Hartlepool almost picked up a Premier League scalp in the Carling Cup but Steven Fletcher’s brace was enough for ten-man Burnley to squeeze through.

Owen Coyle named only Andre Bikey in the line-up from the side that beat Everton on Sunday, and his second string toiled at Victoria Park until the introduction of Robbie Blake, Martin Paterson and Fletcher.

Jay Rodriguez had a goal disallowed for offside and the youngster had another good chance but tried to be too clever with his touch, and it was the hosts who took the lead after some neat interplay between Andy Monkhouse and Antony Sweeney set up Adam Boyd to prod home.

Hartlepool had a string of other chances with some bad misses and Burnley goalkeeper Diego Penny matching the effort’s of the home attackers.

And as the game went on the hosts tired and Burnley’s substitutes started to run the game, equalising with just minutes left on the clock. The visitors broke at speed and Fletcher cut in from the fight to fire across Scott Flinders in the Hartlepool lead, his first goal for the Clarets.

Colin Larkin hit the crossbar for Hartlepool early in extra-time but Burnley always looked to have too much for their League One opponents, even when right-back Richard Eckersley was given his marching orders – on his debut no less.

And a moment of class won it for the Premier League new boys, when a short corner routine was worked to Paterson, who crossed for Fletcher to head home his second of the match, and the winner.

The result was harsh on Chris Turner’s Hartlepool side, who battled manfully and produced some really good football. But in an entertaining clash, Owen Coyle’s Burnley came out on top to progress to the third round.

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