Clarets U18’s Out of FA Youth Cup Despite Battling Performance
Tony Philliskirk’s U18s suffered heartbreak in the Fourth Round of the FA Youth Cup, exiting the competition after a 1-0 defeat against West Ham at the County Ground in Leyland with the only goal of the game coming in the 89th minute. George Earthy was the goalscorer for the Hammers, who are the most in-form team at U18 level in the country, winning all bar one of their games in all competitions in a run stretching back to April 22.
There were two changes for the Young Clarets from their last outing, a 1-0 win over Hull City in the league back on 7th January. Full-back Tosin Olopade and midfielder Joe Bauress came into the starting 11, replacing Oliver Sweeney and Lucas Wane respectively who were both named amongst the substitutes in Leyland.
After an opening ten minutes where chances were few and far between, the Hammers carved out the first real opportunity when Lewis Orford found himself one-on-one with Burnley goalkeeper Charlie Casper, who pulled off the first of many impressive saves throughout the evening.
Casper saved smartly again moments later before Wiktor Gromek’s improvised back heel was blocked and cleared away by the visitors from a corner. Kevin Keen’s visitors then continued to pile on the pressure, another top save from Casper keeping out a header before multiple rebounds were blocked away.
Three quickfire chances for Joe Westley followed for the Young Clarets, the best of which a volley at the back post which was palmed away by West Ham ‘keeper Mason Terry. Joe Bauress’ in-swinging corner was also palmed away by Terry underneath his crossbar before Casper was called into action at the other end, this time denying Earthy, blocking with his feet. Earthy went close once more, rounding Casper, but Joe Ashton was on hand to clear off the line in what proved to be the final chance of an action packed first half.
The Hammers started the second 45 the better and had a big chance to take the lead as forward Callum Marshall found himself through on goal, but Casper saved again at point-blank range. More resolute defending from Burnley denied the visitors soon after as Casper kept out a header from captain Gideon Kodua, with the rebound blocked and the Burnley ‘keeper also keeping out the third effort of the sequence.
The Young Clarets were inches away from scoring first themselves when a corner was whipped towards the near post before a scramble began, with Westley and Ryan Tioffo both seeing shots blocked. Casper then came up with another huge stop to deny Earthy from close range, before Tioffo curled an effort just over the bar following good work on the left.
But with the game heading for extra-time, heartbreak hit the Young Clarets when Joe Ashton fell to the floor in need of treatment, but the referee allowed play to continue and the visitors netted the winner from a five-on-one situation as Earthy found the back of the net, to leave the full-time score 0-1.
The youth team will now be back in action this Saturday – 28th January – when they travel to Coventry City in U18 Professional Development League action.
Burnley – Casper, Olopade, James, Ashton, Grant, Bauress, Deane, West, Gromek, Westley, Tioffo (Subs) Rogers, Vaughan, Masara, Vilar Robinson, Sweeney, Bryan, Wane
West Ham – Terry, Tarima, Scarles, Orford, Falase, Casey, Kelly, Earthy, Marshall, Kodua, Clayton (Subs) Jones, Herrick, Rigge, Fawunmi, Briggs, Akpata, Umolu
Goals: – (West Ham United) Earthy (89)