A Rochdale Under-17’s team, made up of first-year scholars and Academy players, ran out 6-1 winners over Burnley on Saturday at Gawthorpe Hall.
Dale were 3-0 ahead at the break thanks to goals from Lewis Bradley, Fabio Tavares and Dan Adshead.
Three more were added after the break through Musambya Kisimba, Adshead again, and Louis White, ensuring Dale were comfortable winners despite a consolation goal from Burnley.
Under-16’s goalkeeper Morgan Piper started between the sticks, with Juwan Hamzat and James Neild at centre-back. Charlie Leech (Under-16) started at left-back with Luke Matheson (Under-15) at right-back.
Aaron Morley, Florent Hoti and Adshead made up the midfield three, with Bradley, Tavares and Kisimba (Under-16) as a front three.
Dale were ahead after 11 minutes, when Bradley shimmied past a defender and coolly converted a neat through ball from Hoti.
Tavares could have added a second two minutes later, seeing his shot saved after neat footwork opened up space for him.
He wasn’t to be denied through, and he did double Dale’s lead, converting after Bradley’s shot was well saved by the Burnley goalkeeper.
Morley fired a free-kick just wide of the left post, shortly before his cross was headed off the upright by Kisimba.
Hoti then had a shot from the edge of the area held, before Adshead made it 3-0 on the stroke of half-time. He showed quick feet to get past a couple of Burnley defenders, before curling into the far corner from 12-yards.
The home side made a stronger start to the second-half, and forced Piper into a strong one-handed save early on.
However, Dale were soon back on top and added a fourth through Kisimba. Leech put in a dangerous cross from the left which Kisimba met, stealing in front of the goalkeeper, and heading into the back of the net.
Hoti struck a post after a neat one-two with Bradley just inside the area, before Bradley then had a rebound saved.
Dale’s pressure told again 14 minutes into the second period when Adshead doubled his tally by finishing clinically at the near post.
The hosts pulled a goal back against shortly before the hour mark the run of play, finish low at the near post.
White replaced Adshead, and Under-15’s Adam Cullen and Tyrece Beaumont were brought on for the final 20 minutes in place of Hoti and Tavares.
White had a shot turned round the post via a fine diving save from the Burnley stopper, before he saved well from a Hamzat header from a corner.
Forward Cullen did superbly to dribble into the area but dragged a shot wide of the far post, before he cleverly flicked a Leech cross goalwards, only to see it drop just over the crossbar.
There was still time for Dale’s sixth shortly before the full-time whistle, when White stabbed home Bradley’s cross at the far post.