BURNLEY Under-23s played the role of party poopers at Hillsborough as they beat Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 to stop the Owls from winning the Professional Development League North title, writes Josh Bunting.

Neil Thompson's side needed a point to claim the title but instead finished third, with the Clarets continuing their fine end to the campaign with a seventh win in 12 games to ensure they won't finish bottom.

It was the home side who took the lead after just three minutes when a defensive mistake from Oliver Younger allowed Preslav Borukov in on goal before the Bulgarian striker slotted the ball past the onrushing Conor Mitchell.

Wednesday came close to a second on 14 minutes as Fraser Preston crossed for Borukov before his header rattled the crossbar.

However, Michael Duff’s side equalised as Jordan Cropper whipped in a fantastic cross for a trialist striker to head into the net, leaving Owls keeper Dan Wallis stranded.

The Clarets were playing some slick football and it was they who created the next opportunity when Cropper flicked the ball on from a long Mitchell goal kick before it fell perfectly for Tinashe Chakwana and he fired into the net only for the offside flag to cut the celebrations short.

Chakwana, however, would be on the scoresheet on 36 minutes as he got on the end of the trialist's knockdown after a brilliant diagonal ball from Cropper, resulting in him being sent in one on one with Wallis before the Clarets striker slotted the ball low into the net to put the visitors ahead.

Wednesday knew going into the game that only a single point was required to seal the title and they nearly got back on track with an equaliser on 41 minutes as Northern Ireland Under-21 keeper Mitchell had to be alert as he made an excellent save as Jack Stobb’s tried his luck from range.

It was the Owls who had the first opening of the second half as Joe West was played in by Conor O’Grady, his powerful shot deflected off Ali Koiki only for Mitchell to make a terrific one-handed reaction save to keep it out.

Thompson's side thought they had a penalty on 55 minutes in what was turning out to be a frantic game, as Preston ran in on goal before tumbling to the ground only for the winger to be shown a yellow card for simulation.

The hosts were pegging Burnley back in their own half and they created yet another chance when Stobb’s cross was plucked out of the air by Mitchell with Liam Waldock waiting to pounce.

Connor O’Grady was next to test his luck for the home side as on 73 minutes as the defender hit a sweet free-kick from 30 yards just wide of the right-hand post.

Cropper then came to the Clarets rescue as he made a goal saving header of the line as Borukov latched onto Preston’s cross perfectly, only for the Burnley man to somehow head the ball over his own crossbar.

Time was running out for the Owls to get the equaliser that would see them claim the win and they nearly went further behind as a mix up in the Wednesday box saw the ball fall perfectly to Christian N’Guessan, but he lashed his effort wide.

Wednesday came inches away from equalising as Preston hit the crossbar with a powerful drive in the 90th minute after he met a West cross from the right on the volley.

Burnley were awarded a penalty deep in stoppage time as Chakwana was brought down by Wallis, however he was denied by the keeper from the spot as he flung himself to the right to push away his effort in the final action of what was an entertaining game.