Relieved Peterborough manager Darren Ferguson feared his side were heading out of the FA Cup before their dramatic sudden death penalty shootout win over League Two Salford.
Fynn Talley sent the League One high-flyers through to a second-round home tie against Ferguson’s former club Doncaster by saving Connor McLennan’s crucial spot-kick.
Talley repaid Ferguson’s faith in his selection by also stopping a penalty from Marcus Dackers.
“The decision was a simple one because I though Fynn deserved a chance to play and not just in the Trophy games,” said Ferguson.
“He didn’t have any fault with the goals, he did fine and helped us get through with the two penalty saves.
“It is a big moment in his career.”
Peterborough led 3-1 at half-time but were pegged back by the hour as Curtis Tilt scored his second of the night and Josh Knight put through his own net.
Stevie Mallan put Salford in front in extra time, only for Jonson Clarke-Harris to equalise with the last kick of the tie.
Elliot Watt then hit a post with what could have been the winning penalty.
“The main thing is we are through,” said Ferguson. “It would have been a hell of a blow had we not gone through.
“You just hope and keep believing. Fortunately it dropped to the perfect person (Clarke-Harris) who smashed it in.
“It was a good example of what we can be like as a team.
“We went from some sublime stuff with complete control and should have been more than two goals ahead at half-time to what you saw.
“I said at half-time it can go one of two ways: get the next goal and it will be an enjoyable comfortable evening. You lose the next goal and it will make it tricky.
“They weren’t bothered and just went for it. They knew if they got one back they were back in the game.
“They changed their shape and caused us problems.
“When they went 4-3 ahead you are thinking ‘we are out of the cup’.
“But we found a way and then their boy (Watt) hits the post with his penalty and I’m thinking it might just be our night.”
Salford boss Neil Wood said: “We are very disappointed not to go through.
“Me and the staff are gutted for the players for the effort and work rate they put in. We just can’t get it over the line.
“We just needed to see it out and we almost did. We had the chance to slot the winning penalty but hit the post. It’s fine margins and our luck will change.”