Rams youngsters heartbreak
FA Youth Cup fourth Round
Derby County Under 18`s 3 Barnsley Under 18`s 3
Barnsley won 9-8 on penalties
There was heartbreak at Pride Park as the Rams went out of the FA Youth Cup after a dramatic fourth round encounter against Barnsley. The game was locked at 3-3 at the end of extra time with the Tykes winning the tie 9-8 in a sudden-death penalty shoot-out.
It was, as they say, a classic cup tie, Derby had all the early pressure but they were caught on the break seven minutes in and fell behind to a sucker-punch goal. The visitors broke quickly and Luke Federenko cut inside from the left and fired past Ross Atkins. The Rams hit back on 24 minutes, Mario Loesch fed Matt Richards, who showed a great turn of pace and he played in Paris Simmons, who beat the last defender and keeper James Waggett to roll the ball into an empty net.
There were chances at both ends with the lively Federenko again involved for the Tykes, he was sent clear by a long clearance from defence and he beat the oncoming Atkins, but the alert David Wood got back to clear the danger, with Karl Ashton also going close twice for the Rams. The Rams began to dominate, again and it wasn`t long before they had the lead, Simmons sent Ashton clear, only for Waggett to somehow produce a stunning double save to deny the Rams youngster and Flemmings follow-up shot. But in the goalmouth scramble that followed Karl Ashton fired home to give the Rams a 2-1 lead.
Derby's football was much brighter now and they could have made it three with six minutes left before the interval. Simmons started the move and almost finished it. His ball found Ashton down the right, he found the overlapping Simmons, who beat two defenders, only to see Waggett turn away his powerful drive. It was 2-1 to the Rams at the break
Simmons and Loesch both fired wide for the Rams in the early stages of the second half, and at the other end Ryan Jennings shot was wide of the target from long-range. But it was all-square again just after the hour, Miles Addison failed to deal with a high ball up near the halfway line and the lively Federenko broke clear down the left. His low cross was unfortunately tuned past his own keeper by Wood.
There were no further goals in the rest of normal time, although both sides had their chances. The Tykes Jacob Butterfield`s long-range shot was heading towards goal before it was deflected wide. For the Rams their substitute Tryon Shepheard almost scored with his first touch, but Waggatt again came to Barnsley`s rescue, and in the last minute of normal time the Rams went within inches of the winner, Richard`s long-range strike flew inches past the post.
In to extra time and the players were showing signs of fatigue and the Rams had a strong penalty claim turned down by referee Plowright, after Flemings shot was charged down inside the box by the arm of Danny Smith. The Rams fans screamed for a penalty but nothing was given.
But there was heartbreak for the Rams youngster as with two minutes remaining on the clock, Barnsley took the lead. Kyle Wyatt was allowed to wriggle free in the corner and he whipped over a lovely cross that midfielder Butterfield spectacularly volleyed home.
It was a little harsh on the Rams youngsters, but the drama wasn`t over yet, and in the third minute of injury time they levelled. Fleming picked up the ball on the right and chipped over a lovely cross that second half substitute Robert Ujcik poked past Waggett from close-range and ensured penalties.
It was poor start for the home side when Aston`s first spot-kick was saved by Waggett. All the other penalties were scored, meaning if Barnsley skipper Luke Potter scored the last penalty the Tykes were through. But Rams keeper Atkins saved to send it to sudden-death. At 8-8 Beardsley shot was saved by Waggett, leaving Ryan Jennings to beat Atkins and send the tykes through to a home fifth round tie against Birmingham City, 9-8 on penalties.
It was a great game played by two determined sides and Rams Academy Manager Kevin Thelwell said: 'It's really difficult as there's probably nothing you can say to young boys at this stage after they have tried so hard and played so well to try and win a game of football.
"We're proud of this group of boys for the way they really tried to perform as well as they can all night.
"We hope now that they will take something away and learn from the experience."
'We had an extremely young team out there so they will benefit from the experience, as you learn from every game you play in,' Thelwell added.
"Unfortunately tonight was a very hard lesson for them. It will take them a week or so to pick themselves up, as young boys do, but they will be back - hopefully even brighter and better than they have been."
Derby County: Ross Atkins, Jason Beardsley, David Wood (Robert Ujcik 102), Matt Richards, Miles Addison, Mario Loesch, Paris Simmons (Tyron Shepherd 63), Mark Dudley, Karl Ashton, Alex Fleming, Mitch Hanson.
Subs not used: Alex Ford, Anthony Robertson, Jake Kean
Barnsley: James Waggett, Mark Devonshire (Luke Waterfall 45), Danny Smith, Ryan Jennings, Luke Potter, Jacob White, Greg McGrory (Danny Frost 60), Jacob Butterfield, Chris Brown, Kyle Wyatt (Liam Ormsby 77), Luke Federenko.
Subs not used: Daniel Free
Referee; Mr Plowright