Ne-Jai Tucker Scores In Burnley U23 Win

September 9, 2021

Bermuda’s Ne-Jai Tucker scored for the Burnley Football Club U23 team as they played to a 3-2 victory over Rochdale.

The club’s match report said, “Late drama as Clarets come from behind to secure opening group win. Two goals in injury time earned the Clarets a dramatic win to get their Central League Cup campaign off to a flying start.

“Trailing 2-1 as the Group A game headed into two minutes of added time, Michael Jackson’s men looked as though they were set to see their losing start to the season continue. But Michael Mellon then headed home a deserved equaliser as Burnley’s second-half pressure paid off.

“And with enough time left on the clock, Sam Unwin then raced through to slot home a last-gasp winner at the Clarets’ baking-hot training ground.

“The comeback earned the U23s their first competitive win of the season and provided the ideal tonic to take into Friday night’s visit of Wolves to Turf Moor when Jackson’s side will be looking to put their first points on the board in PL2.

“Starting a group campaign which also includes fixtures against Accrington Stanley and Bolton Wanderers, the Clarets were on the back foot early on as Rochdale went ahead through skipper Ethan Brierley.

“The midfield play-maker coolly slotted home to set the tone for an outstanding display from the teenager.

“Ne-Jai Tucker quickly hit back with an excellent free-kick he curled into the corner to equalise. Tucker had a chance to add a second and give Burnley the lead when he was cleverly played in by Lewis Richardson.

“But Dale were the better side before the break.

“And after Jordan Scanlon had volleyed over the top, the visitors went back in front when Liam Kelly slid through an excellent pass which on-loan Birmingham City striker Josh Andrews deftly lifted over Lewis Thomas.

“Experienced midfielder Matty Done had a chance to extend Rochdale’s lead after half-time but most of the pressing came from the Clarets as they looked to find a way to get back into the game.

“Chances proved elusive, however, until Mellon came off the bench and suddenly found the route to goal.

“Bradley Wade saved well with his legs to deny a first effort from the Scotland youth international before the striker then hit a post from Owen Dodgson’s low cross with 10 minutes to go.

“Dodgson’s delivery from the left flank provided a regular threat and it was his cross that finally sparked the fightback in stoppage time.

“This time Mellon made no mistake as he nodded home and when Tucker then released Unwin in the dying moments, the young frontman kept his cool to slot home and put the Clarets level on points with Bolton, who beat Stanley 2-1 in their opening group game.”

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