Luke Hubbins helped send Birmingham City through to the final four of the FA Youth Cup for the first time in 24 years last night.
The right winger broke the deadlock against Watford in the 86th minute at St Andrew’s to hand Birmingham a mouth-watering semi-final tie with Liverpool.
It was a deserved victory for the Blues’ academy side who used their greater strength and height to their advantage.
In front of a crowd of 2,404, Birmingham should have led at half-time. Striker Jake Jervis had a close range shot blocked while midfielder Mitch McPike attempted to replicate his stunning long-range effort that saw off Cardiff City in the last round.
Left midfielder Jamie Sheldon also had an effort cleared off the line by Watford left-back Louis Lavers but the score remained goal-less at the interval.
Hornets front-man Marvin Sordell was a major thorn in the side of the hosts throughout but Birmingham centre-half duo Jacob Rowe and Dan Preston dealt with the threat well.
The same could also be said for Birmingham’s central midfield pairing McPike and Ashley Sammons who got the better of their opposite numbers.
The tie looked to be heading towards extra-time and even penalties before Hubbins, a livewire throughout, found the net four minutes from time.
Having earlier stung the hands of visiting goalkeeper Jonathan North with a shot from distance, Hubbins broke clear of the Watford rearguard and took his chance well to fire home from the right-side of the penalty area.
Birmingham are the only Championship left in the prestigious competition so will no doubt be major underdogs for the two-legged affair with Liverpool.