Leeds United U23 2 v 2 Burnley U23 (U23 Professional Development League)
Burnley arrived at a very wet and windy Elland road for the first of three games against Yorkshire rivals, Leeds United fielded a very experienced side against the young Clarets which included Kemar Roofe, Lewis Baker, Gaetano Berardi and Adam Forshaw as Leeds United first team manager Marcelo Bielsa watched from the stands.
Leeds United had the first real effort on goal after eighteen minutes, as Gaetano Berardi fired an effort from range just over the Clarets crossbar on eighteen minutes. Before the home side created another fine opportunity minutes later as Baker fizzed in a cross, but Roofe flicked his header wide of the target.
On twenty-two minutes, the home side went close to taking the lead as Adam Forshaw curled an effort just wide of the Clarets far post with goalkeeper Bruce beaten, following some excellent link play with Gaetano Berardi.
The visitors then created their first real chance of the game when Ali Koki played a long ball into Tinashe Chakwana, but he was beaten to the ball by Whites goalkeeper Jamal Blackman on twenty-seven minutes.
Leeds United took the lead on twenty-eight minutes, when Gaetano Berardi met a Lewis Baker corner at the edge of the six yard box. His glancing header taking a deflection of a Clarets defender on the way into the net.
The trio of Baker, Roofe and Beradi were proving to be too much for the young Clarets and they nearly had their second on 32 minutes as a low Roofe cut-back was nearly turned into his own net by Anthony Glennon.
It was wave after wave of Leeds attacks and Adam Bruce in the Burnley goal came to his side’s rescue on forty-one minutes as he made a superb reaction save with his legs when Beradi crossed for Baker before his effort from point blank range was well-kept out.
Jon Pepper’s side created their best chance of the half on the stroke of half-time when Daniel Agyei beat Hugo Diaz before firing his effort just wide of the target with Blackman well beaten to leave the half-time score 1-0.
Burnley were then denied an equaliser on 55 minutes thanks to an outstanding save from Blackman as Tunde Bayode played in Chakwana, but his strike from close range was well tipped over by the home keeper.
Leeds United extended their lead on fifty-seven minutes when Jamie Shackleton picked out Roofe unmarked in the area before he fired a powerful shot low into the net beyond the outstretched Bruce to make it 2-0.
The Clarets got themselves back into the game on sixty-six minutes, as Mace Goodridge picked out Dwight McNeil who spent some time training with the England U20 squad this week, before he drove forward and lashed his strike beyond the reach of Blackman to make the score 2-1.
From the restart Leeds could have immediately regained their two goal advantage as Roofe cut through the Burnley defence before squaring the ball to Sam Dalby but his effort was superbly blocked by the feet of the impressive Bruce.
However Burnley showed immense character to equalise on seventy-two minutes as the Clarets broke free with McNeil before he was well tackled by Shackleton. The resulting corner was met perfectly by Oliver Younger and he thumped a header passed Blackman into the net to make it 2-2.
It was the home side who had the final chance of the game as Jack Clarke, who made his first team debut against Brentford last Saturday, was played in but he fired his effort over the crossbar from close range.
The young Clarets showed their resilience coming from two goals down against a very experienced Leeds United side that featured a number of first team players coming back from injury. Jon Pepper’s side will be at the Tameside Stadium next monday when they face Sheffield United.
Leeds United – Blackman, Shackleton, Berardi, Shaughnessy, Struijk, Diaz (c), Roofe, Forshaw, Dalby, Baker, Clarke (Subs) Miazek, Davis, Nicell, Gotts, Stevens
Burnley – Bruce, Cropper, Younger, Glennon, Koiki, Bayode, Howarth, Goodridge, McNeil, Chakwana, Agyei (Subs) McMahon, Cook, Blair, Harker, Benson.
Goals – (Leeds) Berardi (28), Roofe (57) (Burnley) McNeil (69), Younger (72)