McNeil shines in six goal thriller against Terrriers at Turf Moor
Burnley's Under 23s failed to match the defensive excellence of Sean Dyche's senior side but an inspired display from Dwight McNeil secured a point in a six-goal thriller against Huddersfield Town at Turf Moor.
While the Clarets have conceded just nine goals in 11 Premier League outings so far this term, keeping five clean sheets in the process, Michael Duff's men shipped three in the first half of their Professional Development League fixture against the Terriers.
The hosts, who benefited from a Nahki Wells hat-trick in the 4-0 win over Colchester United in the Premier League Cup last week, were rooted at the foot of the northern section table ahead of kick off and didn't give their ambitions of climbing much hope when falling behind after 10 minutes.
Joe Lolley wasn't put under enough pressure down the right hand side and the experienced winger picked out Isaac Marriott who was afforded the time and space to thump the ball past Aidan Stone at the second attempt from 12 yards out.
The Clarets trailed by two goals midway through the half when Olly Dyson and Marriott combined on the edge of the box, the ball was worked over to Denilson Carvalho on the right and the former Arsenal and Watford winger's cross was stroked home by Lolley.
Dean Marney, making his first start in nine months, having left the field in the 76th minute as Burnley were beaten 2-1 by Arsenal at the Emirates, went close to pulling a goal back but his attempt was diverted off-target by Mason O'Malley.
The hosts did reduce the deficit from the resulting corner, however, when McNeil's set-piece looked to be sailing all the way in at the back post before Oliver Younger made sure.
And Burnley were back on level terms in the blink of an eye when Tunde Bayode sparked the counter and found McNeil who fired past Tadhg Ryan from the penalty spot.
All that hard work was unravelled minutes later, though, when Town tailored a third goal, again from the right hand side.
Lolley supplied the in-swinging delivery and the Clarets failed to vacuum the threat of Dyson as the striker netted with a diving header.
The home side had a string of opportunities to level before the break but proved wasteful in front of goal.
Bayode was foiled by Ryan after being slipped through by McNeil though the goalkeeper was fortunate to escape with only a booking soon after when wiping out Tinashe Chakwana.
The striker was first to a long clearance, beating Ryan to the ball right on the edge of the box, and once his header was cleared off the line, the match official pulled play back.
Substitute Rahis Nabi drilled the free kick through the wall but Ryan was equal to the attempt.
After Terriers skipper Jack Boyle fired just wide of the upright from 25 yards out, Harry Limb found himself one-on-one with Ryan from Marney's threaded pass but the forward lifted the ball over the crossbar.
Boyle had the chance to restore the away side's two-goal cushion with the last kick of the half, but the midfielder sliced in to the side-netting with the goal at his mercy.
Duff's half-time team talk worked wonders after the interval as Burnley were dominant. Chakwana's early attempt, which travelled wide of the near post after the striker cut past Dominic Tear, was a sign of things to come.
The hosts pressed for the equaliser and their efforts were rewarded on the hour when McNeil's left-footed shot carried far too much venom for Ryan to handle as the ball fizzed in to the corner of the net.
Ryan was well-placed to deny Chakwana from the edge of the penalty area and, as the Clarets smelt blood, third-year scholar Bayode rifled a shot over the bar.
Bayode could have wrapped up all three points deep in to stoppage time when McNeil's cross dropped for him at the far post but the midfielder failed to hit the target.