MOSSLEY 1, ASHTON UNITED 1.
(Mossley won 3-2 on penalties)
Ten-man Mossley pulled off a remarkable victory at home to neighbours Ashton United in the first round of the Manchester Premier Cup.
It looked a hopeless cause when the Lilywhites had right-back Caldon Henson sent off in the fifth minute for fouling an opponents who was clean through on goal. It was his second dismissal of the season.
And when John Roberts fired Ashton ahead not long after, it look like it might be damage limitation for Mossley who had four regular starters on the bench to rest them for Saturday’s home FA Trophy tie against Skelmersdale United.
But the 10-man rallied and could conceivably been ahead by half time as Adam Latham was twice denied by super saves from former Oldham Athletic professional Josh Ollerenshaw.
Latham was also clearly tripped when through on goal only for referee Alex Gray to inexplicably book the Mossley man for diving. There was no reason for Latham to go down.
Mossley equalised midway through the second period when Rio Ahmadi headed home a Sam Howell free kick.
There was a let off moments later when Mossley defender and captain Tom Dean sliced a cross into his own net only for the assistant referee to flag for an offside.
Mossley could have won the game late on when substitute Mason Duffy fired narrowly wide while in six minutes of stoppage time Dean and Ahmadi both had goalbound headers blocked.
There was further drama in the penalty shootout when Duffy’s early miss gave the initiative to Ashton.
Ashton’s Mark Lees fired wide and Mossley’s hero was keeper Oliver Martin who saved the last two spot kicks from Alex Johnson and Jody Banim to give the Lilywhites what appeared an improbable victory after Henson’s early dismissal.