GOALKEEPER Luke Southerington scored a last-minute equaliser and saved two penalties for Oldham Athletic in their epic win at Carlisle United in the first round of the FA Youth Cup.
It was an extraordinary performance from the 17-year-old from Mossley as Latics won a penalty shootout after the tie had finished 4-4 after extra time.
And it was ironic that Southerington, a former pupil at Greenfield Primary, scored on the ground where Carlisle goalkeeper Jimmy Glass once also scored a vital last-minute goal for the Cumbrians.
That came in 1999 when Carlisle needed to beat Plymouth Argyle in the last game of the season to stay in the Football League
With the score 1–1 with only 10 seconds remaining and Carlisle winning a corner, Glass, on loan from Swindon Town, came up from his own penalty area and promptly scored with a volley to keen the Cumbrians up and send Scarborough down.
It was equally dramatic for Latics who were 3-2 down in the last minute when Southerington, who has been with Latics from Under-12s, dashed forward to head Harry Vaughan’s free kick into the top corner.
Southerington, a first-year scholar who began his playing days with Mossley Juniors aged five, had earlier in the game saved a 31st minute penalty from Sam Fishburn.
Then when the tie went to a penalty shootout, Southerington saved the first Carlisle kick which proved decisive as Latics won 5-3.
Southerington, who had his first Latics’ season ticket aged three, said: “This was the top of the tops. This was my high to do it for my boyhood club.
“For me it was a dream and the highlight of my football career. There are highs and lows being a goalkeeper, but this was a high, high.
“It also meant a lot to my dad who was watching the game.”
Southerington, who also went to Bluecoat School, described the elation of scoring the last-gasp equaliser to send the tie into extra time.
He said: “I looked to the bench, and they signalled for me to go up.
“I felt something was going to happen and from the moment the ball left my head everything was a blur. I couldn’t believe what happened.”
And Southerington’s exploits were rewarded with a call up to the first-team squad as he was on the bench for each of the last six league and cup matches.