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Kick off 19:00 (UK)

07 March 2018 Venue Lancashire FA Attendance

Kick off 19:00 (UK)

Blackburn Rovers
0 - 0
(Pens 1 - 1)

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Match Reports

LSC Report: Rovers 0 Bury 0 (Bury win on pens)

Penalty shootout defeat sends Rovers out of the Lancashire Senior Cup at the semi-finals stage

7 March 2018

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Rovers' adventure in the Lancashire Senior Cup came to an end at the hands of Bury at the semi-finals stage, as the Shakers progressed on penalties.

Young Lewis Harcastle missed the crucial kick as his strike hit both posts before bouncing clear, joining Craig Conway and Joe Nuttall in not scoring from the spot.

Bury scored three of their four kicks to progress following a scoreless 90 minutes on a chilly night at Leyland in a game of few chances at the Lancashire FA HQ.

Damien Johnson went for a strong lineup for the clash, which included the likes of Paul Caddis, Paul Downing, Amari'i Bell and Marcus Antonsson in the XI.

After their return from injury, Craig Conway and Dominic Samuel also started, and there was a place in the side for Peter Whittingham for the first time in 2018, with the midfielder finally fit to begin his comeback at Leyland having been out of action since the end of December.

Recent signing Oliver Byrne made his first appearance for Rovers after arriving from Cardiff, starting in place of Charlie Albinson, who was on the bench.

Opponents Bury were equally strong and included the experienced Joe Murphy in goal, alongside Joe Skarz, Stephen Dawson, James Hanson, Andrew Tutte and Chris Maguire, who have almost 2,000 EFL games between them in their career.

In fact, six of the Shakers' starting side were in their squad in the recent first team fixture at Ewood Park just a couple of weeks ago in League One.

It was a good start from both sides and 11 minutes in, a whipped Whittingham free kick whistled just past the back post, with nobody getting a touch on his teasing ball into the danger area.

Soon after, a Conway free kick was nodded up and over by Downing, who got above his man but couldn't direct goalwards.

On 20 minutes, Antonsson forced Murphy into a quickfire double stop as the hosts looked the likeliest side to take the lead.

Just after the half hour mark and Samuel saw Murphy equal to his back post strike from close range after Antonsson found the striker at the back post.

One of Bury's only notable chances of the half came seven minutes before the break when Tsun Dai advanced but could only wildly smash over the bar from range.

But it was the visitors who went closest in the opening 45 minutes as Tutte's belter from range cracked the post and bounced away.

After the break, Nuttall got to the bylne but his pull back hit a defender and was eventually cleared, whilst up the other end, Maguire's free kick was saved by Byrne.

A lovely solo run from Antonsson saw him rampage upfield, beat Craig Jones, Dawson and Saul Shotton but not Murphy, who was out to smother the shot from close range.

Target man Hanson headed comfortably into the gloves of Byrne as the game's opening goal remained elusive.

On 67 minutes, Byrne had to be alert to beat away a powerful effort by Callum Styles as the visitors began to probe the Rovers goal a little more, but still had nothing to show for their efforts.

Soon after, Joe Nuttall saw his curling effort well saved by Murphy, before a glorious chance fell the way of Hansen, but the big striker could only head Maguire's cross from the right wide of the target with nine minutes to go.

And that was that in normal time, and after penalties, it was the Shakers who progressed to the Final, where they'll play either Fleetwood Town or AFC Fylde.

Rovers: Byrne, Travis, Caddis, Downing, Bell, Conway, Tomlinson, Whittingham (Hardcastle, 46), Antonsson (Simmonds, 78), Samuel, Nuttall.

Unused  substitutes: Albinson, Magloire, C. Doyle.

Bury: Murphy, Jones, Skarz, Styles, Shotton, Cooney, Dai (Adams, 65), Dawson, Hanson, Tutte, Maguire

Unused  substitutes: Nyaupembe, Harker, Hulme, Moloney.

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