Mossley were thankful for a fantastic last minute winner to beat North West Counties League promotion hopefuls Irlam in what was an exciting, at times frustrating, high tempo Manchester Premier Cup tie at Silver Street on Tuesday night.
David Fish named a strong line up for the game and the Lilywhites made a very lively start putting the home side under plenty of early pressure but without reward.
Irlam preferred to play out from the back and Mossley employed a high press with the intention of keeping Irlam penned in. However, Irlam were still successful on playing their way out and the first half developed into an even end to end encounter.
Fawns and Pratt had the best chances for Mossley in the opening 30 minutes but both were off target.
Then followed the night's first controversial moment. Pratt shaped to hit an overhead kick but quickly withdrew when it became untenable. However, the ball broke to Mason Fawns who lashed the ball into the roof of the net only for the referee to penalise Pratt for something he had only threatened to do.
The decision counted only to spur Mossley on and the breakthrough goal finally came a minute before the break. Levi Phillips was fouled outside the box and Fawns clipped free kick was met by Andy Keogh, who's looping header gave the home keeper no chance to see the Lilywhites in front at the break.
Mossley employed the high press with more purpose after the interval and created several chances with Fawns the main protagonist as he failed to find the target when well positioned on more than one occasion.
Kane Hickman hit a powerful 25 yarder that home keeper White did well to keep out and a brilliant mazy run by Devon Matthews saw the Mossley centre back fire narrowly wide as Mossley turned the screw.
Out of the blue, just after the hour mark, Irlam were awarded a very dubious penalty. Silcott-West's raised foot caught Phillips and the Irlam player went down in the challenge. Irlam player-manager John Main stepped up to smash home the spot kick to level the score very much against the run of play.
Kuba-Kuba, Pratt and Keogh all went close to restoring the lead but home keeper White was having a great game and it looked like Mossley might be in trouble for their missed chances as Irlam moved forward. With less than five minutes remaining the Lilywhites were relieved to see Pollitt's shot come back off the furniture before being cleared to safety.
Mossley needed one more mighty effort to avoid the lottery of a penalty shoot out and they found it as the game entered the final minute of the 90. Outstanding 'Man of the Match' Andy Keogh won the ball on the right touchline and showed fantastic resilience to beat several players as he ran the ball along the dead ball line before passing across goal for Mason Fawns to steady himself and fire home from close range to end what had been a frustrating night on a high for the former Ramsbottom play-maker.
Fawns and Keogh ran the clock down in the corner through the closing seconds of stoppage time and Mossley were through to the second round.