Reuben Wyatt completed his hat-trick in the 100th minute to send Northampton Town Under 18s through to the second round of the FA Youth Cup in dramatic fashion.
The young Cobblers won 3-2 against Peterborough United at the Weston Homes Stadium on Tuesday night.
They have secured an away tie against Charlton Athletic which will be played by Saturday 26th November.
Peterborough controlled possession in the early stages, but it was Northampton who created the first chance as Josh Tomlinson peeled off his marker at the back post and headed straight at Matthew Laycock from Brad Smith-Howes’ deep corner.
And the visitors took the lead 10 minutes in, Rico Duggan winning a free-kick on the edge of the area, Ayo Lekuti dummying taking it and Wyatt driving home off the post.
Dennis Kelmendi fizzed a shot just over from the edge of the box as the hosts looked to respond five minutes later, but the Cobblers should have doubled their advantage soon after when Jacob Scott’s close-range shot was blocked on the line and Kai O’Keeffe blazed the follow-up over.
James Dadge made a strong diving save to deny Reuben Marshall’s effort across goal midway through the first half, after which the pace of the tie slowed with neither side able to hold onto possession for very long.
The beginning of the second period was similar to that of the first, Peterborough keeping the ball but failing to create any notable opportunities.
Again it was Northampton who would come close first, Laycock tipping Wyatt’s powerful long-range effort wide of the post before the hour mark.
There was nothing the hosts’ ‘keeper could do to stop Wyatt’s second goal less than two minutes later. A wide free-kick was cleared to the edge of the area, from where the Cobblers midfielder fired a first-time strike in off the post to double his side’s lead.
Posh captain Gergö János Bodnár could have halved the deficit almost instantly when he picked the ball up at the back post and took aim, but his low drive across goal skidded narrowly wide.
And substitute Joe Toynton fired into the roof of the net from a tight angle to do just that with little under a quarter-of-an-hour remaining.
Peterborough flooded forward in search of an equaliser, and they found it with seven minutes to go when Duggan was brought down on the edge of the Cobblers box, but the referee gave the decision the other way. Another substitute, Bayley McCann, curled in the resulting set-piece which evaded everyone in the middle and sneaked in at the far post.
Northampton replacement Neo Dobson almost restored his side’s lead straight from the restart, but he was off-balance and his effort from 18 yards flew just off target.
However, there would be a final twist. In the fifth minute of added time, Fin Amidi ran through on goal and was bodychecked by the onrushing Laycock. Wyatt was eventually able to take the free-kick five minutes later, and he smashed it home to add his third and send the Cobblers through.
The youth team return to EFL Youth Alliance League South East action at home to bottom-of-the-table Brentford on Saturday morning.
Cobblers: James Dadge, Brad Smith-Howes, Ayo Lekuti (sub Matty Ireland 90), Josh Tomlinson, Reuben Wyatt, Rico Duggan (sub Josh Rayfield 90+3), Jacob Scott (sub Neo Dobson 74), Fin Amidi, Kai O’Keeffe, Harry Guess, Leo Jenkins
Subs not used: Marcus Bald, Jamari Hart, Will Ronald, Kiantay Licorish-Mullings