Penalties the difference in dogged encounter.
The U’s set out to contain in the first ten minutes, happy to leave Joel Atkin to plough a furrow on his own up top.
But it was spot kicks that decided the match, with the visitors running out 4-2 winners from twelve yards.
It was a dogged match that lacked many clear cut chances and, whilst Town had the advantage with possession, both sides had opportunities to edge the game.
Hard work, endeavour and spirit nearly took the U's all the way in the FA Youth Cup against Ipswich, before penalties saw them fall out of this year's competition.
Chances, as a result, were at a premium in those early stages, but Ramadan grazed the bar with a cross from the right, before Patterson fired well over when the ball broke to him on the edge of the box.
Town then had their clearest sight of goal just after the twenty minute mark. Tennent slipped allowing Ramadan in on goal, but James got back to put him off just as he went to shoot.
The U’s were beginning to grow into the game, and had their first shot on 28 minutes when Brampton marauded forward from left back but fired his effort straight at McDermid.
Next, the U’s won a corner and it found Tennent rising highest in the box, but his effort was well off target.
There was a heart in mouth moment three minutes before half time, though, as Emmanuel powered in a cross that Stephens sliced towards his own goal, with Robinson having to react quickly to gratefully collect.
Level at the break, the U’s were grateful for the work of Robinson four minutes after the restart.
Given a free kick 25 yards from goal, Benyu curled in an effort that looked destined for top corner, before the U’s keeper brilliantly tipped it over.
At the other end, Harrison turned his man sharply on the edge of the box, but his shot on the angle was comfortably held by McDermid.
The U’s then had two great low crosses across the face of goal from James and Brampton, both just needing a touch to convert before they went away to safety.
Guldbrandsen had Town’s next chance, turning quickly and hitting a dipping shot that beat Robinson, but also cleared the crossbar.
The U’s made their first change with thirteen minutes to go, with Oti replacing Atkin.
Blanchfield was next to go close, firing in a long range shot that was always just over the bar, with Robinson happy to wave it by.
There was late drama as Tennent dragged down McLoughlin as the striker bore down on goal, and the referee adjudged it was a free kick. Dozzell fizzed his effort just wide.
Goalless at ninety minutes, the game went to extra time.
As the game approached the hundred minute mark, Town had two good glimpses of goal, but the U’s stood firm.
The game was starting to get stretched as the players began to tire, and the U’s made their second change on 102 minutes, as Milo Downey replaced Andrews.
The U’s had a shout for handball just before the extra time interval, with Brown jinking into space and his cross was met by Oti. Woolfenden, going to ground, blocked it but the referee was unmoved on the penalty shouts.
Aaron Cosgrave replaced Dunne just before the second period of extra time got underway, as both sides sought the winner.
It remained a cagey affair, although it looked like Benyu might get in on goal as Town overloaded the U’s, only for Brampton to nick it and save the day.
With five minutes to go, Robinson was in the right place at the right time to fend away Patterson’s lashed effort from Dozzell’s cross.
U's goalkeeper Robinson went the right way for all four of Town's penalties and watched as one went in off the inside of the post, but misses from Issa and Brampton proved crucial as the visitors edged it in the shoot-out.
And that save proved crucial to take the game to penalties.