- Leicester City’s Under-18s beat Fulham 2-1 after extra-time in the FA Youth Cup Third Round
- Will Russ and Luke Thomas were on target for the young Foxes at King Power Stadium
- City will face Crewe Alexandra in the fourth round
After a goalless first half, Will Russ struck after the interval for the hosts, before Fulham captain Matthew O’Reilly equalised on 62 minutes from the penalty spot.
Sending the tie to extra-time, Leicester captain Luke Thomas converted a penalty of his own to win it for his side.
The young Foxes will now face Crewe Alexandra in the fourth round following their 2-1 win over Bristol City.
Early on in the tie, a cross from Thomas was gathered comfortably by visiting goalkeeper George Wickens in the first sight of goal for either side.
The Cottagers posed a threat of their own at the other end with Fabio Carvalho stealing possession from Sidnei Tavares in front of the hosts’ box, but Timmy Abraham strayed offside.
A smart turn and pass from Tristan Cover, into the path of Sylvester Jasper, could very easily have led to an opener for Fulham, if not for a last-ditch intervention from defender Ed Elewa-Ikpaku.
Carvalho was proving to be a menace to the young Foxes and, when O’Reilly’s corner came his way midway through the first half, the 16-year-old send a volley crashing onto the bar.
When City prospect Tyrell Pennant looked to play Russ in behind, only a perfectly-executed challenge from Connor McAvoy denied him the opportunity to open the scoring.
Pennant, too, almost etched his name onto the scoresheet when he met Liam Loughlan’s inventive cross, but his volleyed effort skimmed the base of the post and trickled behind.
The patience of Russ, a star in U18 Premier League South division this term, paid off in the second half as he got on the end of Dennis Gyamfi’s cross to head past Wickens at his far post.
Fulham were awarded a penalty just after the hour-mark after O’Riley’s through ball set Cody Drameh free behind the backline, before playing in Sonny Hilton.
After being pulled to the floor in the 18-yard box, O’Riley stepped up and precisely placed his spot-kick into the corner to level the scores and send the tie to extra-time.
In the dying moments of normal time, though, the hosts were lucky to escape defeat as Scott Armsworth’s header was saved brilliantly by young Foxes ‘keeper Oliver Bosworth.
Terry Ablade, immediately after, then sent the rebound off the underside of the bar – giving City a reprieve ahead of extra-time.
In the allotted extra 30 minutes, a foul by McAvoy on Pennant was deemed to warrant a penalty and Thomas stepped up to make sure of safe passage for Leicester’s youngsters.
Meanwhile, the Club's Under-18s will now not be action until the home league clash with Chelsea on Saturday 5 January (12pm GMT kick-off).
A date and time for the fixture against Crewe will be confirmed on LCFC.com in due course.
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