For the second year running, Burnley proved to be difficult Youth Cup opponents for the Reds. Thankfully, United defended with far greater discipline than last season and went through thanks to moments of brilliance from Andreas Pereira and James Wilson.
The home team dominated the early proceedings and carved out the first clear-cut chance after just five minutes, when Daly’s shot was cleared off the line by Harrop. Gradually, United’s midfield began to secure more possession as the first half went on. Despite this, it was Metz who had the best chance for Burnley just before half-time after an inadvertent block by the ref allowed his side to gain possession.
After half time, Joel Pereira was forced to save with his legs as Burnley once again found their way into the United area. At the other end, Wilson was beginning to see more of the ball and shot just wide of the near post when put clear by a long pass from Pereira. Burnley passed up an excellent chance when Frost sliced his shot wide after fine work by Hill to set him up from the right. They still looked the more likely to score and when United took the lead it came completely out of the blue, Pereira striking a dipping shot from twenty yards and giving Mitchell in the Burnley goal no chance.
In many ways, the second goal was even better, a fine solo effort from James Wilson who placed the ball passed the keeper after bursting through the opposition defence from the half-way line.
United were forced to defend in numbers for much of the rest of the game. Burnley were screaming for a foul when Evans dispossessed Frost, who was through on goal on the edge of the area. It looked a close call, but the ref waved their appeals away. Shortly afterwards, Hill again caused problems on the right but the United defence managed to scramble the ball out of play. Three minutes from time, Joel Pereira needed to be quick off his line to deny Frost again and did well to save from Jackson in stoppage time.
There was no question that, on the night, Burnley had the better of the possession and the chances, and they’ll feel they ought to have had something from the game. That they didn’t was due to defensive resilience and two moments of real quality from the Reds, who will now face a trip to either Leicester or Rotherham in the next round in January.
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