A Nathan Webb header secured Accrington Stanley youth a Third Round tie against West Ham United in the FA Youth cup with victory over Ilkeston by one goal to nil.
Ilkston had the first chance of the game when Rai Simons raced through one-on-one and lifted the ball over the outrushing Kieran Wolland but his effort landed wide of the post.
Dieter Downey’s mistake presented the ball to Ryan Osborne who arrowed a shot across goal and wide.
Dalian Barker, who has scored five goals in his last four games, had Stanley’s first effort of the game on 22 minutes but his shot was well held by Charlie Mansfield in the Ilkeston goal.
Stanley found themselves on the back-foot from an attacking position as Connor Mahoney’s free-kick failed to beat the first man and Che Adams countered down the left before cutting in and bending an effort goalwards, which cannoned back off the upright.
Wolland made a superb low save on the stroke of half-time before launching a counter-attack which saw Mahoney’s cross find Max Hazeldine at the back-post but the attacker failed to convert from an improbably angle.
Accrington stepped it up a level after the break and Nathan Webb forced Mansfield into an early save and Hazeldine failed to gobble up the rebound before the goalkeeper smothered the ball.
Mahoney won and stepped up to take a free-kick on the edge of the area, however his tame effort never troubled the goalkeeper, and moments later he had another effort from range saved by Mansfield.
The hosts began to grow back into the game on 56 minutes when Osborne bent a shot wide of the post, before the attacker failed to get full contact on a deep cross and his effort trickled past the post.
The defining moment came when a bit of trickery from Mahoney down the right drew a foul from Curtis Burrows, and he stepped up to take the resulting free-kick in which Webb, the smallest man on the pitch, rose the highest to head Stanley into the lead.
The hosts should have leveled on the 80th minute when full-back Luke Shaw found himself in acres of space six-yards out but he failed to keep his composure and missed the target.
The goalscorer slid in Hazeldine a few minutes later and he drove towards goal one-on-one forcing Mansfield into a magnificent save.
Stanley dominated the later exchanges with a Hazeldine overhead-kick landing on the roof of the net and Webb heading over as substitute Jack Hartley helped on Mahoney’s corner to the back post where the winger was lingering.
There was just enough time for one final twist in the tale as Simons danced around the whole Stanley defence and to the astonishment of all around prodded his shot wide from four-yards.
The result ensured Stanley progressed to the Third Round of the competition for the first time in their history.