A stunning strike from Kian Best, following goals from Felipe Rodriguez-Gentile and Finlay Cross-Adair, earned Preston North End a 3-2 victory over Luton Town and a place in the quarter-finals of the FA Youth Cup.
The hosts took the lead 17 minutes in through Oli Lynch, before Rodriguez-Gentile scored his seventh goal of the competition to draw his side level.
Cross-Adair then gave PNE the lead, prior to a quickfire equaliser from Matthews-Lewis at the end of the first half, and Best then put North End back ahead with a fantastic goal just after the hour mark to seal a home tie against either Southampton or Fulham in the next stage.
The Hatters were the side creating the early opportunities and they would have had a tap-in at the far post were it not for a brilliant touch from goalkeeper Tommy Davis, to get to a cross from the left.
He saved Jayden Luker’s 20-yard effort on 15 minutes, but he couldn’t quite do enough a couple of minutes later when Jacob Vickers’ shot across goal went under his body and fell to Lynch, who flicked home from just a few yards.
North End were level at the other end in the 26th minute, when Kitt Nelson’s effort sliced into the air and wasn’t properly dealt with by goalkeeper Sam Bentley, and there was the in-form Rodriguez-Gentile to head home.
The Brazilian nearly had his second of the night soon after, but his header on the end of Kian Best’s free-kick fell just the wrong side of the post.
North End soon had the woodwork to thank for keeping Matthews-Lewis’ effort out from 12 yards, with the ball then bouncing back out off of Davis.
As half-time approached, PNE went ahead through Cross-Adair, who was lurking to finish off from close range after Rodriguez-Gentile had seen a header cleared off the line.
The young Lilywhites weren’t to have a lead at the break, though, with Matthews-Lewis heading home in the second minute of first-half stoppage-time.
PNE were back ahead just after the hour mark and what a goal it was, too. A corner was taken short and then laid onto the edge of the box, and Best shifted round onto his left foot to strike a superb effort right into the top corner – a common theme over the past few weeks.
North End had a scare on 78 minutes when Archie Heron sent a dangerous cross right across the face of goal, but there was no one close enough to tap home.
PNE managed the game well from that point to seal their place in the quarter-finals of the competition, where they will host either Southampton or Fulham at Deepdale, with those two set to play on Tuesday evening.
Luton Town line-up: Bentley; Pinnington, Bateson, Vickers, Johnson; Burger, Martucci (Lorentzen-Jones, 76), Luer, Heron; Matthews-Lewis (Odegah, 70), Lynch. Subs not used: Hockey, Hemlin, Odell-Bature, Moffat, Giwa.
PNE line-up: Davis; Wallbank, Taylor, Best; Seary, Kamara, Mawene, Nelson (Horan, 89_, Slater; Cross-Adair, Rodriguez-Gentile (Wilson, 79). Subs not used: Pradic, Pemberton, Pasiek, Eccleston, Havard.
Referee: Mr S Parkinson.