FA YOUTH CUP. STOKE 2-3 HUDDERSFIELD (AET)
By Michael Baggaley
FA Youth Cup Fourth Round
STOKE CITY 2 (Alabi, 83, Makrillos 109)
HUDDERSFIELD TOWN 3 (Holmes 46, Mullin 95, 98)
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STOKE City are out of the FA Youth Cup after a 3-2 defeat to Huddersfield Town in a thriller at the Britannia Stadium this evening.
The Potters appeared to have no hope when Town striker Paul Mullin struck twice in the first period of extra time to put his side 3-1 in front in the fourth-round tie.
However, Peter Makrillos pulled a goal back with 11 minutes to play to set up a grandstand finish as Stoke threw men forward.
Substitute Kelvin Douglas then side-footed inches wide with virtually the last kick of the game as Huddersfield edged through to face Nottingham Forest away in the fifth round.
Town had taken the lead when Duane Holmes netted in first-half injury time. However, City battled away and took the game into extra time when striker James Alabi netted from the spot on 83 minutes.
There had been warning signs for Stoke in the eighth minute when Derice Richards sliced a clearance towards his own goal. City keeper Dale Eve palmed the ball away but Mullin should have done better than slam the rebound into the side-netting.
Stoke threatened on 20 minutes when Nathan Ricketts-Hopkinson picked the ball up on the left wing and set off on a surging run which took him to the edge of the area. He unleashed a powerful 20-yard strike which had Town keeper Edward Wilczynski beaten but fizzed just wide.
However, Town striker Mullin wasted a glorious chance when he headed George Conway's cross wide from ten yards.
Stoke hit back as central defender Sam Coulson was unlucky to see his near-post header, from Eddy Lecygne's corner, cleared off the line.
Stoke midfielder Kieran Monlouis also deserved better on 29 minutes when he won the ball 35 yards out, advanced and attempted a superb curling effort which was brilliantly saved by Wilczynski.
Holmes should have done better than fire over from 12 yards on 43 minutes, but the Town midfielder was unfortunate to drive the ball just wide moments later after a weaving run into the area.
There was no reprieve for City in first-half injury time as Holmes pounced on a loose ball just inside the area and drilled the ball across Eve and into the bottom corner.
Stoke 0-1 Huddersfield
Keeper Eve came to Stoke's rescue on 63 minutes when he flung himself to his left to touch Mullin's powerful 25-yard strike around the post.
Stoke needed a flash of inspiration and almost found one when Ricketts-Hopkinson collected the ball on the right of the area. He looked up and tried to bend a shot into the far corner with the outside of his right foot. Keeper Wilczynski was beaten, but the ball brushed the roof of the net on its way over.
The game appeared to be slipping away from Stoke but they were handed a lifeline when Alabi was hauled down at the near post as he contested a corner.
Alabi took the penalty himself and sent the keeper the wrong way to level on 83 minutes.
Mullin almost won the game for Huddersfield in normal time, but guided his header straight at Eve from six yards to the relief of the Stoke defence.
Stoke 1-1 Huddersfield (after 90 minutes)
However Mullin made no mistake five minutes into injury time when he raced on to a through ball and drilled the ball low past the helpless Eve from seven yards.
Stoke's evening went from bad to worse three minutes later when Mullin connected with a free kick to the back post. The striker's header just had enough power to cross the line, leaving Eve protesting he had been fouled in a crowded six-yard box.
Substitute Ryan Cox burst clear of the Stoke defence but slid the ball just wide on 104 minutes to leave Stoke's faint hopes still flickering.
Those hopes were suddenly burning bright 11 minutes from time when Aussie midfielder Peter Makrillos drilled the ball across a crowded area and into the bottom corner from 12 yards.
City substitute Callum Pilkington just failed to connect with a back-post corner as Stoke piled on the pressure. The Potters almost snatched a last-gasp equaliser but under-16s player Kelvin Douglas side-footed inches wide after a superb run by Scott.
Full Time Stoke 2-3 Huddersfield.
STOKE City: Eve, Cook, Coulson, Hulme, Taylor, Lecygne, Scott, Monlouis (Douglas, 99), Richards (Makrillos, 72), Alabi, Ricketts-Hopkinson (Pilkington, 83) Subs: Sanders, Wildsmith.
Huddersfield Town: Wilczynski, Briggs, Starkey, Morton (B Homes, 79), Wilkinson, Boyle, Goddard, Holmes, Mullin (Cox, 100), Conway, Charles.
Subs: Guthrie, Horsfall, Atkinson.
Referee: Steve Copeland