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Having missed out on the play-offs in the league, the under-23s have an opportunity to lift some silverware tonight with Liverpool standing in our way in the final of the Lancashire Senior Cup.

We have won this competition on twelve previous occasions but it is almost twenty years ago since the magnificent trophy was last won by Jimmy Mullen’s team with a 4-3 penalty shoot-out victory against Bury following a 2-2 draw in which Adrian Randall and Robbie Painter scored on 11th August 1992.

At that time, the competition was nothing more than a pre-season tournament but the competition was, at one time, much bigger than that. When we first won it in the 19th century, it was often the case that the games took precedence over the league games but Burnley’s heyday in the competition was in the 1960s.

We won it in three successive seasons, 1959/60 to 1961/62 and then again in both 1964/65 and 1965/66 before wrapping up the decade with another win in 1969/70. It was still very much a big competition then with clubs from the top two divisions fielding reserve teams but those lower playing their full first teams.

Now, although there are no age limits, it has become very much an under-23 cup and we go into tonight’s final against Liverpool having beaten Barrow (on penalties), Bolton and Accrington. Liverpool, meanwhile, have just had two games against Preston and Blackpool.

Liverpool have also won it on twelve occasions and their last success was five years ago. They beat Fleetwood in a shoot-out after a 1-1 draw. Winners since have been Bury in 2018 and then Blackburn twice with no competition two seasons ago. Our last final was three years ago when we were beaten 2-0 by our local rivals.

County Cup finals are now played at the County Ground at Leyland and tonight’s kicks off at 7:30 p.m. with £10 admission for adults, £5 concessions.

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