Lancashire Senior Cup final: Blackburn Rovers 2 Burnley 0
Burnley Under 23s coach Steve Stone had an inkling that he'd find out what his players were made of in Tuesday's Lancashire Senior Cup final against Blackburn Rovers.
The former Nottingham Forest and Aston Villa winger feared that some of his players may have melted under the pressure of the occasion at the LFA County Ground in Leyland.
But the 47-year-old saw everything that he needed to see and more from his young Clarets as they shed blood, sweat and tears in the derby.
Daniel Butterworth's early sight of goal for the now 19-time champions of the competition gave an impression that it could be a long night for Stone's side.
But Aiden Stone, who gathered the strike without any trouble, had a relatively quiet first half in goal for Burnley.
Dan Agyei had the ball in the net moments later when lifting the ball delicately over goalkeeper Andrew Fisher but the striker’s celebrations were muted at the sight of the linesman’s flag.
Stone held on to Joseph Rankin-Costello’s drive across goal after the Rovers man received the ball from Stefan Mols.
Hayden Carter couldn’t quite turn the ball home at the far post when Butterworth’s dangerous delivery evaded everybody else en route.
Olatunde Bayode’s positive burst down the right hand side wasn’t matched by the finish with the outside of his boot, as Fisher held on to the shot.
Stone was dealt a huge blow when leading scorer Dan Agyei hobbled off through injury and insult was added when Louie Annesley’s handball inside the penalty area went unpunished.
The Rovers defender appeared to block a Bobby Thomas header with his arm once skipper Anthony Glennon had picked his team-mate out at the far post with a set-piece.
Substitute Lewis Richardson had the opportunity to give the Clarets the lead at the interval, but his shot on the turn was repelled by the legs of Fisher.
In the end it was two second half goals that decided the tie as Damien Johnson’s side bagged the silverware.
Carter tapped the ball home from close range after Charley Doyle’s looping header came back off the crossbar.
And Jack Vale ensured it was game, set and match late on when almost breaking the net with a half-volley that fizzed past Stone.