Date: 6th March 2014 at 11:49am
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Burnley are through to the semi-finals of the Under 21s Premier League Cup after defeating Exeter City 3-2 following extra time at St James Park on Tuesday night. This was the first game in charge for Andy Farrell who was appointed as Burnley`s development squad manager for the rest of the season only on Monday. Farrell had been working as the Clarets` assistant youth team coach with Academy manager Jason Blake filling the development squad manager role on a temporary basis following the departure of Simon Weatherstone to Bournemouth in January. Well that was certainly a baptism of fire being thrown in at the deep end just one night later in charge of the team for the crucial Premier League Cup Quarter Final at Exeter! Exeter may well be a struggling League 2 club but this was no easy game for the Clarets. A number of key players were missing with Cameron Howieson, Luke Conlan and Cameron Dummigan all away on international duty forcing Farrell into a number of team changes. Exeter are no mugs at this level either and they actually also named 10 players in their starting line-up with first team experience this season. The Grecians, a Category 3 Academy Side, were on a giant-killing run ahead of the Burnley clash having defeated Blackburn Rovers in the last 16 after previously disposing of Premier League, Crystal Palace and Southampton in earlier rounds. Burnley too though have had an impressive run in this inaugural competition this season defeating Wigan Athletic, Crewe Alexandra, Sunderland and Bolton Wanderers on the way to the quarter finals. The quarter final match on Tuesday night against Exeter was in fact a rearranged game with the original fixture having been postponed.

The match was watched by over 1,000 fans with the home contingent hoping to see their team continue their ‘giant-killing` run. Burnley midfielder, Archie Love though had other ideas and twice he gave the Clarets the lead in normal time only to see it evaporate both times. Love struck first in the 23rd minute thumping the ball home into the far corner of the net after latching onto the ball from winger Micah Evans on the edge of the box to give the Clarets a 1-0 lead at half-time. Exeter came out strongly in the second half however and equlaised in the 79th minute through Jimmy Keohane. In the 87th minute though, Archie Love struck again. Love must have thought he had won it when his 25-yard hit flew through a crowd of players and slipped through the hands of goalkeeper Christy Pym into the back of the net with just three minutes left to play. Once again though, ‘The Grecians` came back, when Tom Nichols forced extra time with a 91st minute equaliser following his deflected drive. It was left to Nathan Lowe to seal it for the Clarets in extra time with a 25 yard shot that flew into the bottom corner of the net. The victory sees the Clarets now face Manchester City away in the semi-final. Arsenal v Reading will be the other semi-final.

Match Stats

Burnley: Nizic, Errington, Coleman, Anderson, Brownhill (Azam 85), Hewitt, Love, Frost (Lowe 75), Evans, Gallagher (Jackson 85), Gilchrist.

Subs: Jakovlevs, Azam, Lowe, Jackson, Massanka.

Goals: Love (23, 87), Lowe (first minute of extra time)

Booked: Evans (59) Nizic (75) Coleman (105) Azam (117)

Exeter: Pym, Bennett, Moore-Taylor, Dawson, Reid (Jay 96), Nichols, Gosling, Keohane, Tillson, Grimes, Wheeler.

Subs: Hamon, Wannell, Jagger Cane, Jay, Chamberlain.

Goals: Keohane 79,

Booked: Reid (94), Nichols (119)

Referee: Mr. D. Eaton.

Att: 1,207

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