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Report: City Under-23 3-2 Burnley Under-23s

A Sam Bell double and a goal from Marcus Day saw City Under-23s return to winning ways in the Professional Development League, as they were 3-2 winners over Burnley.

Playing at Ashton Gate, City were behind within two minutes. Rob Harker fired the away side into the lead, scoring from 40 yards out.

Bell, pictured, equalised for City with a superb lob, before adding his second after the break with another great finish.

Day added City’s third in thumping style, volleying into the top corner. Dan Agyei would pull one back for Burnley from the penalty spot.

Playing for the third time in seven days, Luke Williams’ side welcomed Burnley to BS3 on the back of three league defeats in a row.

And the away side took the lead inside two minutes through Harker. From 40 yards out, the youngster found the back of the net.

After a nervy opening, City eventually settled. Barney Soady’s inviting cross was just inches away from the touch it needed to beat the Burnley goalkeeper.

Marcus Day was the first City player to threaten the Burnley defence. He beat a number of defenders, but was unable to find a shot, before the ball found its way back to Aiden Stone in the Burnley goal.

City would have their equaliser not long after, however. A free kick was taken quickly, and Jayden Ali found Sam Bell with a great flick. Bell then lifted the ball over the onrushing Stone to level the scores.

Ricardo Rees was the next City player to come forward. He latched onto a long ball forward and beat a defender with a great bit of skill, before seeing his cross blocked for a corner.

From the resulting corner, City almost went in front. Joe Low rose highest, but saw his header hacked away by a Burnley defender.

City’s second half started in slow fashion, similar to the first. Burnley had a huge opportunity to regain the lead from the penalty spot after Dan Agyei was tripped, but Jordan Cropper fired over the bar from 12 yards.

From City’s next attack after the penalty miss, they would be in front. From a corner, the ball was flicked into Bell’s path. The Burnley defenders were late to react, as Bell slotted beyond Stone.

Burnley would come forward in search of an equaliser, but Marley Blair’s curling effort didn’t trouble Will Buse in the City goal.

A City third was within reach, and Tom Richards came close. Rees’ ball into the box found him, but his effort was tipped over by goalkeeper Stone.

And they would have their third not long after. From a corner, the ball sat up perfectly for Day to strike. He struck it perfectly and left Stone no chance as his volley went into the top corner.

Bell, having already scored twice, went in search of a hat-trick. He came close to adding a third, but his effort was blocked well by a Burnley defender.

The Clarets would pull one pack in the last few moments from the penalty spot. Agyei fired in from the spot, but it was too little too late for Burnley.

An impressive performance, and Luke Williams will hope for a repeat performance on Friday (March 29th), as they welcome Coventry City to Failand.

City Under-23s: Buse, Turner-Williams, Soady, Low, H.Smith, Ali, Day, Z.Smith, Rees, Richards, Bell (Conway). Unused subs: Pearson, Robertson, James Taylor, Jamie Taylor.

Words: Ryan Payne

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