Watford under-18s suffered a heart-breaking defeat to Fleetwood Town in the FA Youth Cup last night.

The Hornets led 2-1 with just 90 seconds left on the clock following a brace from Dominic Hutchinson, but the hosts levelled in the fourth minute of additional time and went on to win 4-3 in the resulting penalty shoot-out.

Fleetwood go on to face either Bolton Wanderers or Millwall in the next round – those two play each other tonight.

All was going to plan for Watford after 38 minutes as skipper Hutchinson fired last season’s semi-finalists into the lead at Highbury Stadium.

However, the young Hornets failed to kick on from this advantage, and Fleetwood found themselves level before the break as Kian Makepeace found a way past Dante Baptiste.

The game continued to be a tight affair in the second half, but the Golden Boys thought they had won it with six minutes of normal time remaining as Hutchinson grabbed his second.

However, Fleetwood refused to lie down and they forced extra time when Enoch Takpe made it 2-2.

A goalless additional 30 minutes ensued, resulting in penalties deciding the outcome. The hosts prevailed after misses from Watford’s Sonny Blue Lo-Everton and Kamil Conteh, which saw the visitors bow out at the third-round stage.

After the game, under-18s lead coach Simon Clark told the club website: “It’s tough to take. The lads are hurting, but they are on a journey and what defines you as a footballer is what you do in the tough times, not always what you do in the great times.

“This was a big game and we have come up short and it’s about what we do next, how they respond. I’ve said to them we’ll look at it, we’ll give you feedback but maybe you have to look at it yourselves as two or three of you haven’t performed to the level we expect.”