Sheffield United’s Under 23s endured a difficult day at Bramall Lane as they went down 3-0 to Burnley on Monday afternoon.
United struggled to impose themselves on a game the visitors largely dominated, with a brief spell of good pressure and chances at the start of second half not enough after trailing 2-0 at the break.
Several first teamers including Kieran Freeman and Ravel Morrison started the match but it was Burnley who got a foothold early doors and took the lead after less than six minutes had been played.
A cross from deep was headed home by Ollie Harker at the back post, the start of a day where the imposing number nine would cause United plenty of issues.
It was 2-0 inside 15 minutes as United struggled to get to grips with Burnley’s quick movement and intensity in play.
A good passing move opened up space for Adam Phillips before the midfielder found the corner with a powerful effort from distance to leave the Blades with it all to do.
The closest the home side came was when Kean Bryan saw a free-kick comfortably held just before half-time, but the second half introduction of Callum Gribbin saw United start to move the ball around quicker in midfield.
In the first five minutes of the second half the Blades went close on three occasions. First George Broadbent saw an effort deflected wide before good feet from Gribbin ended in a weak shot which was held by the goalkeeper.
Keenan Ferguson went closer still when he got on the end of a low cross but fired narrowly over the bar and Gribbin went close again when he fired a low effort just wide of the post.
But Burnley put the game out of reach with 25 minutes to go as United once again failed to deal with the aerial threat of Harker.
Just after Michael Verrips had made a good save to deny Tucker, the resulting corner was headed home into the roof of the net by Harker as he grabbed his second of the game.
The Blades kept pushing as Harry Boyes saw an effort well saved before Iliman Ndiaye somehow headed wide after Boyes saw a powerful free-kick pushed into the path of the forward.
Blades: Verrips, K. Freeman, Mallon (Boyes 31), Ferguson, Belehouan, Bryan, York, Broadbent, Young (Ndiaye 76), Morrison (Gribbin 46), Ompreon.
Subs: Amissah, Gordon.