Burnley 1 (Thompson 76 (p)) Wolves 1 (Cundle 79)
Wolves under-23s had to settle for a draw on the road against Burnley as captain Luke Cundle’s goal in a dominant second-half performance was not enough to claim all three points at Turf Moor.
Despite the first-half passing by with lots of goalmouth action at both ends of the pitch, neither goalkeeper was really troubled, as chances mainly flew high and wide of the target.
Although Wolves controlled much of the second period, Burnley, who were coming into the game off the back of three successive defeats to start their 2021/22 Premier League 2 season, were the stronger side in the first-half, with Lewis Richardson being played through, but firing away from goal.
Kai Corbett, on trial at Wolves from West Ham United, had the best of the opportunities for the visitors, firstly shooting wide from a narrow angle, before a glorious chance to open the scoring went begging when he fired a Lewis Richards cross wide of the post towards the break.
In between Corbett’s chances, Burnley’s strike force of Richardson and Michael Mellon had several efforts of their own to put their side ahead, but the shots they were able to get on target were dealt with comfortably dealt by Wolves keeper Jamie Pardington.
However, the best opportunities of the opening 45 minutes fell to Burnley’s wingers, as Max Thompson fired a half-volley narrowly over the crossbar, and Ne-Jai Tucker, played in behind the Wolves defence on the left, smashed his shot high into the stands from a good position.
The second-half saw both keepers brought into action, although Wolves were the dominant side after the break, as James Collins’ men threw everything they could at the Burnley defence in their hopes of taking the lead.
Opportunities fell the way of Harvey Griffiths, Owen Hesketh and Richards, but it was Corbett who found himself testing the reflexes of Burnley keeper Sam Waller, who did well to palm away a goalbound shot.
In spite of Wolves’ dominance, it was the hosts who took the lead with 15 minutes remaining when Thompson sent Pardington the wrong way from the penalty spot after the keeper was judged to have brought down substitute Will Hugill inside the box.
But Wolves struck back almost immediately, with neat interplay between the Wolves attack seeing the ball end up at the feet of Cundle inside the penalty area, and the midfielder slotted a clever low shot beyond Waller and inside the far post.
The visitors continued to push for the winning goal late on, but it wasn’t to be, as the best chance fell the way of substitute Lee Harkin, but having been played in behind the Burnley defence, the Irishman saw his effort thwarted by Waller, while Pardington saved well in the closing minutes to see the points shared.
Having claimed victory over West Ham United in their opening match of the 2021/22 Premier League Cup campaign, James Collins’ side are back in cup action in midweek, as the under-23s travel south to take on Exeter City from 7pm on Wednesday.
15/09 Exeter City (A) PLC
20/09 Fulham (H)
27/09 Sunderland (H)
01/10 Aston Villa (A)
05/10 Shrewsbury Town* (A) PJT
*indicates first-team opposition
Burnley: Waller, Vaughan, Bedeau, Long (Unwin 64), Dodgson, Thompson (Roonery 83), Helm, Mancini, Tucker, Richardson (Hugill 65), Mellon.
Unused subs: Thomas, Armstrong.
Wolves: Pardington, Scott, Estrada, Nya, Birtwistle, Griffiths (Hubner 83), Cundle, Richards, Corbett (Harkin 77), Hesketh, Carty.
Unused subs: O’Shaughnessy, Kandola, Roberts.