Oxford United's magnificent Under 18s marched on together to the FA Youth Cup quarter finals for the first time in the club's history with a superb 3-0 win over Leeds United at the Kassam Stadium this evening.
An early goal from Enrique Tiamuna and two Gatlin O'Donkor goals were enough to send the U's through to a trip to take on Manchester City on an evening that they will never forget.
Unphased by the stage and occasion, United took the game to their Premier League visitors from the very start and were on top throughout against their higher-category visitors.
After 20 minutes they were deservedly in front. O’Donkor caused chaos with a trademark roll past his defender who did well to block the shot but only at the expense of a corner.
Aidan Elliott-Wheeler delivered the set piece. O’Donkor touched it into the air and when keeper Darryl Ombang fumbled under pressure, Tiamuna reacted to stab the ball into the unguarded net to make it 1-0.
Leeds responded and took the game to the U's without testing unflappable keeper Fraser Barnsley unduly. Meanwhile, the non-stop Elliott Wheeler continued to take the game to them before Josh Johnson let fly from 30 yards out with a magnificent effort that thundered off the bar with Ombang undone.
A second goal was coming and five minutes from the break it was from a predictable source when O'Donkor was simply too strong for the Leeds backline, which melted softly away as O'Donkor ripped through them then smashed the ball high into the net from a tight angle to make it 2-0 at the break.
The fear was that Leeds would come out and raise their game, but instead Elliott-Wheeler drove at the heart of their defence and forced Ombang into an excellent save that settled any nerves. From the corner, O'Donkor showed outrageous skills to bring the ball down and once again slot past the despairing Ombang, who really wasn't being given too much help by his outgunned back line.
The goals will be the focus but behind the frontline, Zaide Took-Oxley and Johnson were ferocious and gave the side the foundataion, while captain George Franklin was a model in leadership alongside the elegant Erion Zabeli in defence.
There was a scare when the terrific Tobias Brenan tackled back and was inches away from scoring an own goal, but that was as close as Leeds came, other than a late free kick from Luca Thomas that Barnsley held with ease.
There were tenacious tackles from full-backs Ibby Sankoh and Rashane Maxwell to ensure that Barnsley had little else to test him, and at the other end the brilliant Elliott-Wheeler, who ran himself ragged, had three superb runs that all ended with shots just off target.
It mattered little. A night the young U's will treasure, a performance full of youthful energy and tight teamwork, and now a chance to visit Manchester City.
Report by Chris Williams, pictures Steve Daniels and Steve Edmunds
2. Ibby Sankoh
3. Rashane Maxwell
4. Josh Johnson
5. George Franklin ©
6. Erion Zabeli
7. Aidan Elliott-Wheeler (17.Kasway Burton)
8, Tobias Brenan
10. Zaide Took-Oxley
11.Enrique Tiamuna (15.Richard Gerrard)
1 Darryl Ombang
2 Cuba Diboe
3 Connor Ferguson
4 Jay Buchan
5 Scott Godden
6 James Debayo
7 Connor Douglas
8 Cian Coleman ©
9 Ben Andreucci
10 Max McFadden (14 Luca Thomas)
11 Marley Wilson (15 Dan Tollson 66)
12 Alex Baird
13 Sam Chambers
16 Joe Richards
17 Ronnie McGrath
18 Rhys Chadwick