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Burnley u21s 1 Rovers u21s 3 (aet)

9 November 2015

Two stunning extra-time strikes sealed derby-day bragging rights as Rovers defeated Burnley 3-1 to advance into the last 16 of the Under-21 Premier League Cup.

Rovers, who reached the final of last seasons competition, came from behind to defeat their local rivals after extra-time at Turf Moor.

Ntumba Massanka fired Burnley into the lead in the 25th minute before Rovers equalised towards the end of the second half when defender Matthew Platt, who scored his first goal for the Under-21s against Wolves last month, headed in from close range.

As the game entered extra-time Rovers looked the better of the two sides and took the lead in superb fashion as Willem Tomlinson fired an excellent 30-yard shot into the corner. His goal was a carbon copy of his strike at Ewood against Wigan Athletic in pre-season.

Rovers well and truly put the game to bed in the 110th minute, Connor Mahoney cut inside onto his left foot before beautifully curling an effort into the top left corner to secure progression to the next round.

Boss Damien Johnson made four changes to the side that suffered defeat to Everton in the Lancashire FA Senior Cup quarter-final.

Platt, Hyuga Tanner, Simon Eastwood and David Carson all came into the starting XI replacing Darragh Lenihan, John O'Sullivan, David Raya and Tomlinson.

Rovers started the game on the front foot and in just the second minute, Tom Anderson cleared Sacha Petshi's low cross inside his own six yard box.

Both sides enjoyed short spells of possession with Petshi particularly impressing for Rovers in midfield.

Goalkeeper Simon Eastwood was called into action in the 11th minute comfortably catching Dean Marney's 30 yard free-kick after Connor Thomson had fouled Arlen Birch.

Burnley broke the deadlock in the 25th minute, Marney's free-kick was cleared to Jamie Frost, the midfielder dinked his cross over the Rovers backline and Massanka hooked a left-foot volley over Eastwood and into the top right corner.

Rovers were searching for a reply and Anton Forrester arrowed a shot just wide of Matt Gilks' post from 25 yards.

But five minutes before the interval, a Scott Wharton slip allowed Frost to play in Chris Long, the former Everton man raced into the area but he was superbly thwarted by the outstretched legs of Eastwood.

Rovers made a change at the interval with Tomlinson coming on for David Carson, and the visitors would came within inches of equalising four minutes after the restart.

Nyambe surged down the right wing, he cut the ball inside to Mahoney but his left-footed shot curled just past the top corner.

Eastwood was proving to be the busier of the two goalkeepers as he made comfortable saves catching efforts from Massanka and Frost. Whilst Long was again to be denied in the 56th minute as Rovers' keeper palmed away his well struck shot at the back post.

Lewis Mansell was introduced in the 65th minute at the expense of Hyuga Tanner but it was the hosts were posing more of a threat in the final third as Eastwood saved comfortably to his left denying Frost.

Despite the pressure from the home side, Rovers found themselves on level terms on 77 minutes.

Mahoney whipped in an excellent free-kick from the right and Platt rose the highest to power home his header past Gilks.

Buoyed by their equaliser, Rovers went in search of a second but Mansell's overhead kick went wide of the post.

In the final stages of the game, both keepers remained untested and the game went into extra-time.

Renny Smith had first sight on goal, the substitute dragging wide a shot after being played through by Massanka. Then in the 97th minute, Burnley broke and Marney played through Frost but his shot went horribly wide.

In worsening conditions, both sides tried efforts from distance. Gilks, at the second time of asking, held onto Connor Thomson's 25 yard shot, whilst an effort from Long was straight at Eastwood.

But just before the interval in extra-time, it was Rovers who took the lead in stunning fashion.

Tomlinson picked up the ball in midfield, and he drove towards goal before unleashing a spectacular 30-yard drive into the bottom corner leaving Gilks no chance.

Burnley were rocked and Rovers almost added a third but Forrester's goalbound shot was deflected wide.

It was Rovers who were pressing in the final period of extra-time and they managed to put the game to bed in the 110th minute with another fine strike.

Jack Doyle's cross found Mahoney wide open on the right of the box, he cut inside onto his left foot and curled an unstoppable shot into the top corner to send Rovers through to the last 16.

BURNLEY: Gilks, Birch (sub Dolling 109 mins), Anderson, K. Long, Whitmore, Marney, O'Neill, Frost, Ginnelly (sub Smith 90 mins), C. Long, Massanka (sub Wilson 115 mins), 

Subs not used: Holson, Nizic (GK)

Goals: Massanka 25 mins.

Booked: Massanka, Whitmore

ROVERS: Eastwood, Nyambe, Platt, Wharton (c), J. Doyle, Thomson, Carson (sub Tomlinson 46 mins), Petshi, Tanner (sub Mansell 65 mins), Mahoney, Forrester (sub Wall 120 mins)

Subs not used: C. Doyle, Crump (GK)

Goals: Platt 77 mins, Tomlinson 105 mins, Mahoney 110 mins.

Booked: Thomson.


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