GATLIN O’Donkor scored a last-minute winner to send Oxford United Under 18s through to the FA Youth Cup third round in dramatic fashion.

Hosts Reading City twice hauled themselves level in the final 20 minutes, but the striker’s second goal of the night secured a 3-2 victory for the U’s.

Clinton Nosakhare had opened the scoring in the first half after Elijah Coe missed a penalty.

Reading gave it a right go and almost sent the tie to extra time, only for United to prevail in a thrilling finale and set up a trip to Cambridge United in the next round.

The home side, whose youth team is made up of players from partner college John Madejski Academy, were competing at this stage for the first time.

As expected, the U's controlled possession and they should have gone ahead after just 12 minutes.

O’Donkor’s dangerous run drew a foul from centre back George Day in the penalty area, but goalkeeper Archie Walker tipped Coe’s spot-kick against the post.

The stopper saved from James Golding and Mac Masters fired over from long range, before United finally made the breakthrough ten minutes before the interval.

Coe made up for his missed penalty with an assist for Nosakhare, who headed home from a free-kick.

Reading struck the bar from a cross before the break and as the second half went on they were very much still in the game.

The non-league side made it count with 18 minutes left, as Jenyo Balogun drove home a free-kick from the edge of the box.

Within a flash the U’s were back in front as a threatening cross caused problems, with Walker palming into the path of O’Donkor to finish on the slide.

It was a sucker punch for the hosts, but they showed great character to level for a second time.

Balogun was again the scorer, picking out the top corner – only for one more twist to seal victory for United.

O’Donkor showed a striker’s instinct once more, the 17-year-old beating Walker when the ball fell his way inside the box.