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The under-23s went into stoppage time this afternoon trailing Rochdale in the Central League Cup but two goals right at the end gave us a 3-2 win in this the first of three group games in the competition.

Rochdale were the better of the two sides in the first half and twice went in front. They found the net as early as the fifth minute through midfielder Ethan Brierley, but Burnley were soon level when Ne-Jai Tucker’s free kick found the corner of the net.

Despite having chances to go in front, Rochdale were the more dangerous and regained their lead some five minutes before the break with a goal from on loan striker Josh Andrews.

‘Dale had an early chance in the second half, but it was Burnley now on top, but chances were at a premium until Michael Mellon came on and twice came close to equalising, seeing one effort well saved and the second hit the post, both from Owen Dodgson crosses.

With the ninety minutes completed we went into stoppage time and in the second minute of additional time we finally drew level when Mellon (pictured) met another Dodgson cross, and this time headed home a deserved equaliser.

A point? No, there was more to come. Almost immediately, Tucker played in Sam Unwin who made no mistake to win it for Burnley.

The other two teams in our group, Accrington and Bolton, will meet next week in their first group game although the two sides have played a league fixture this afternoon which Bolton won 2-1.

The teams were;

Burnley: Lewis Thomas, Finlay Armstrong, Bobby Thomas (Jake Rooney 68), Jacob Bedeau, Owen Dodgson, Dara Costelloe (Max Thompson 58), Anthony Gomez Mancini, Mark Helm, Ne-Jai Tucker, Lewis Richardson (Michael Mellon 68), Sam Unwin. Subs not used: Sam Waller, Ben Woods.

Rochdale: Brad Wade, Ben Kershaw, Aidan White, Joe Dunne, Kacper Mialkowski, Josh Andrews, Ethan Brierley, Liam Kelly, Jordan Scanlon, Anisio Jesus (Paul Kyffin ht), Matty Done. Subs not used: Brad Kelly, Paddy Watts, Max Sutton, Jadel Yaduat.

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