Cambridge United Under-18’s 2-3 AFC Fylde Under-18’s

Theo Ball netted a dramatic 90th-minute winner to send The Coasters sailing through to the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup for the first time in their history.

For the majority of proceedings, Newmarket Town FC’s home ground played host to an even contest, until super-sub Ball pounced on a goalkeeping error to slot home, sparking jubilant scenes for Conrad Prendergast’s side.

Football League academy, Cambridge United, proved tough opposition and it took just 8 minutes for The U’s to break the deadlock.

Curtis Poole and Owen Robinson looked to provide a response for Fylde, but both saw their long-range efforts miss the target.

The first big chance for the visitors fell the way of defender Jacob Bridges, who did well to latch onto a loose ball in the penalty area, before curling a right-footed shot just wide of the far post.

It took until the 45th minute for the team in white to finally get their just rewards, as Olly Orr knocked the ball past a Cambridge defender and was brought down to win his side a penalty. Owen Robinson stepped up to convert and level the scoreline moments before the half-time whistle sounded.

HT: Cambridge United 1-1 AFC Fylde

The Coasters’ goal before half-time gave Prendergast’s side confidence, and within one minute of the restart they were ahead. The ball dropped kindly for full back, Sam Gibbons, to strike from range. That he did, striking an unstoppable effort into the top right corner of the net.

That one-goal advantage lasted just 6 minutes, as the hosts equalised through a well-worked team goal.

A flurry of yellow cards were awarded to The Coasters, as the tie became heated in the midst of the second half.

A massive chance was presented to an unmarked Maine Walder on the hour mark, but the skipper was unable to head Gibbons’ pinpoint delivery towards goal.

Conrad urged his players to carry on pushing forward in search of a winning goal, and the game turned on its head when Theo Ball entered the fray with 15 minutes remaining.

On 90 minutes, the young Coasters made FA Youth Cup history once again. Ball, who added a different dimension to Fylde’s attack, latched onto a long, hopeful ball over the top. The striker managed to toe the ball round the onrushing goalkeeper and slot the ball into an empty net, sending The Coasters players and staff into raptures.

The referee blew the final whistle and emotional scenes followed, with tribute shirts to Luke Bennett on show.

A mouthwatering tie at Stamford Bridge now awaits them in the Fourth Round.

FT: Cambridge United 2-3 AFC Fylde