Barnsley U18s suffered FA Youth Cup heartbreak as they exited the competition at the hands of nine-man Birmingham City in the fourth round.
Rudi Pache’s opener was cancelled out by Josh Andrews, before Kyle Hurst scored a dramatic late winner for the hosts at Leamington FC.
The young Reds largely dominated the first half and went close to breaking the deadlock inside three minutes, but Aiden Marsh dragged his shot wide of the far post.
And when Josh Bradley-Hurst failed to deal with a Brad Binns corner, Pache was on hand to head home from virtually on the goal line to give the visitors a more than deserved lead.
City looked lively on the counter-attack, and the pace of Josh Williams and Kyle Hurst combined with the physicality of Andrews had the potential to cause Barnsley problems, but Tom Harban’s side were resilient and made it to the break unscathed.
HALF-TIME: Birmingham City 0-1 Barnsley
However, just three minutes after the restart, the Blues were level as Andrews thundered home from close range after bulldozing his way through the visiting backline.
The hosts were soon reduced to ten men, though, as the electric Williams was dismissed for a late challenge on Sam Nicholson with 40 minutes still to play.
Midway through the half, the red card was flourished once more by referee Christopher O’Donnell, this time for goal scorer Andrews following an off-the-ball incident with Jordan Helliwell.
Barnsley pushed forward in search of that elusive winning goal and came close through Joe Ackroyd and Will Lancaster, who saw their efforts blocked, while Marsh blazed high and wide as the pressure continued to build.
But City delivered the knock-out blow with five minutes remaining as Hurst produced a moment of magic, flicking the ball around his man before firing an unerring strike on the half-volley that crashed in off the far post.
The Reds piled forward relentlessly in the dying stages but were unable to find a way through as Birmingham set up a fifth round tie with Wigan Athletic.
BLUES XI: Bradley-Hurst, Oakley, Powell, Campbell, Gordon, Browne, Williams, Walker, Andrews, George, Hurst.
Subs: Clayton, Djurovic, Zohore, Traore, Miller, Kinina, Finnegan.
REDS XI: Brown, Hassan-Smith (Walmsley, 78), Pache (Sila-Conde, 37), Nicholson, Calligan, Helliwell (Hodgson, 73), Ackroyd, Winfield, Lancaster, Marsh, Binns.
Not used: Widdop, Ariely, Hassell, Olatubosun.