Ronaldo Brown and Rory Middleton scored the goals as Oldham Athletic progressed through to the third round of the FA Youth Cup to set up a home tie against Birmingham City.
Brown opened the scoring 10 minutes into the second half, converting from a neat free kick routine whilst into additional time, Middleton’s pinpoint free kick found the top corner as Athletic set up a tie with the Championship club in the third round.
The youth team did not have it all their own way as Romulus pushed them all the way but Tony Philliskirk’s men progressed.
Philliskirk named the same side which beat Bury in the first round of the competition but they got off to a nervy start as Romulus went close early on.
Romulus winger Dexter Walters created space in the penalty area but Callum O’Neill stood up well and pushed his fierce effort wide.
The hosts continued to put pressure on the Oldham Athletic goal as Ricardo Dudley’s cross found the head of Anthony Smith but his header went wide of the post.
Athletic responded well and could have been ahead on two occasions soon after.
From a corner, Mason Fallon’s goalwards shot forced the goalkeeper into a smart save but he could only push it out towards Brad Kay whose rebound was again saved by Daniel Griffiths.
Latics were looking dangerous from set pieces and Rory Middleton’s free kick found Festus Arthur in the centre, he headed across goal to Kay but the striker missed his kick from close range.
It was a frantic opening to the game as Kay again forced the goalkeeper into a good save from close range after Tom Hamer’s long throw-in into the box.
Both sides started to settle into the game as O’Neill comfortably saved an effort from Smith whilst central defender Tommy Lent fired over the crossbar from inside the box.
There was a break in play as Francois Antoine went down with a nasty looking injury and he was replaced by Jay Sheridan.
Romulus should have taken the lead before half time as striker Smith got behind the defence but was denied by O’Neill who made a double save.
Athletic kicked off the second half strongly as they took control of proceedings.
They took the lead on 55 minutes through a well worked free kick routine which would not have looked out of place in the Premier League.
Chinedu Uche played it short to Rory Middleton, he tapped it into the path of Brown who had found a way past his defender and he struck confidently into the bottom corner to give Athletic the lead.
Philliskirk’s men grew in confidence and should have been two ahead but Sheridan fluffed his lines at the vital moment.
The full back, who was playing left wing, received the ball from Kay’s short pass but, on his weaker foot, he missed his kick as the chance passed.
Athletic started to grow nervy and the game opened up in the final 20 minutes.
Firstly, Lent was forced to clear off his goal line as Dahmanae Sinclair struck from 12 yards, however, Athletic had their own opportunity to extend their lead a minute later.
Middleton’s pass found the onrushing Kay who skipped past his man but he struck wide from the edge of the area.
The home side were creating the better of the chances as Smith and substitute Reuben Okohri went close but O’Neill made the saves.
Athletic did look threatening on the counter attack as Uche, who impressed all evening, shot into the side netting after cleverly creating space for himself.
With only five minutes of the game remaining, Kay should have sealed the win as he was presented with a chance from six yards out but he mishit his effort into the goalkeeper’s arms.
Athletic did make it two in the final minute of the game as Middleton’s free kick from the edge of the box found the top corner to win the game.
Romulus pushed Athletic until the final minutes but it was Philliskirk’s men who registered the win.
Romulus: Griffiths, Dawson, Allen, Sinclair, Dudley, Burke, Burke, Graham, Smith, Brown (Okorhi 54’), Walters.
Subs not used: Allen, McGinnell, Sweeney, Briscoe.
Oldham Athletic: O’Neill, Hamer, Lent, Arthur, Fallon, Antoine (Sheridan 39’), Uche, Middleton, Brown (Dry 89’), Kay, Whalley (Scholes 72’).
Subs not used: Boyling.
Goals: Romulus 0-2 Oldham Athletic (Brown 55’, Middleton 90+1’)