Millwall’s U18’s prevailed in a thrilling FA Youth Cup Fourth Round tie with Barnsley at The Den earlier this week in a nine goal thriller that went right down to the wire.
Scott Fitzgerald’s men secured a trip to Aston Villa in the next round thanks to a double from Kiernan Hughes-Mason whose extra-time winner finally saw off an excellent Barnsley side who played with 10 men for close to 90 minutes .
The opening half saw the visitors open the scoring on 23 minutes when Chase O’Neill fired home and despite losing keeper Nathan Dean on 33 minutes, the visitors forged further ahead when Michael Teiman converted a Danny Fearnehough cross.
Two down at the break Fitzgerald’s men grabbed a lifeline within four second half minutes, John Marquis, Millwall’s go to man on the night, played in Grant Ludford, who buried his shot past substitute keeper Tom Rusling.
Kamil Tevfik and Jimmy Rogers then both went close but the home side’s pressure told in the 66th minute when Marquis hit a stunning volley to equalise.
With Barnsley visibly struggling in the closing stages from the effects of the earlier dismissal, Millwall had two clear cut opportunities to win the tie but Hughes-Mason wasted both chances.
So in to extra-time and amazingly the visitors regained the lead when Fearnehough curled home a 20-yard free-kick 2 minutes into the first period of extra-time.
The lead lasted just ten minutes and Hughes-Mason atoned for his earlier profligacy in front of goal with a sublime angled finish to draw the home side level.
Tyrone Crapper, who had excellant first half as a midfield destroyer and then as an emergency centre-back, combined with Reuben Noble-Lazarus before dispatching a super 20 yard strike to see the visitors go 4-3 up.
The home side though with greater energy and a man advantage hit back through Danny Fitzsimons whose thunderous long range effort gave Rusling no chance.
With players from both sides now virtually on their knees and the game looking destined to be decided by penalties, the home side sneaked a winner in the final minute of extra-time when Hughes-Mason’s intended cross floated over the head of a despairing Rusling.
The visitors to their credit almost hit back immediately when Noble-Lazarus looked to be impeded in the penalty area and the home side must have feared the worst but referee David Rock waved away the visitors’ vociferous appeals for a penalty and moments later blew up to bring a conclusion to an unforgettable encounter.