Burnley exited the Football League Youth Alliance Cup after losing 2-1 at Rotherham despite controlling the cup tie.
United led the Clarets 2-0 at half time, before an 81st minute Andy Nugent penalty gave the youngsters a more than deserved consolation.7
And there were plenty of positives in defeat for Burnley, who ended the game with four U16 players featuring, with James Clarke, Dwight McNeil and Tristen Jumeau all starting and Callum Styles appearing as a second half substitute.
Burnley were inches away from the opener after just seven minutes. Tyler Shrimpton went for goal with a testing strike from 30-yards, but the winger’s effort cannoned out-off the crossbar to deny the visitors an early lead.
And then a great save from Rotherham’s goalkeeper yet again prevented a deserving opener after Andreas Bianga slipped in U16 forward McNeil, but the schoolboy’s strike across goal was wonderfully deflected wide by the keeper’s legs.
And against the run of play the Millers took a shock lead. A superb diagonal ball from the right was met by a header which looped over captain Connor King before nestling into the far corner.
McNeil had a chance to bring the game level 10 minutes later, however his curling shot from the corner of the box bent past the far post.
And two minutes before the break the hosts doubled their advantage after a defensive mishap. A long ball forward from the back was misjudged by Lewis Norvock, leaving the Millers’ winger in-on goal before coolly slotting past the backtracking King.
The Clarets had two golden chances from the restart, both from headers. Miles Fenton produced two perfect deliveries into the mix, first for Bianga to head over and then McNeil to glance his chance straight at the goalkeeper.
Just after the hour mark the hosts almost extended their lead further, as a strike from the edge of the box was deflected onto the post.
But with nine minutes to play Burnley finally grabbed a lifeline. Billy Grogan was pulled in the area, and left back Nugent confidently stepped up to slot into the bottom left corner, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way.
The goal set up an nail-biting finale, and the visitors were a whisker away from sending the tie into extra time.
Clarke surged forward from the defence before striking from 25-yards, but the effort skimmed over the crossbar, sending the hosts through to the next round.
Burnley: King; Grogan, Norvock, Clarke, Nugent; Jumeau, Bianga, Fenton (Styles 62), Howarth, Shrimpton; McNeil