Our Under-18 Premier League Cup journey ended at the quarter-final stage as we were beaten 2-1 at Stoke City on Saturday.
We had the game's first real chance, Taylor Foran picking out James Sweet with a fine crossfield pass and our wing-back took the ball in his stride well, but fired just wide.
Conditions took a turn for the worse midway through the half and made it difficult for either side to maintain any sort of control on the match.
The hosts were awarded a penalty in controversial circumstances five minutes before the break, Foran adjudged to have tripped Emre Tezgel after Bradley Ibrahim was caught in possession, but replays suggest that our defender won the ball.
Tezgel stepped up and sent Remy Mitchell the wrong way from the spot as our protests continued.
We started the second half with real momentum and almost equalised when Reuell Walters picked out Billy Vigar with a whipped cross, but our striker's header was saved by Simkin from point-blank range.
Stoke doubled their lead on the hour mark against the run of play, Tezgel running in behind our defence and finishing past Mitchell after we failed to hold our shape once an initial corner was cleared.
Amario Cozier-Duberry forced Simkin into another good save with a powerful effort from long range, while Vigar also went close for a second time as we continued to push for a route back into the game.
We were awarded a penalty of our own deep into stoppage time after Vigar was taken out in the box by the onrushing Simkin. Khayon Edwards converted from the spot to give us late hope, but there wasn't enough time remaining to stage another dramatic comeback.
WHAT IT MEANS
We're eliminated from the Under-18 Premier League Cup at the quarter-final stage.
We're back in Under-18 Premier League action on Saturday, February 19, when we travel to Crystal Palace.
Kick-off is at 11am UK time.
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