Accrington Stanley exited this season’s Lancashire Senior Cup in the first round following a 2-0 defeat to Blackburn Rovers at Lancashire FA’s County Ground.
Both teams named strong sides, with Stanley wingers Wilson Carvalho and Sean McConville both among the starting XI, and strikers Dominic Samuel and Danny Graham in the line-up for Rovers.
The game started very evenly, with Connor Simpson and Okera Simmonds both firing efforts off target.
Rovers were awarded a penalty just before the half hour mark when Toby Savin bundled over Samuel, who got up to fire the ball past Stanley’s goalkeeper and open the scoring.
Simmonds looked to trouble the Rovers goalkeeper just before the break, but his shot was met with an excellent save before the ball was then well cleared.
Following the break, Savin did wel to deny Samuel a second goal, before Simmonds was again denied by the Blackburn goalkeeper.
Carvalho began to cause the Blackburn defence a lot of problems, but moments later the referee awarded Blackburn a second penalty, with Graham then stepping up and firing past Savin to double the lead.
McConville fired just wide of the target with just over five minutes left to play, and the Rovers defence stood strong to see out the win.
After the match Stanley Under-23s manager Ged Brannan said: “There were loads of positives tonight, I think the lads matched them in the second half especially and there goalkeeper was outstanding today.
“All we need is a bit of luck in front of goal and if we had that, then we could have beat them tonight, but we moved the ball very well and we pressed high up the pitch so we were delighted with that.”