City but picked up an injury before the game and so Lewis Ritson came into the centre of the Tigers’ defence.

It was a quiet start to the game until Callum Burton made a good save to tip Dwight McNeil’s left-foot strike onto the post and behind for a corner.

Burton produced another good save when Ntumba Massanka created a shooting opportunity for himself but the City keeper pushed his effort away for a corner.

The Tigers' shot-stopper was by far the busier of the two keepers as he kept out a Massanka header from a corner and then held Stephen Duke McKenna’s shot from outside the box.

Olly Younger could have given the Clarets the lead when he met a free-kick from the left but he failed to get his header on target, before Massanka headed a McNeil cross against the bar but the offside flag would have ruled the goal out if it had have found the back of the net anyway.

The Tigers finally threatened the Burnley goal towards the end of the half but Luer and Powell both saw shots blocked before Clarets keeper Conor Mitchell was forced into his first save of the game to gather Billy Chadwick’s shot from outside the box.

Odubajo successfully completed his first 45 minutes of football for more than a year and a half and was replaced during the break by James Yates.

The Tigers were ahead within nine minutes of the re-start when Powell headed in from a Batty corner and they could have doubled their lead just a couple of minutes later when Luer got on the end of Batty’s cross but his effort was pushed away by Mitchell.

Burton had to be alert to keep out a left foot strike from substitute Tinashe Chakwana whilst at the other end, Mitchell was called upon to save to Batty's low, curling effort following a well-worked short corner routine. 

However, Burnley drew level on 62 minutes when Josh Benson’s low cross left Massanka with a simple tap-in from a couple of yards.

The hosts came then came within inches of taking the lead moments later when McNeil flashed a shot narrowly wide and then saw another effort kept out by a combination of Burton and the post.

But, Beale's recovered well to retake the lead on 68 minutes when  Batty’s cross from the right was flicked on and Mitchell couldn’t prevent Powell’s header from finding the back of the net.

A couple of Chakwana crosses caused problems for the City defence as Michael Duff's Burnley went in search of another equaliser but they held firm and the lead could have been increased when Powell was sent clear but Mitchell produced a decent stop to deny the striker his hat-trick.

Burnley: Conor Mitchell, James Clarke, Ali Koiki, Christian N’Guessan, Jake Barrett, Olly Younger, Tunde Bayode (Tinashe Chakwana 53), Josh Benson (Harvey Whyte 80), Ntumba Massanka, Dwight McNeil, Stephen Duke McKenna (Moise Kroma 81).
Subs Not Used: Aidan Stone, Scott Wilson.

Hull City: Callum Burton, Moses Odubajo (James Yates 46), Josh Clackstone, Dan Batty, Lewis Ritson, Adam Curry, Greg Luer (Elliot Holmes 83), Max Sheaf (Greg Olley 67), Tom Powell, Billy Chadwick, Liam Edwards.
Sub Not Used: Jonathan Saltmer, Robbie McKenzie.