JOHN Townson hailed Burnley Under-18s desire to work hard and compete after they edged a narrow win over Leeds United in the FA Youth Cup third round.

The Clarets youngsters rarely troubled the opposition's goal but Jordan Cropper's 25-yard strike five minutes from time secured victory at Turf Moor.

The visitors had been the better side without troubling Adam Bruce until late on, but Townson was delighted to see his side progress.

"I said to the lads ‘you can’t always play well, but what you can do is work hard, work together and compete’, which is massive at this club, and I think we did that and that’s why we got the result," he said.

"They played the better football, there’s no doubt about that, and on another day they might have won. But all we can do is work hard, compete, win you one-v-ones. Hopefully we’ll play better next week and in the next round, you’d like to think so, but the lads got through and that’s all we can ask."

Cropper was the hero of the tie, with the 17-year-old former Ilkeston Town starlet moving from right-back to centre forward at the break and responding with his memorable winner

"It was a great strike. He started out at right-back and ended out up front. I’m pleased for him, Jordan works really hard and he took it really well," Townson said.

"We carry quite a big squad this year so there were seven or eight lads who went in the 16 and when we scored I turned around and I saw them all celebrating. That’s great to see because it might well be them playing in the next round."

Townson was in charge of the Under-18s with Michael Duff also on the bench as Danny Cadamarteri was on an elite coaching course that requires 100 per cent attendance.

The former Everton forward tweeted his congratulations at full-time and Townson revealed he had been on the phone to speak to his young charges as well.

"It was great to be with Duffo, listening to his insights. The changes we decided on we acted on quickly, we didn’t debate them for too long," he said.

"We’ve just had Cadz on the phone, we had him on FaceTime, all the lads were giving him some, but he’ll be back for the next round."