Burton Albion slipped out of this season's Carling Cup but they gave their hardy fans a thriller to watch as they came from 2-0 and 3-1 down to force extra time against npower Championship opposition for the second year running.
Ultimately though, Burnley's superior fitness told in extra time as they racked up three more goals to run out 6-3 winners with England under-21 international Jay Rodriguez bagging four of the goals, two from the penalty spot. However it was a game in which the Brewers can be proud of their fighting qualities and where they scored three times agains a side from two divisions higher up the Football League.
It all looked to be over for the Brewers when Charlie Austin put a torrid night in front of goal behind him to put Burnley 3-1 up but after Cleveland Taylor's earlier strike for the Brewers, Burnley's defence looked anything but Championship class as Calvin Zola and Jacques Maghoma, in stoppage time forced the extra thirty minutes.
Brewers boss Paul Peschisolido made two changes to the side that fought out a 2-2 draw with Torquay United on Saturday afternoon. Jacques Maghoma returned to the starting line up after completing his two match suspension in place of skipper John McGrath and Tony James was restored to the back four in place of Tom Parkes who served his one match ban for two yellow cards at Torquay.
With seven substitutes able to be named there were first call-ups for first team action for summer signings Danny Blanchett and Adi Yussuf.
Burnley were quickly on the attack and were close inside the opening minute. A strong run down the left from Charlie Austin seemed to be covered by Nathan Stanton and it looked as if the ball would run out for a goal kick until the former Swindon striker managed to pull back a cross for Jay Rodriguez to hit a first time shot wide of the near post under pressure from Tony James.
After a spell of Burton possession Burnley were back on the attack and looking to poen the scoring in the seventh minute. Wade Elliott exploited space down the left and although his cross was blocked the ball came back out for Kierna Trippier who saw a deflected shot go over the crossbar.
Ross Atkins, so far looking calm under anything that came into his box had to rush to the edge of his penalty area in the 14th minute as some patient passing from the home side almost paid dividends with Charlie Austin making a good run only to be denied as Atkins cleared his lines.
Albion's first real shot at goal came in the seventeenth minute. Chris Palmer got himself well forward on the Burton left and after a neat link up with Justin Richards worked space for a left foot shot that the former Gillingham man pulled his shot across goal.
An even better chance presented itself as the game ticked into the twentieth minute. Richards drifted wide and was able to play a neat ball inside to Cleveland Taylor but after taking a touch the winger drove a low shot just wide of the far post.
Growing in confidence Albion continued to press forward and on 26 minutes it was Richards trying his luck from range. Andy Corbett's pass found the striker in space and he turned and hit a 30 yard shot wide of the target.
As the home crowd began to get frustrated it was Wade Elliott who tried to up the ante as he surged forward just before the half hour mark. The Irish internaitonal took aim and tried to beat Atkins with a low shot from outside the penalty area but the young Derby keeper got down well to smother the ball.
The Championship side continued to look for the opening goal before half time and Albion's Andy Corbett had to get in a good headed clearance to prevent Rodriguez making any connection with Trippier's diagonal ball into the box.
Aaron Webster was the first player frome either side to pick up a yellow card. A promising Burton spell of pressure was broken up inside the Burnley penalty area and as Ross Wallace tried to go around the outside of the long serving Albion man he was tripped earning the inevitable booking.
Jacques Maghoma made a surging break forwards in the 40th minute but with options either side of him he delayed on the ball too long and was eventually closed down denying both Richards and Taylor a chance to move in on goal.
The Congolose midfielder almost gave Albion a half time lead just seconds before the half time whistle. With the Clarets defence backing off he tried his luck from 25 yards out and with Grant beaten at the far post the ball went inches wide of the upright.
Half time: Burnley 0-0 Burton Albion
Burnley made a change for the start of the second half with former Bournemout midfielder Marvin Bartley brought on to replace Dean Marney. It was the hosts that had the first real shot of the second half when Chris McCann tried a shot from the edge of the area, Atkins got behind the ball and smothered it at the second attempt to keep Albion on level terms. Charlie Austin also found some space to shoot after Tony James failed to cut out a through ball but the striker blazed a shot well off the target as the home fans continued to air their frustration.
Ross Wallace forced a good save from Atkins at his near post in the 53rd minute. Kieran Trippier played a neat ball inside and it looked as if the chance might have gone when the striker opted to cut back inside onto his left foot but a low drive forced the Albion keeper to save smartly low to his left. Austin then scooped the resulting corner kick over the bar from close range but he was the centre of attention again moments later when he tried to wriggle into the area and was brought down by Tony James. Strike partner Jay RODRIGUEZ stepped up to break Albion's resistance from the penalty spot.
It was a good job for the Clarets that Rodriguez had his shooting boots on as Austin squandered a glorious chance to double the hosts lead in the 59th minute. Wade Elliott's cross was flicked on by Rodriguez and the former non-league striker completely missed his kick at the far post with the goal gaping.
Just after the hour mark Albion made their firts substitution with young striker Adi Yussuf given his debut in place of Justin Richards. Shortly after a chance fell to Chris Palmer just inside the box but after waiting for the ball to come down the Burnley defence were able to close down his shot.
Burnley won their second penalty of the game in the 65th minute. There was little doubting that Adam Bolder felled Ross Wallace as he burst into the box and there even less doubt about the finish from the spot as RODRIGUEZ fired into the roof of the net.
Two goals to the good, Burnley began to knock the ball around a little more comfortably and there was a danger that the Brewers could have been over-run. Bartley made a darting run down the right in the 71st minute and with the Albion defence stretched his ball in was begging to be headed home but Tony James averted the danger.
A minute later and Albion were back in the contest. Cleveland TAYLOR played a delightful one two with Calvin Zola after cutting inside and he calmly strode into the box and finished low beyond Lee Grant into the bottom corner of the net. A great way to mark the winger's 28th birthday.
Another half chance for Albion came along in the 78th minute. A Chris Palmer free kick found Tony James unmarked beyond the back post and he steered his header back into the six yard box with Grant claiming the ball before any Albion player could get there. Taylor tried his luck again, this time from outside the box as space began to open up but this time his shot was wide of the target.
At the other end Austin was getting closer with a shot that was beaten away by Atkins and with the striker blazing the rebound well wide.
Jimmy Phillips was brought on for the last ten minutes in place of Palmer in the hope that he could unlock the Burnley defence but it was Adam Bolder who almost achieved that with a great ball that Grant had to come out of his area for to deny Zola a shot on goal.
AUSTIN finally put all of the wasted chances behind him with a belting goal in the 83rd minute. Cutting inside he ran across ther edge of the penalty area before unleashing a left foot shot that flew past Atkins into the far top corner.
The goalscoring was not over though and when Yussuf won a 50-50 challenge in the Burnley half the ball broke kindly for ZOLA. The striker had Grant backpedalling and beat him with a thundering finish on the ground where he scored his first Albion goal back in January.
It was all set up for a stirring last five minutes as Albion looked to take the game to extra time. It only needed one chance and it almost came as Yussuf latched onto a pass from Taylor but just couldnt quite pt the ball into the path of Zola who would have had a run in on goal. Albion stunned the hosts with an equaliser in the first minute of stoppage time. Grant failed to hold onto Aaron Webster's free kick and it was a bad mistake as MAGHOMA bundled the ball home from close range.
It was a stunning end to a free flowing match and for the second year in a row the Brewers had taken a Championship side to extra time
90 minutes: Burnley 3-3 Burton Albion
The first period of extra time was barely 45 seconds old when Burnley went back in front. Ross WALLACE picked the ball up in midfield and skipped past Jacques Maghoma before unleashing a superb shot beyond Atkins into the top corner of the net from the edge of the 'D'. It only took a couple of minutes before Burnley re-established the two goal lead they had earlier built up. Neat passing in midfield gave RODRIGUEZ the chance to turn and take aim from 25 yards and his low drilled shot found its way past Atkins to his right.
Elliott was close to a goal for himself in the 98th minute. The winger tried to beat Atkins from a tight angle but was denied by the keeper who saved at the second attempt.
Burnley were hungry for more goals and a teasing cross from Danny Fox had to be cleared by a combination of James and Stanton and Rodriguez finally showed that he was fallible by driving a shot wide of the post with only the keeper to beat.
Albion brought on skipper John McGrath in place of Calvin Zola, a move which allowed Maghoma to push forward in support of Yussuf.
Half time (extra time): Burnley 5-3 Burton Albion
Rodriguez instantly had another chance to add to his tally as the second period of extra time got underway but he stabbed a first time shot wide only to get another chance moments later after a run from Elliott and with the Albion defence flagging the winger slipped a perfect ball through for RODRIGUEZ to bag his fourth of the evening.
It was the last action of the evening for the England under-21 international as Albion were pleased to see him substituted three minutes into the last period of the game. The game was up for the Brewers but they kept plugging away even when Burnley broke away on occasions looking to add to their already impressive collection of goals.
Atkins had to make another smart stop to deny Wallace and then proceeded to push a well struck effort from Elliott onto the crossbar, the ball bouncing twice on top of the bar before dropping behind much to the relief of the Albion stopper.
BURNLEY: Grant, Trippier, Fox, McCann (c), Wallace, Marney (Bartley, 46), Rodriguez, Elliott, Amougou, Austin, Mee. Substitutes: Jensen, Duff, Edgar, Easton, Fletcher, McKee.
BREWERS: Atkins; Corbett, Stanton (c), James, Webster; Taylor, Bolder, Maghoma, Palmer (Phillips, 80); Zola (McGrath, 103), Richards (Yussuf, 62). Substitutes: Poole, Austin, Blanchett, Pearson.
Referee: Mr.C.Pawson (South Yorkshire)
GOALS: Burnley - Rodriguez (56, 66 both pens, 94, 106), Austin (83). Wallace (91); Albion - Taylor (72), Zola (85), Maghoma (90+1)