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Report: Rovers 2 Accrington Stanley 2 (Rovers win 3-2 on pens)

Damien Johnson's side book their place in the Lancashire Senior Cup Final at Leyland in April

11 February 2019

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Rovers are through to the Final of the Lancashire Senior Cup after edging past near neighbours Accrington Stanley at Brockhall Village.

Charlie Albinson was the hero, saving well from Liam Nolan to send Rovers through to their first appearance in the Final of the competition since winning the tournament in 2011.

In an entertaining clash, Lewis Thompson took the tie to penalties with almost the final kick of the game through Lewis Thompson.

It came after goals from Offrande Zanzala and a Nolan header before half time cancelled out Dan Butterworth's excellent opening strike.

Rovers started the game brightest, with Butterworth smashing into the bottom right-hand corner with his supposed weaker left foot to hand the hosts the lead after just 15 minutes.

But Accrington responded strongly, with first team regular Zanzala brilliantly bringing down a long ball forward before beating Albinson just two minutes later.

The game ebbed and flowed, with Joe Rankin-Costello cutting in before forcing Dimitor Evtimov into a low save at his near post.

Soon after and Vale fired over the up right under pressure from Ipswich Town loanee Janoi Donacien, before Nolan thumped home a header from an Erico De Souza corner to give Stanley the advantage at the break.

Whatever Damien Johnson said to his team at half time certainly seemed to work, with Rovers regularly probing Evtimov, with Vale going close before a fine run and strike from John Buckley saw his effort drift over.

Time was running out for Rovers to take the tie further, and after Luke Armstrong's deflected effort trickled just wide, Stefan Mols flicked onto the post with only five minutes remaining.

Rovers didn't give up though, and kept pressing the visitors, and after Vale sliced wide and Rankin-Costello cracked the bar, the equaliser finally came.

A neat one-two from Butterworth and Buckley saw the former pick out the advancing Thompson with an inch perfect pass, and the left back scored well to take the tie to spot kicks.

John Buckley, Jack Vale and Ben Paton slotted home their penalties, whilst Scott Brown, Luke Armstrong missed, before Albinson became the hero, saving down low to stop Nolan and sent Rovers through.

Johnson's charges will now play either Rochdale or Burnley in the showpiece encounter in Leyland, with a date and time for the fixture to be confirmed.

Rovers: Albinson, Doyle, Thompson, Paton, Magloire (c), Carter, Rankin-Costello, Buckley, Vale, Butterworth, Mols.

Unused substitutes: Annesley, Eastham, Saadi, Pilikaitis, Whitehall.

Accrington Stanley: Evtimov, Donacien, Gibson, Nolan, Brown, Zanzala, Armstrong, De Souza, Rodgers, Wood, Williams (Mangan, 60).

Unused substitutes: Mohammed, Watson.

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