Blackburn United and Fishwick Rangers saved the best for last in the Under 21s Final of the AMT Lawyers Football Championships.

In thrilling second half Preston’s Fishwick Rangers led 2-0 until United launched an amazing comeback to bring the game level in the 70th minute. As the game headed towards extra-time a penalty handed Fishwick the cup.

It was cruel way to finish the tournament but Fishwick’s first half display was methodical and efficient.

United had come into the match, played at Victoria Park, Home of Nelson FC, as marked favourites after their wonderful attacking display in the semi-finals.

Pictures by Fayaz Bharucha

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Fishwick though started the far stronger and their game plan seemed to stifle United from the beginning. They took the lead through Sohaib and then Saif added a second as the half-time whistle beckoned.

United meanwhile created only handful of chances in that first half and Fishwick could well have had a third with some better finishing.

The second 45 minutes of this game proved to be best in the tournament and credit must go to both sides for putting on a fantastic display for the neutrals.

United came out with a different attitude altogether and pressed Fishwick high up the pitch. That pressure paid off as goals by the lightening quick Reece and Umar turned the game on its head.

With 20 minutes to go it looked like Fishwick would succumb to the United onslaught. But credit goes to Fishwick who weathered the storm. A corner from the right hit a United player on the hand leading to a penalty which was converted to put Fishwick back in front.

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And yet there was more drama with seconds to go - a header seemed to cross the line but the referee played on.

Fishwick were well organised, lethal in front of goal and despite giving up a two goal lead they managed to fight on until the final whistle to clinch the cup.

Earlier Blackburn United had come through the game of the tournament against Prestwich Marauders. United raced into a 3-1 lead and then a moment of real confusion saw the referee rule out a second Prestwich goal.

After a United attack broke down Prestwich counter-attacked and within 30 seconds the ball was in the back of the net. The referee had failed to see an assistant’s flag and pulled the game back to disallow the goal. Apparently the ball had gone out of play during United’s attack. It was harsh on Prestwich.

The second half began with both sides again attacking in numbers. Badr added a second header to put the game out of reach and effectively put United into the final.

The game ended 5-2 but could well have ended 8-6 if the teams had taken their chances.

It was the perfect way to begin the first under 21s Tournament with both sides playing some scintillating football.

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Fishwick celebrated with green flares

Fishwick went up against ASC Face in their semi-final in what proved to be a much tighter game.

Fishwick deservedly took the lead and FACE were lucky to have gone in with eleven on the field after a foul on the edge of the penalty area stopped a goal scoring opportunity.

A great move down the right led to FACE the hitting the bar – a chance that could later prove to be fatal.

They did eventually equalise in the second half - scoring straight from a corner.

Then another moment of controversy. This time ASC Face had their goalkeeper sent-off off handing Fishwick the initiative.

FACE managed to create more chances with ten men and may well have won this if they had put in this performance in the first half. But Fishwick managed to squeeze out a second and there was no coming back then.