Lincoln City U18s travelled to Barnsley looking for a place in the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup but were denied by a Fabio Jalo strike in extra time.
It was Jalo, who has made six appearances for the host’s first team this season, who had the first attempt of the game as he broke down the right-hand side and forced a strong save from Isaac Allan.
Lincoln almost took the lead in the 30th minute when Russell Berko slipped the ball through to Gbolahan Okewoye, whose shot was smartly parried by the Tykes’ goalkeeper Rogan Ravenhill.
In sub-zero temperatures, the two sides went into half-time goalless after a closely-contested first 45 minutes.
Barnsley opened the scoring in the 53rd minute following a mistake from Allan as Emmaisa Nzondo robbed the goalkeeper of the ball and finished into the gaping net.
The Imps responded in the 65th minute when Okoro was bundled over in the box and left the referee with no choice but to award a penalty.
Bailey Adamson stepped up and confidently struck past Ravenhill into the roof of the net to force the game into extra time.
In the 113th minute, however, Jalo broke at the Lincoln defence and his shot from outside the box sailed past Allan to put the hosts on the cusp of victory.
A late header by Lincoln defender Charlie Parks hit the crossbar and the full-time whistle quickly followed to confirm the Imps’ exit from the competition.
Post-match, Parks said: “I’m proud of lads as we worked so hard throughout the game and it’s disappointing to lose like that but it’s a bit of magic from Jalo.”
Ash Foyle, head coach of Lincoln City U18s, said: “We always knew it was going to be a tough challenge but we had full belief we could certainly make a game of it.
“It’s a shame we didn’t take our chances because we probably created the better chances in the game but that’s the cruelty of football.”
Lincoln now turn their attention to a match against Salford City U18s on Saturday – see a full list of upcoming games here.