Jack Clarke steps up bid for Sheffield United return in dramatic Leeds United Under-23s victory

Leeds United's Jack Clarke.
Leeds United's Jack Clarke.
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Leeds United winger Jack Clarke stepped up his comeback on Thursday evening with a second outing for the Under-23s side on a dramatic night of Premier League Cup action.

The 18-year-old made his return on Monday at Elland Road as he completed 80 minutes of the 4-0 victory over Charlton Athletic in league action.

Marcelo Bielsa made the youngster available once again against Fulham following his collapse at Middlesbrough last month as he bids to stake a claim to be involved this weekend for the visit of Sheffield United in the Championship.

First-team players Izzy Brown, Barry Douglas and Gaetano Berardi were also handed starts alongside Robbie Gotts with Jamie Shackleton named on the bench in the knockout tie at Nethermoor.

Clarke, though, saw 75 minutes having stepped off the bench at the break after the tie was forced into extra-time.

United dug deep as goalkeeper Harrison Male was given his marching orders shortly after the half-time interval.

Ryan Edmondson had earlier put United ahead from the penalty spot before Matthew O'Riley levelled things for the Cottagers from twelve yards following Male's dismissal for a professional foul on Jayden Harris.

Nicolas Santos-Clase put the visitors in front on the hour but it wasn't to be enough as Brown forced extra-time with 11 minutes remaining.

Clarke was the architect as he found Bryce Hosannah free in the box with the defender drilling low across goal to find the playmaker on hand to tap home.

Penalties were required as the two teams failed to find a winner in the resulting half an hour.

Brown, Mateusz Bogusz, Pascal Struijk and Clarke all bagged for United with Jordan Stevens and Fulham's Steven Sessegnon both missing to send the shootout into sudden death.

Berardi sent goalkeeper George Wickens the wrong way meaning that earlier goalscorer Santos-Clase had to score to keep the Londoners in the tie.

The midfielder's effort, though, was sent over the bar to spark wild celebrations as United sealed progression through to the quarter-finals of the competition.