NATHAN Carlyle couldn’t hide his delight after his extra-time winner completed a stunning comeback for QPR’s Under-18s in their FA Youth Cup thriller on Monday night.
Paul Furlong’s youngsters were seconds away from heading out against Rochdale, who would have progressed at the R’s expense but for Dejahrn Grant’s stoppage-time equaliser.
Rochdale restored their lead in the second period of a pulsating 30 minutes but Rangers came back from the dead again, equalising for a second time through Armelindo Mema before Carlyle struck what proved the winner on a dramatic evening in W12.
“I lost it, to be honest!” the defender, who took off his shirt in celebration, told www.qpr.co.uk.
“It had been a frustrating game but all that went away in that moment and all the passion came out. It was a great feeling.”
It looked like being a night to forget for Furlong’s side, who had struggled to find their groove under the lights.
Carlyle admitted as much afterwards but never lost faith in his team-mates, who showed their ‘never-say-die attitude’ once again this season to prevail.
“We were a bit edgy at the start,” he said. “This is new for most of us, playing under the lights at Loftus Road with a big crowd watching us. We didn’t want to make any mistakes but as the game went on we grew into it and got better.
“All season we’ve been the same, we’ve never stopped going. We’ve just got this never-say-die attitude to keep going; we don’t know when we’re beaten.
“Even going behind in extra-time, we carried on going and luckily managed to get the win in the end.”
The young R’s can now look forward to doing it all again in the Fourth Round.
Carlyle added: “It’s not every game we play in the cup so we know how important the win is.
“We’ll be looking forward to seeing who we get next!”
The FA Youth Cup Fourth Round draw takes place on Friday.
Images courtesy of Ian Randall.