Hussey pleased with Burnham progress

This is The West Country: Hussey pleased with Burnham progress Hussey pleased with Burnham progress

Somerset County First Division

Saltford 1-1 Burnham United

BURNHAM United manager Luke Hussey praised the progress of his injury-ravaged side following a 1-1 draw with Saltford on Saturday.

Hussey was once again forced into a number of changes as his side’s injury problems continue – and gave a first start to Jake Callaghan and 16-year-old substitute Jordan Costello.

But despite the forced changes, Hussey says he is pleased with how his side have been performing and paid tribute the efforts of his younger players.

He said: "Last season our away form was terrible, so having only lost once in the last five away games and now three weeks unbeaten, shows we are making a little bit of progress.

“This game showed the depth we have now, albeit a young squad. We had six players injured or ill today and we worked out the average age of the 14-man squad was just 19.8 years old - and yet still played to our normal standard. We have a number of home games coming and it's vital we continue this little run."

Phil Hartnup’s spectacular strike had given Burnham the lead in very poor conditions, before a goal mouth scramble saw the hosts equalise on the half hour mark.

With the conditions and pitch not conducive to attractive football it was Burnham who retained possession well in the opening periods playing out from the back and having passages of play with lots of passes before creating a chance.

Lee Vaughan and Russell Holley were outstanding at the back and nullified any threat from the home side. Full backs Ell Lamb and Alex Plume were able to link up with the midfield and put in telling crosses.

It was in the 24th minute that the deadlock was broken when Phil Hartnup picked up a loose ball, travelled 10 yards and smashed home his fourth spectacular goal in five starts since arriving from Berrow.

United looked set to increase their lead, with Steve Leaf giving the full back a torrid time and Mike Stevens controlling the midfield with partner Hartnup - but a number of chances failed to hit the target.

Just after the half hour Saltford converted a scrappy goal mouth scramble after a well delivered set piece.

The second half saw the introduction of the exciting 16-year-old prospect Jordan Costello, whose first contribution was to beat two players with exceptional skill and speed before being fouled in a dangerous area.

As the game edged towards the close, Will Lamb pulled off a fantastic save to deny Saltford a winner.

With minutes to play, Lamb could only watch as a long-range effort thundered off the crossbar – but Burnham held on for a hard-earned point.

Burnham United host basement side Shepton Mallet Reserves on Saturday December 28, before travelling to Dundry Athletic the following week (January 4).

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