STOKE CITY'S Under-18s were involved in a six goal thriller on Saturday morning as they came away from the Southampton Academy with a lapse gasp point following Ed Sanders' penalty in additional time.
After trailing 2-0 at half time, the young Potters stormed back with superb strikes from German forward Yusuf Coban and Australian midfielder Peter Makrillos to pull the game level midway through the second period.
However, a Saints goal in the 90th minute looked to have won all three points for the home side, but after Makrillos was brought down inside the area, City's captain was on hand to coolly slot home from 12 yards and earn a 3-3 draw.
The result extends the Potters' run to just one defeat in their last six games as they now prepare for a trip to Manchester United on Tuesday afternoon before welcoming Reading to Clayton Wood on Saturday for the final game of the season.
Head coach John Perkins spoke to stokecityfc.com after the game and revealed his delight at the never-say-die attitude of his side against a decent Southampton outfit.
"We were pretty average during the first half and only had a couple of chances but after the break the lads were excellent," Perkins said.
"I was really pleased with the character and attitude of the group after coming from two goals down and then again in the final seconds of the game to claim a point.
"They reacted really well and never gave up hope of taking something away from the game so the goal at the death was very satisfying.
"Great credit must go to the lads and a number of them like Yusuf and Curtis Strong played really well as did Liam Edwards who played a full ninety minutes after only recently coming back from Dallas with the Under-17s."
The experienced youth coach is now hoping that his side can go on to finish their season on a high against the Red Devils and Royals, and believes the lads are more than capable of picking up the six points on offer.
"The lads have hit a bit of form over recent weeks and we've been really pleased with both the performances and results against some very good teams," said Perkins.
"We'll certainly go into the games against Manchester United and Reading in high spirits and hopefully we can end the season in a positive fashion."