An extra time winner from Sam Bennett saw Cambridge United’s Under 18s beat local rivals Peterborough United 1-2 in the First Round of the FA Youth Cup.
Having been introduced at half time, Bennett registered a brace to book United’s place in Round Two, as well as claim a win in the first of two local derbies in a week against the Posh.
Both teams shared spells of possession during the opening quarter of the match.
The U’s were close to unlocking the Peterborough defence on 12 minutes with a clever interlinking move down the right, orchestrated by Ben Worman and Inglian Hasani, before Posh keeper Lewis Elsom intercepted the latter’s cross to the far post towards Joe Neal.
However the U’s were guilty of conceding a series of fouls around their 18 yard box and as a result the first half chance of the game fell the way of the hosts, with Andrea Borg’s free kick clattering off the legs of his team mate Idris Kanu and skidding marginally wide.
The U’s continued to play the better football of the two sides as the half wore on, without creating too many opportunities on goal.
Whilst at the other end Idris Kanu continued to look a threat for the hosts, firing over the cross bar after beating Leon Davies with quick feet moments before he tested Fin Iron with a close range header.
A neat passing sequence between Ben Worman and Lee Watkins minutes after half time, opened up space for the striker to take an early shot at goal in the second half which whistled wide.
However United did break the deadlock eight minutes after the break, when half time substitution Sam Bennett followed up on an Inglian Hasani saved effort to side foot the U’s into a lead.
The hosts responded with a substitute of their own, replacing Harrison Burrows with Jack Gurney, who promptly curled a free kick from wide right through the U’s box and into the far corner to equalise.
With the game all level both sides went in search of an all-important winning goal, Joe Neal stinging the palms of Elsom at one end before Lewis Freestone struck the stanchion of the U’s goal minutes later at the other. Neither side could craft a winner within 90 minutes though and the game headed for extra time.
Mark Bonner’s men wasted no time after the restart to restore their one goal lead, Sam Bennett again in the right place at the right time to nudge the ball into an empty net following Worman’s initial shot being saved.
It proved to be the decisive moment in the tie as the U’s held on to book their place in the Second round.
Peterborough United: Elsom, Hart, Freestone, Barker, Garner, Cartwright, Burrows (Gurney, 65 mins), Strachan (Brookes, 90 mins), Davison (Shackleton, 81 mins), Borg, Kanu
Cambridge United: Iron, Davies, Norville-Williams, Squire, Shaw, Goode, Hasani, Watkins, Battersby (Bennett, 45 mins – Bennett replaced in extra time by Johnson), Neal (Michael, 84 mins), Worman