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Stoke 0-0 U21s - lost 5-4 on pens - report

9 December 2014

United have been knocked out of the U21 Premier League Cup, after losing on penalties to Stoke City on Monday night.

After the game ended 0-0 after extra-time, the Potters, who were reduced to 10 men towards the end of the opening 45 minutes, won 5-4 on spot-kicks. Kieran Wallace and Joel Coustrain in sudden death missed in the shootout for the Blades at Moss Rose, home of Macclesfield Town.

Reflecting on the cruel defeat Chris Morgan felt the Blades lacked that cutting edge in the final third to win the game prior to the shootout, with the visitors enjoying plenty of possession and a numerical advantage.

He remarked: "Both teams had chances, but we probably could have done more to win the game, we just lacked that bit of quality and composure in key areas, especially in the second-half.

"The sending off on the stroke of half-time saw Stoke change their approach as they looked to get men behind the ball and hit us on the counter attack.

"But we had the better of the chances and in extra-time we looked like making our man advantage count but in the end they held on and we fell just short in the shootout with Kieran and Joel the unfortunate lads not to score their penalties."

In a decent cup tie, which saw Florent Cuvelier come through 70 minutes unscathed, following his cameo appearance at the weekend, Jamie McDonagh had United's best chance early in the game, but after some good play down the flank, the Northern Ireland U19 international fired just over the ball from inside the box.

The second-half ebbed and flowed, with United struggling to break down the home defence, although early in extra-time Jason Paling bombed on from full-back and having being found by Connor Dimaio he unleashed a powerful effort that struck the crossbar with the goalkeeper beaten.

But in the end the game was decided on penalties and it was the hosts that held their nerve to progress to the next round.

Blades: Turner, Paling (Whiteman 101), K. Wallace, Reed, Banton, Berry, Khan, Dimaio (Coustrain 101), Adams, Cuvelier (Calvert-Lewin 71), McDonagh.
Unused: Willis, Kelly.

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