Burnley Development Squad Reach League Cup Final
Burnley Development Squad are through to the Final Third Development League Cup Final, following a fine 2-0 victory over Middlesbrough. The Clarets, who defeated Bradford and Morecambe in earlier rounds, will now face Stoke City in the Final.
First team squad member Daniel Lafferty played the duration, while Chris Long played 70 minutes in his comeback from a hamstring injury.
It was almost a nightmare start for the youngsters, against last season’s U21 Premier League second division champions, when Boro were through on goal in the opening minute.
A misjudged back played-in the Reds’ forward, however a brilliant recovery save from Conor Mitchell kept the game level in howling conditions.
The wind was certainly against the Clarets in the first half, but they took full advantage of having it in their favour after the break, taking the lead moments before the hour mark.
Massanka was brought down at the edge of the box, and winger Green converted the 20-yard free-kick with a slice of luck following a deflection.
And a minute later the Clarets doubled their advantage to seal their place in the final.
Captain Aiden O’Neill superbly found Massanka at the edge of the box, and the forward’s perfect first touch teed himself up to slot neatly into the bottom left corner
Development Squad manager Jolley said, “I’m really pleased with the win and the performance and it showed what we are about as a football club. We try to emulate the first team and our shape and work rate was second to none and we defended for our lives in the first half to give us a chance with the wind in the second.
Middlesbrough are a Category One club, who have some great players who have been out on loan and played for their countries already, so for our lads to come here and beat them says a little bit about how we are progressing.
You want to win any final and Stoke, again a Category One side, are another tough opponent, but it’s great for us to end the season with a final. It’s been a long hard season and a lot of players have gone out on loan and I think we have made real progress at development level and we will do everything we can now to win it.”
Burnley – Mitchell, Birch, Olomowewe, Lafferty, Hill, Jackson, O’Neill, Trialist, Green, C.Long, Massanka (Subs) Metz, Gilchrist, Chakwana
Goals – (Burnley) Green, Massanka