The Over 25s thought they were in for a stuffing after Sam Parker, Matt Mills and Dave Whelan all found the net without reply.
But they pulled the chestnuts out of the fire to win with strikes from Danny Hayes, Carl Brindley, Steve Baguley and Ryan Yates (2).
Someone facing a firing squad might - as a final wish - have chosen these sides to provide the marksmen.
But in the end the crowd of seven was fully entertained.
Dunc Bray provided the turkey on five minutes with a miss from four yards. It was a reverse Cinderella. He missed the ball.
Dunc Bray misses the ball
Mellor Under 25s began to dominate. Sam Parker latched onto a through ball as his marker Chris Boydell crashed to the ground like a Norwegian pine en route to Trafalgar Square. But the striker fired wide.
On 10 minutes Over 25s centre back Craig Fairfield was as generous as a tipsy Santa, passing the ball square to Parker who this time made no mistake, leaving keeper Phil Welsh as static as a snowman.
On 15 minutes Carl Brindley tried to capitalise on a mistake in the Under 25s back line but shot wide.
Five minutes later Parker volleyed straight at Welsh after good work by Jonny Cooke and James Robinshaw.
On 25 minutes Welsh made the first of a string of excellent saves, turning the ball for a corner.
From the corner Mike White eventually crossed dangerously but Jimmy Archer couldn't climb high enough.
On 32 minutes a one-two between Ryan Yates and Kev Murray sent Murray clear but his shot was so high it might have sent ET home quicker.
Two minutes later Mark Oldham galloped down the left and crossed but Craig Fairfield's header lacked sufficient power.
Craig Fairfield gets no power in his header
On 37 minutes Jonny Cooke fired over from 18 yards when well placed. Three minutes later Archer also spurned a good chance inside the six yard box.
Mike Palmer lets fly
On 42 minutes Cooke danced through two tackles and shot. Welsh parried his drive but the ball ran to Mills for a tap in.
A minute later Mike Palmer blazed over from 12 yards after good work from Chris Porter.
Welsh was called into action again on 44 minutes to make another fine save but a minute later Chris Porter's handball was rightly punished by a spot kick and Whelan smashed the ball down the middle for 3-0.
A piece of tactical genius by Over 25s captain Ryan Yates immediately after the break turned the match around. Ryan sneaked two extra players onto the field. Capello please note.
But the Under 25s almost went further ahead on 48 minutes, Tom Fletcher firing over from five yards after Jonny Cooke created the chance.
Matt Lloyd then produced the first of a series of top saves, denying Kev Murray from point blank range only for the man from Inkbox to blot his copybook by firing the rebound over.
On 57 minutes the Oldies got one back, Ryan Yates firing in a shot which cannoned off Danny Hayes and into the net.
Matt Mills tried to out fox Chris Boydell
Four minutes later Steve Baguley set up Carl Brindley who made it 2-3.
The Under 25s then spotted that the reason it looked as if the Oldies had 13 men on the pitch was that they did.
Parker's team then brought on two subs and it was 13-a-side.
To no avail. On 67 minutes Barlow crossed and Baguley bagged. 3-3.
Lloyd denied Yates again with a brilliant save on 72 minutes and Craig Fairfield put the loose ball wide when it looked easier to score.
Dunc Bray missed another chance on 80 minutes from Yates' pass. Then on 84 minutes Palmer was upended in the box and Yates slotted the penalty for 4-3.
Si Moores squandered a chance to equalise but on 87 minutes Barlow put Yates clear and he sealed a marvellous comeback to make it 5-3.
The applause at the end sounded like Captain Hook inside an air tight box.
Happy New Year everyone.