Northampton Town Under 18s were knocked out of the FA Youth Cup First Round Proper on Wednesday afternoon, losing 11-10 on penalties after a 1-1 draw with Cambridge United at the Dog & Duck in Wellingborough.
Myles Cowlins put United ahead early on before Jack Connor equalised for the Cobblers in the second half. Jon Brady’s team held on in extra time despite having Courtney Lashley sent off late on, but the visitors came out on top after 30 penalties.
Manager Brady named the same line up that started Saturday’s dramatic win over Southend United.
They fell behind less than five minutes in when Glen McConnell cut the ball back from the byline and Cowlins found the bottom left corner with a scuffed first-time effort.
The Cobblers almost equalised instantly, but goalkeeper Jonah Gill made a fantastic save, tipping Jack Connor’s header from a Tommy Curry corner on to the bar.
Five minutes before the break, Liam Cross ran down the left and drilled a shot across the face of the goal with Connor free in the middle.
United won a free kick straight after the interval, which Dylan Berry pushed past the post after Daniel Barton dummied Kai Yearn’s cross-shot.
A few minutes later, Lewis Gilbert missed an excellent opportunity to equalise. He ran through on goal but took too long and was denied by Gill who had ran off his line.
Moments later, Connor did level the scoring. Gilbert played the ball out wide to Lashley, whose dangerous cross was volleyed home by the striker from the penalty spot.
United substitute Sal Akanbi almost made an instant impact less than a minute later, but his tame effort from six yards rolled past the post.
Lashley made a late challenge on Nathan Brown in injury time, and the Cobblers left back was sent off. The final whistle blew a few minutes later, and the tie moved in to extra time.
United, with a man advantage, dominated in extra time, and had a great chance to retake the lead five minutes in when Akanbi floated a cross to McConnell, who planted his free header straight at Berry.
The Cobblers saw out extra time despite facing heavy pressure, and the tie went to penalties.
Both sides took 15 spot kicks each, and the deciding moment came when Hill denied Max Dyche, sending Cambridge into the second round.
Cobblers - Berry (GK); Lack, Dyche, Flanagan, Lashley; Cross, Scott (C), Abimbola; Gilbert (sub Watkins, 119), Connor (sub Ngwa, 111), Curry (sub Ndefo, 100). Unused subs - Woods (GK), Hill.
Cambridge - Gill (GK); Brown, Beckett (C), Jobe, Maragh; Braithwaite, Cowlins, Yearn, Tarpey; McConnell, Barton (sub Akanbi, 55). Unused subs - Chadwick (GK), Chipps, Brumby, Nzeh.
Referee - Ben Cooke.
Goals - Cowlins (0-1, 4), Connor (1-1, 54).
Assists - McConnell (0-1, 4), Lashley (1-1, 54).
Penalties – McConnell Goal (0-1), Cross Goal (1-1), Yearn Goal (1-2), Lack Miss (1-2), Tarpey Miss (1-2), Scott Goal (2-2), Braithwaite Goal (2-3), Watkins Goal (3-3), Cowlins Miss (3-3), Dyche Miss (3-3), Akanbi Goal (3-4), Abimbola Goal (4-4), Brown Goal (4-5), Flanagan Goal (5-5), Maragh Goal (5-6), Ngwa Goal (6-6), Beckett Miss (6-6), Ndefo Miss (6-6), Gill Miss (6-6), Berry Miss (6-6), Connell Goal (6-7), Cross Goal (7-7), Yearn Goal (7-8), Lack Goal (8-8), Tarpey Goal (8-9), Scott Goal (9-9), Braithwaite Goal (9-10), Watkins Goal (10-10), Cowling Goal (10-11), Dyche Miss (10-11).
Booking - Dyche (time wasting), McConnell (foul).
Sending Off - Lashley (professional foul).