Date: 23rd April 2009 at 9:11am
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The Clarets Youth team were unable to bring any silverware to Turf Moor last night after being beaten 3-2 by Preston North End in the final of the Lancashire FA Youth Cup final at Deepdale.

The side contained the five players recently awarded a professional contract by Owen Coyle (see bold names in team below)as Burnley lined up for this game as follows:

Stef Ritchie; Dan Brown, Nik Kudiersky, Chris Lynch, Jake McEneaney, Dil Chaggar, Chris Anderson, Alex-Ray Harvey, Michael King, Wes Fletcher, Dominic Knowles.

Subs: Danny MacDonald, Oliver Devenney, Edward Williams, Ross Wilson,Liam Newman

The Clarets started the brighter of the two teams and the unmarked Kudiersky soon got in a shot in the box that was cleared. Our defence though then started to look a little shaky and Preston pounced after 13 minutes to put the Lilywhites 1-0 up. Dan Brown cleared the ball for a corner from which Proctor nearly scored but his shot was charged down. The Clarets just couldn`t seem to clear the lines and a headed clearance by Kudiersky fell neatly for Barton. The midfielder on the edge of the area got in a shot and the ball sailed into the bottom corner of the net.

Burnley came back strongly in an effort to get back on equal terms; a volley from Fletcher got a deflection with the ball wide of the angle before King got in a low shot that was blocked. Some nice work down the right led to an attempt by Chris Anderson but he could only drag his shot wide. Preston keeper, Cudworth got his legs to the ball to deny King on the edge of the box before our third chance of this period fell to Knowles after 30 minutes. However he could only head the ball wide from 18 yards out. He got in another powerful header a few minutes later after a cross by Chagger but the ball went over the bar.

The pressure from the Clarets though finally led to the equaliser with just nine minutes to go to the end of the first half; Knowles(pictured above) shooting into the bottom right corner of the net to make it 1-1 at half-time.

Preston though were soon back in front in the second half. Conor McLaughlin on a run down the right thumped the ball into the opposite corner of the net after 51 minutes and two minutes later it looked game over for the Clarets after Ryan McGreevy made it 3-1.

The Clarets though were not done yet and were determined to try and get back into the game. Fletcher hit the side netting after being put clear by Chagger and the 40-goal man then got on the end of cross from King on the left but put his right-foot shot just over the bar.

The Lilywhites should maybe have been down to ten men after Cudworth handled the ball outside the area with Lynch about to pounce on a cross from King but the referee waved away claims for a red card.

With a few minutes left to play, the Clarets put Preston under some pressure after getting a goal back to make it 3-2 and ensure an exciting climax to this match. A deflected shot by King went into the net off a Preston defender. In the end though, the Clarets couldn`t find that elusive equaliser to force extra time despite valiant efforts by Norman and Fletcher.

Hard luck lads!

Our youngsters still have a chance of silverware this season though as they look to win both the Puma Youth Alliance and Reserves league titles.


Preston: Jack Cudworth, Conor McLaughlin, Tom Smyth, Dominic Collins, Phil Quirk, Danny Mayor, George Miller, Adam Barton, Neil Dougan, Ryan McGreevy (Jamie Douglas 68), Jamie Proctor.

Subs: Ben Proctor, Tom Owens, Sam Hart, Scott Davidson.

Burnley: Stef Ritchie, Dan Brown, Nik Kudiersky, Chris Lynch, Jake McEneaney, Dil Chaggar (Liam Newman 72), Chris Anderson, Alex-Ray Harvey, Wes Fletcher, Michael King, Dominic Knowles.

Subs: Danny MacDonald, Oliver Devenney, Edward Williams, Ross Wilson.

Many thanks to Burnley FC for the use of the photograph