STOKE CITY 2 (4)
BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION 2 (2)
- Potters through to the Quarter-Finals of the FA Youth Cup.
- Hosts fought back from two goals behind to take the tie to extra-time.
- Neither side could fashion a winner but the home side held their nerve best in a thrilling penalty shootout.
- Kevin Russell’s men now set to take on Preston at Deepdale in the last eight.
STOKE CITY’S U18s produced an herculean second half fightback to help secure a spot in the Quarter-Finals of the Football Association’s showpiece Youth Cup competition on Friday evening.
The young Potters looked destined to fall short at the round of 16 stage after goals from Danny Mandroiu, from the penalty spot, and Archie Davies gave the visitors a comfortable two-goal half-time advantage.
However, a stunning late fightback saw Tyrese Campbell halve the deficit with a thumping strike from 18-yards before a dramatic stoppage time spot-kick from substitute Krisztofer Szereto took the pulsating tie to extra-time.
Neither side managed to navigate victory in the additional 30 minutes, despite the hosts going close on several occasions, meaning penalties were taken to determine the victors at a cold and wet bet365 Stadium.
And as was the case in round three of the competition, when the home side overcame West Ham United by four goals to two, it was the Potters who once more held there nerve to claim a historic triumph by an identical scoreline.
It was no less than Kevin Russell’s battle-hardened troops deserved though, having been by far the brighter of the two sides following a relatively disappointing showing throughout the opening 45 minutes.
In truth neither side deserved to fall victim of the other on the night, with both showing why their respective Academies are so highly regarded in English football.
But, in front of the watching Mark Hughes, who took time away from his preparations for Saturday’s Premier league showdown with West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns, it the Potters who went roaring on through to a stage of the competition that they haven’t reached since 1984.
They will now travel to Deepdale to take on Preston North End, after they progressed at the expense of AFC Wimbledon following extra-time 48 hours earlier.
Stoke City: Deczki; Edwards, Souttar, Da Silva, McJannet; Dunwoody, Read (Szereto), Twyford (Da Silva), Sorensen (Balde); Greenidge, Campbell. Subs not used: Cherdieu, Allen.