Steve Stone said his side couldn’t have given any more, but credited Rovers’ extra quality in the Lancashire Senior Cup final.

Stone was without a number of regular faces ahead of the game, and also lost leading marksman Dan Agyei to injury before the half hour mark.

The Clarets gave as good as they got, but Rovers began to take charge in the final quarter where they scored twice through Hayden Carter and Jack Vale.

“I already knew they are an Academy we are trying to get to,” Clarets boss Stone said.

“What they have brought through over the years, we have to try and match that.

“It probably just showed, in terms of the quality they had on the ball and what they have done over recent years.

“But you can’t ask any more of the lads I have put out there.

“We’ve got a 16-year-old up front, who is just leaving school, a first-year scholar, a second-year scholar and you have to be immensely proud of what they’ve done. I’m absolutely delighted with them.

“Obviously the result isn’t the one we wanted but I am delighted with what I saw.”

The long throws of Jordan Cropper caused Rovers problems in the first half, but despite several scrambles in the box, clear-cut chances were few and far between.

“You have your moments in games where you have to score and we had a period of pressure in the first half with long throws, free-kicks and corners going in when we had to score,” Stone added.

“Then we had a couple of moments in the second half where we crossed things into the box and you have to get somebody on the end of that.

“Unfortunately, we didn’t and then they showed their quality and were ruthless when they did.

“After that they had the better of the play and their quality showed. It’s a tough lesson for us, but we’ll crack on for next year.”

Burnley are a Category Two academy set-up, one below Rovers, but Stone has seen plenty of progress from his side this year, having performed well in the league and reached the latter stages of two cup competitions.

He added: “The progress has been amazing. It’s the second year of the under-23s and to come to a final like this, to be fourth in the league and get to the quarter-finals of the Premier League Cup is a great start.

“We’re delighted with it, but we have to push on now.

“We will take stock, see where we’ve done some really good things and where we can do better as all football clubs and coaches should, and we’ll try and be better next season.

“It’s as simple as that. We have to drive this harder.”