A Joe Colbeck goal in the fifth minute of added time,earned Town a replay in a rip roaring, red blooded, cup tie at Broadhurst Park, Manchester,the palatial home of FC United.
For Town, Tom Platt replaced the injured Wayne Brooksby,and U 21’s keeper,Ben Ledger was given a place on the subs bench.
Town had most of the early possession with Jack Emmett posing a potent threat down the left flank.
Simon Ainge headed an Andi Thanoj centre wide and an astute pass from Warren Burrell released Colbeck on a mazy run,but his final ball was just too long for Don Knowles to catch.
Ainge and Danny Ellis were called into action to head dangerous crosses away as FC United hit back,but on twenty minutes Town took the lead.
Jon Paul Pittman picked up a Thanoj through ball, cut inside and shot under the diving Dave Carnell.
Five minutes later,Knowles limped off the field to be replaced by Chib Chilaka.
A Lewis Turner free kick almost beat Carnell, but he quickly recovered to catch Ainge’s follow up header.
The Red’s keeper, then had to deal with two Emmett shots from the edge of the area, but it was United who finished the half in the ascendancy.
In the final minute of the half, Peter Crook had to claw away a Chris Chantler header but the ball was returned across goal for Dale Johnson to equalise.
Two minutes after the break, Town found themselves behind when Harry Winter rifled in at the far post.
Undeterred, Town almost hit back immediately, when Joe Leesley, who had replaced Tom Platt at the break, forced Carnell to turn his low drive past the post.
In the sixtyfourth minute,George Thompson appeared to make the game safe for United, when he curled in a superb free kick from twentyfive yards, after Ainge had brought down Johnson.
A searching cross from the far touchline by Leesley found the advancing Colbeck, but he blazed well over the bar.
However,with just eleven minutes left, Andy Gascoigne who had replaced Emmett, gave Town fresh hope, when he rose at the far post to head in a Leesley corner.
Town appeared to have squandered their last hope of a result,when a late free kick from Thanoj sailed over the Red’s crossbar.
Referee Joe Hull, awarded five minutes added time and with only seconds remaining, F C United failed to cut out Pittman’s low centre across goal and Colbeck was on hand to sidefoot in at the far post,provoking rapturous scenes of celebration among Town fans and players.
FC United 3 Harrogate Town 3 Att.1541
1 Crook, 2 Colbeck,3 Turner, 4 Thanoj, 5 Ainge, 6 Ellis (c). 7 Burrell, 8 Platt (Leesley 45),9 Pittman, 10 Knowles (Chilaka 65), 11 Emmett (Gascoigne 68).
14 Shiels,16 Thirlwell,18 Ledger Bookings nil, Att 1541
Scorers,Pittman 20,Gascoigne 79, Colbeck 90.
Report by John Harrison