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Kick off 19:00 (UK)

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07 May 2019 Venue County Ground Leyland Attendance

Kick off 19:00 (UK)

Burnley Football Club

Blackburn Rovers

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Match Previews

CUP FINAL PREVIEW: Burnley U23s v Blackburn Rovers U23s

Steve Stone looks to inspire derby success and bring back trophy

7 May 2019

Steve Stone will urge his young players to seize the moment and make a memory for life by winning the Lancashire FA Senior Cup.

The Clarets’ Under-23s meet Blackburn Rovers in the final at the FA County Ground, Leyland tonight (Tuesday, KO 7pm).

And with Burnley looking to lift the trophy for the first time since 1992/93, Stone has spelled out what it would mean to finish the season with some silverware by beating their local rivals.

“I won this competition – for the Nottingham FA’s Cup – back in the day and I still remember it, 30-odd years on,” said Stone, who came through the youth ranks at Nottingham Forest to launch a playing career that brought him nine England caps.

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“It’s something that will live forever in the memories of their youth career.

“Hopefully they’ll go on to do better things than this, but it will live in their memory for what you can try and achieve.

“To win any trophy, at any level, is important. It’s about a winning mentality and that’s what we’re driving here.

“This is an opportunity for them all to put a marker down, to stand out.

“I was disappointed in some of the other competitions where we went out. In the league we went out and didn’t get to where we should have.

“And this is where we go, ‘right, last game of the season, give your all’.

“Forget about the score sometimes, just give your all and see where you get and that’s what we’ll be looking at.”

Stone guided his team to the quarter-finals of the Premier League Cup and fourth place in the U23 Professional Development League’s northern group – missing out on a place in the play-offs by four points.

Agyei goal.jpg

Top scorer Dan Agyei helped launch the Clarets run to the final

In the LFA Cup, the Clarets have got past Barrow AFC, Fleetwood Town and Rochdale to earn a crack at Rovers and the chance to win the competition for a 13th time.

They will have to upset the form book to do it, with Blackburn – record 18-time winners of the competition and seeking a first success since 2011 – playing at a higher level in U23 football.

But Stone hopes the prospect of up-setting their local rivals will inspire his players to overcome a Rovers side coached by ex-Blackburn and Northern Ireland midfielder Damien Johnson which finished fifth in the top tier of Premier League Two.

“It doesn’t matter where you’re from in the country, derbies mean everything to the people from that area,” added the Clarets’ U23 boss.

“And it should do. It shows passion on both sides - both football clubs - and it’s something I will instill into the players, just as that extra motivation to try to get them to get a result.

“But I also know that they’re a good side. They’re a Category One Academy with some good players and they know what they’re doing.

“In terms of their Academy, I think they’re a good few years ahead of us in the set-up and we look to aspire to something like that in the not-too-distant future.

“But on the day, we will set up to give them a proper game.”

Tonight’s final is all-ticket, with tickets no longer on sale and no admission on the gate.

Live up-dates will be available on Twitter via @BurnleyOfficial.

 

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Match Reports

REPORT: Burnley U23s 0 Blackburn Rovers U23s 2

Second-half goals end Clarets' trophy hopes as Rovers take derby honours

7 May 2019

The Clarets’ wait to lift the Lancashire FA Senior Cup goes on after two second-half goals gave derby rivals Rovers victory at county HQ.

Burnley last won the cup in 1992 and a 13th success in the competition eluded them as Blackburn added to their record number of wins.

Steve Stone’s side never made it easy for their higher-ranked opponents and had the better of a highly competitive first half.

But they were unable to get their noses in front, and with top scorer Dan Agyei succumbing to an early injury lacked the goal power to make the difference.

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A superb defensive performance kept the tie in the balance and took the final to within 20 minutes of a penalty shoot-out.

But Rovers’ growing pressure paid off when defender Hayden Carter forced home the opener and a late second from Jack Vale ensured the Clarets ended a season of impressive progress under Stone empty-handed.

The Clarets – watched by first-team boss Sean Dyche – were still missing the injured central midfield pairing of Josh Benson and Christian N’Guessan, which meant a final start for the club for James Clarke alongside impressive youth-teamer Chris Conn-Clarke.

And with Ali Koiki pressed into action on the left-hand side of midfield following the end of his loan spell at Swindon Town, there was an unfamiliar look to Burnley’s starting line-up.

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Stone was forced into a further change with less than half an hour gone as Agyei - who saw an early effort chalked off for off-side - was injured at the end of a typically thrusting run ended by a foul which curtailed the striker’s evening and prompted a trip to hospital for an X-ray on ankle problem.

But despite the upheaval and the loss of their main attacking weapon, the Clarets took the fight to Blackburn in the first half, causing problems for a side that finished fifth in the top flight of Premier League Two and included a number of players with first-team experience.

Damien Johnson’s side were frustrated as the Clarets stopped them playing and carried a threat with their pace out wide.

Tunde Bayode made space for an effort he struck at keeper Andrew Fisher and the Rovers’ keeper then made a save with his legs to keep out an effort from substitute Lewis Richardson after the 16-year-old released a shot on the turn after Rob Harker had helped on a Jordan Cropper long throw.

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Rovers had little joy at the other end as the Clarets defended superbly, with Bobby Thomas a commanding presence and also threatening at the other end with a header he felt had been blocked by an arm.

Burnley had been the better side, but Blackburn upped the tempo after the break and forced the Clarets – whose league campaign had seen them just miss out on a play off place in the U23 Development League – back for long spells.

Again, Thomas and his defensive colleagues stood firm, but just as the prospect of a penalty shoot-out was looming Blackburn forced the break-through.

The Clarets looked to have weathered the storm until John Buckley delivered a cross which Charley Doyle headed goalwards.

Aiden Stone did well to keep his effort out but from the keeper’s save, the ball came back off a post for Carter to tap in from close range.

The Clarets threw on Tinashe Chakwana to provide some fresh legs, but Stone’s men couldn’t fashion a clear-cut chance to force an equaliser.

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And with Burnley committing men forward, Rovers were able to strike on the counter-attack and wrap up the win four minutes from time when Jack Vale got clear to fire past Stone, whose injury time save from Joseph Rankin-Costello was a fine last touch in a Burnley shirt ahead of his summer departure to prevent a third goal.

Burnley: Stone; Cropper, Thomas, Wilson, Glennon; Bayode, Clarke, Conn-Clarke (Chakwana 78), Koiki; Agyei (Richardson 28), Harker. Substitutes: McMahon, Senior, Wood.

Blackburn Rovers: Fisher; Carter, Magloire, Annesley (Barnes 90), Thompson; Doyle, Buckley; Rankin-Costello, Vale, Butterworth, Mols (Whitehall 90). Substitutes: Eastham, Brennan, Pike.

Referee: Michael Salisbury

Attendance: 491

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