A double from Burnley’s Dara Costelloe helped consign Boro’s Under-23s to defeat in their final match before Christmas.

The Clarets striker netted twice in the first half at Heritage Park, and Anthony Glennon added a third from the penalty spot as the Lancashire club collected all three PL2 points.

Costelloe had issued a warning sign early on when he netted after a mix-up in the Boro defence, only for the assistant’s flag to go up for offside.

But moments later, after Sean Ataluku’s wayward cross from the right had come back out off the crossbar, Burnley delivered it back into the danger area from the opposite flank and Costello converted his first of the afternoon.

The goalscorer could have added to his tally when a scooped pass through released him behind the Boro defence, but he fired his shot straight at Nathan Fisher.

There was to be no such error with his next opportunity though, Costelloe cutting inside into the area and rifling a powerful strike into the net.

Two goals down, Boro’s youngsters started to impose themselves more on the game, and Calum Kavanagh and Daniel Dodds both had shots in promising positions which were well blocked.

Pharell Willis was first to work opposing keeper Sam Waller when he turned inside his marker but struck a shot straight at the man in goal from close quarters.

At the start of the second half, Waller was more seriously tested but came up trumps for his side when he got down well to claw out Cain Sykes’ downward header from a corner.

Soon after, though, Burnley had three - Sykes adjudged to have felled Anthony Gomez in the box and Anthony Glennon stepping up to drill home the penalty.

Boro captain Connor Malley hit the crossbar with a free-kick from a wide angle and Dodds had a curling effort whistle just past the post, but there was to be no way back in for Boro.

Boro: Fisher, Dodds (Gitau), Kokolo, Sykes, Lindo, Marshall, Stott, Malley (c), Kavanagh, Willis, Sivi (Finch)

Unused subs: Simpson, Wells, Bridge

Burnley: Waller, Vaughan, Armstrong, Helm (c), Rooney, Glennon, Etaluku (Hugill), Woods, Costelloe, Gomez (Coppack), Dodgson

Unused subs: Thomas, Coppack