Cambridge United Under 18s came from behind to defeat AFC Bournemouth 2-1 at the Cambs Glass Stadium and book a Fourth Round FA Youth Cup tie away to Brighton and Hove Albion.
Harry Darling twice headed home for the U’s to cancel out a first half goal from Cherries’ full back Charlie Seaman.
The visitors enjoyed the majority of possession and dominated the first half, making it count on 32 minutes when Seaman coolly side footed the ball into the bottom left corner of Finley Iron’s net from 18 yards.
With United unable to craft out on opportunity to level the game before half time, the U’s headed down the tunnel behind.
However, the hosts returned with a far better intensity to put early pressure on the Cherries, with Harry Darling nodding home a close range header to level the scores on 63 minutes.
The goal gave the U’s a surge in momentum and Mark Bonner’s side now had the bit between their teeth, backed by 406 supporters at the Cambs Glass Stadium and grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck.
Once again it was Darling who would register and give the U’s a deserved advantage with seven minutes to play, heading past Dennis in the Bournemouth goal to spark jubilant celebrations.
However, United’s work was not done and they defended their lead resolutely through six minutes of stoppage time which included a stunning reaction save from Iron when it seemed their Premier League opponents were destined to equalise.
Academy Manager Mark Bonner commented: “It was a great win especially when you consider how much pressure we were under during the first half.
“Bournemouth had a lot of the ball, stretched us out and we struggled at times but stayed in the game at just one goal behind at half time. We managed to make the changes at the break that turned the tide of the game and over 90 minutes we deserved to win it.
“The intensity and tempo we played with in the second half was outstanding and much more like we have produced though out the course of the season so far.
“It was all about the result and we know now that we will be away to Brighton in the next round, which was a fantastic motivation for the boys before the game and now something to really look forward to in the New Year.”
Cambridge United U18s: Iron, Davies, Emmins, Squire (Norville-Williams, 45 mins), Darling, Shaw, Lea, Bell-Toxtle, Neal, Worman, Watkins
AFC Bournemouth U18s: Dennis, Seaman, Morrison, Jordan, Cordner, Sherring, York, Ofoborh, Young (Kendall, 79 mins), Diaz, Anthony