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Wallace Back In Cup Thriller

29 January 2014

Ross Wallace made a goalscoring return and Joseph Mills slotted home the winning penalty as the Clarets edged out Oldham on penalties to reach the semi-finals of the Lancashire FA Senior Cup.

Wallace, playing his first 90 minutes since undergoing knee surgery in August, cancelled out Kirk Millar’s opener with an equaliser eight minutes from time to cap an eye-catching return to action.

The Scot blotted an otherwise excellent display in stoppage time when he fired a last-gasp penalty off the crossbar.

But Oldham failed to take advantage, missing two of their first three penalties in a sudden-death shoot-out.

And it was left to Mills - ironically recently back from a loan spell at Boundary Park - to fire the Clarets into the last four with a convincing 4-1 win.

That capped a fine night for the hosts, as Wallace proved his fitness and staked a claim for a return to the first team squad for Saturday’s big Championship clash at QPR.

The Scot had three times come close to finding the target as he built on two partial games for the Development Squad after a lengthy rehab.

Wallace had the best effort of the first half, firing in an angled effort that keeper Joel Coleman parried nervously to safety.

However, Oldham took the lead against the run of play two minutes after the break after Jack Errington was ruled to have clipped Anton Rodgers in the box. 

And Latics striker Millar exacted revenge from the spot, sending Daniel Nizic the wrong way from the spot.

Wallace was again inches away from sealing his return with a goal just before the hour, forcing Coleman into a fine sprawling save with a drilled, low effort from the edge of the area.

And Burnley should have been level in the 63rd minute when Micah Evans raced through the defence and fed Cameron Howeison, whose side-footed effort across the keeper flew wide of the post.

Oldham were close to doubling their lead when Millar beat Nizic with a rising drive from 18 yards that smacked the face of the crossbar.

But Wallace was the main threat for the hosts and a lung-bursting run that proved, beyond doubt his fitness, ended with a fierce left-footed effort that was narrowly off target.

However, the wide man finally grabbed the equaliser Burnley deserved in the 83rd minute, racing on to Jason Gilchrist’s defence-splitting pass and slotting the ball under Coleman.

In a dramatic finale, Wallace then blasted a 90th minute penalty off the bar after Howieson was felled in the area.

But in an equally dramatic shoot-out, it was the Clarets who kept their nerve.

Steven Hewitt, Howieson and Gilchrist all netted their penalties, while Latics' duo Anton Rodgers – son of Liverpool manager Brendan – and sub Jordan Bove spurned their chances from 12 yards with the second and third penalties, respectively.

And on a night of high-drama, that left Mills with the chance to seal the 4-1 victory with a fine spot kick into the bottom corner.

BURNLEY: Nizic, Errington, Coleman, Anderson, Mills, Evans, Love (Gallagher 80), (Frost 66), Hewitt, Howieson, Wallace, Gilchrist
Subs: Mitchell, Massanka

Att: 210

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