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The Clarets are through to the final of the Lancashire Senior Cup following an amazing semi-final win this afternoon against Rochdale that saw ten goals scored including a hat trick from a 16-year-old making his debut at this level.

We’d actually been drawn away against Rochdale in this semi-final but it was played at Gawthorpe on a wet afternoon as the rain came down virtually throughout the game as the goal count reached double figures and could have been more.

lscThe opening goal came on 22 minutes when Dan Agyei scored from close range after being set up by midfielder Josh Benson and three minutes later the same player doubled the lead from the penalty spot after he himself had been tripped in the box.

Before then there had been some good chances missed and that continued although Rochdale were also asking some questions of our defence. Just past the half hour, Rob Harker saw an effort saved and at that stage a three goal lead would surely have been enough. But, incredibly, it all turned round in three crazy minutes when ‘Dale went from 2-0 down to 3-2 up.

The first of them was an easy finish from Jordan Williams and two minutes later that was followed by two goals in a minute from Jimmy Keohane. The first was an outstanding finish but his second goal left you with real sympathy for our goalkeeper Aidan Stone who made two brilliant saves before they got the ball into the net.

To be 2-0 up going into the 34th minute and then 3-2 down in the 37th would flatten some teams but it was all square three minutes from half time when Bobby Thomas headed home following a left wing cross. It was time to draw breath as the half finished at 3-3 but no one could have envisaged what happened next.

Steve Stone brought on under-16 striker Lewis Richardson for Harker. The youngster recently scored five times on his first start for the under-18s and what an impact he had today. With no more than twenty seconds gone in the second half he turned in an Agyei cross and three minutes later he was there to finish from close range when a Tinashe Chakwana cross-shot came back off the post.

Surely now, at 5-3, this game was won but Rochdale were having none of it. They pulled one back on 64 minutes via a penalty. Zach Clough scored that one having just hit the woodwork with an effort a couple of minutes earlier. They then fired a shot against the post and they won a succession of corners which put us under some sustained pressure.

But we reached the ninety minutes with a 5-4 lead and we were willing the referee from the sidelines to blow the final whistle. But it was Richardson who would have the last word. A couple of minutes earlier he’d shot just wide but in the first minute of stoppage time he doubled our advantage while helping himself to a hat trick.

With two and a half minutes of added time played it finally came to an end. We were through to the final after wins against Barrow, Fleetwood and Rochdale. Waiting for us in the final are Blackburn Rovers who beat Accrington Stanley on penalties in their semi-final. The winners will collect one of the finest trophies in English football.

The teams were;

Burnley: Aidan Stone, James Clarke, Bobby Thomas, Scott Wilson, Anthony Glennon, Tunde Bayode, Christian N’Guessan (George Wilson 64), Josh Benson, Tinashe Chakwana, Rob Harker (Lewis Richardson ht), Dan Agyei. Subs not used: Kai Calderbank-Park, Ed Cook, Teddy Perkins.

Rochdale: Brad Wade, Luke Matheson, Joe Dunne, Aaron Morley, Michael Jordan Williams, Juwon Hamzat, Jimmy Keohane, Daniel Adshead, Zach Clough, Rory Holden, Jordan Williams. Subs: Ben Charton, Florent Hoti, Florian Yonsian, James Neild, Fabio Tavares.

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