Oldham Athletic youth team needed extra time to progress through to the FA Youth Cup second round, winning 3-2.
Rio Murray got the goal in the 104th minute to win the game for Tony Philliskirk’s youth team against Chester, who fought right until the end.
Latics fell behind on 14 minutes as Tom Crawford gave Chester the lead but minutes before half time, Murray’s header sent his side into the break level.
Jamie Stott gave Philliskirk’s side the lead from the penalty spot on 54 minutes but just after the hour Oliver Nugent equalised.
It was Murray that won it in extra time for Latics with Philliskirk’s men hosting Morecambe in the second round of the competition.
Philliskirk’s youth team were missing a lot of their more senior players through injury meaning he had to name two under 16 players in his starting 11, with another named on the bench.
Latics had much of the early possession and a slip on six minutes almost allowed striker Rio Murray a chance to run on goal but Chester’s Joe Savin just recovered in time to clear the danger.
The first chance of the game came four minutes later as Jamie Stott’s perfectly-weighted through ball found Irish forward Brendy Glackin but the youngster just took too much time to get his shot away and was crowded out.
Under 16 midfielder Chinedu Uche stung the palms of the goalkeeper but the visitors took a surprise lead on 14 minutes through Crawford.
Latics midfielder Alex Read’s loose pass was picked up by Chester winger Nathan Brown. He advanced onto the edge of the penalty area and picked out Crawford in the box to power his header past Chris Renshaw.
That goal lifted the visitors and they went in search of a second. They started to dominate the possession and dictated play.
Goalkeeper Chris Renshaw was the reason the scores stayed as they did on 27 minutes.
From an Athletic free kick, Chester broke and Oliver Nugent bared down on Renshaw but the goalkeeper stood tall to palm his shot away.
Latics started to come back into the game and captain Jamie Stott had two chances to get his side level.
Firstly his free kick from 25 yards was well saved by Chester goalkeeper Harry Mates but two minutes later, he finally did beat the stopper but the crossbar denied his front post header from equalising.
Athletic had to be wary of the counter attack and again Renshaw pulled off a first-class stop to deny the visitors from extending their lead.
Nugent tried his luck from 30 yards, looped the ball over the goalkeeper but his strong outstretched arm clawed the ball out and he was on hand to pick up the rebound.
That save would not have looked out of place in the Premier League and Latics drew inspiration from that save and equalised on 41 minutes.
Read, who made the bench for Saturday’s first team game against Burton Albion, swung in a free kick which found the head of Murray and he equalised.
Latics were in the ascendancy and finished the half strong. They should have maybe taken the lead a minute before the break but Brendy Glackin could not direct his header on target after a great cross from Mason Fallon.
The visitors had a great chance to regain the lead five minutes into the second half as Kieran Evans’ free kick found Kevin Exell in the area but he blazed over from six yards.
They would come to rue that missed chance as Latics took the lead from the penalty spot.
Striker Murray was fouled by the goalkeeper in the area and Stott stepped up to fire down the middle and give Latics the lead.
With Philliskirk’s men seemingly in control, a mistake in the defence saw Chester equalise with Nugent tucking the ball past Renshaw to make it 2-2.
The young Latics needed a response and almost instantly regained the lead but Fallon’s shot looped wide of the far post.
It was Athletic that were doing most of the attacking and with 20 minutes of the game remaining Dylan King’s near post header rattled the crossbar.
With legs starting to tire, Chester sensed they could maybe cause an upset and Nathan Brown’s shot from 10 yards went inches over Renshaw’s crossbar.
The visitors did edge the final minutes of normal time but could not muster a clear cut goalscoring opportunity.
The full time whistle blew with both sides given five minutes to regain their composure and take in fluids.
It was the non-league side that started the first period of stronger and they went close on two occasions in the opening five minutes.
James Mullings’ header was saved by Renshaw and the goalkeeper was called upon seconds later to deny N.Evans from 12 yards.
Latics grew into the half and winger Knight proved a real handful on the right to the Chester defence.
He dug out a cross two minutes before the break but Kay headed at the goalkeeper but a minute later, his trickery and play managed to help get Latics ahead.
He got beyond his defender, played a low cross straight onto the foot of the onrushing Murray to put Latics 3-2 ahead.
With Chester throwing everything forward in a bid to get something out of the game, they thought they had equalised on 113 minutes, only for the goal to be ruled out by the referee’s whistle.
The ball was blasted into the box from 30 yards and the goalkeeper seemed to be held as the ball went over the line but the referee spotted the incident.
Cramp started to get the better of some players but the visitors fought to the end but ultimately it was Latics that came away with the victory.
Philliskirk’s men now host Morecambe in the next round of the competition with all details of the tie to be announced in due course.
Oldham Athletic: Renshaw, Lent, Middleton, King, Stott, Read, Knight, Uche (Murphy 100’), Murray, Glackin (Kay 67’), Fallon
Subs not used: Brown, O’Neill.
Chester FC: Mates, Evans, Waters, Scarisbrick, Savin, Jones, Brown, Dawson ((Exell 34’) (Jones 113’)), Nugent, Crawford (Mullings 71’), Evans.
Subs not used: Morton, Ap-Gareth.
Goals: Oldham Athletic (Murray 41’, 104’, Stott 54’) 3-2 Chester FC (Crawford 14’, Nugent 62’)