AFC Dunstable were only eight minutes away from FA Cup glory and a lucrative place in the next round when they shot themselves in the foot on Sunday.
Visitors Uxbridge struck twice late on to take the tie and book a place in the next round.
A dismayed AFC boss Steve Heath said: “We played so well today and matched our visitors all the way, to go out the way we did is so cruel”
Heath had to make one change from the Wembley game as Wayne Mills picked up a groin injury, so George Biggadike got a start. AFC should have been two goals to the good within the first 10 minutes.
A lovely chipped pass by Moses Olaleye picked out Jermaine Hall in the box but he put his effort just over the bar. Olaleye again was the provider, as a galloping Jamie Warne ran down the left hand side and latched onto his pass but his first touch took him slightly wide of the goal and his shot had no power in it to test the Uxbridge keeper.
AFC now seemed to be enjoying the occasion but their achillles heal once again struck from a set piece.
A wicked corner was delivered and Mark Dennison headed home on 32 minutes for the visitors. AFC kept probing and eventually their hard work paid off when Olaleye was bearing down on goal and was tripped for a penalty. Hall put away the resulting spot kick on the stroke of half time.
With the tie in the balance now as both sides competed well, AFC’s Jonathan Cooper went on a mazy run and had his legs taken away from him and another penalty. Hall once again cooly converted the penalty on 66 minutes.
The tie should have been all over when Marcus Campbell struck the upright and surely there was no way back for Uxbridge. That let off though saw them put the AFC goal under pressure and Louis Porcelli pulled off three superb saves to keep them at bay.
With the clocking running down, a needless free kick was given away on the edge of the AFC box and yet again AFC were undone as Chris Moore rose highest to score.
With the tie looking like going to a replay as both teams seemed to be happy with that, sadly Jack Lauder misplaced a back pass in added on time and Moore was the recipient and put Uxbridge through to the next round.
Heath said after the game: “How frustrating was that? We matched them all the way and everyone seemed to agree a draw would have been a fair result.
“Saying that though, if Campbell’s strike had gone in and not hit the post I felt we had the tie in the bag
“My team talk before all games are, do not take any chances at the back and launch the ball way if in doubt and that undone us today.
“I must though feel for young Jack, he has just turned 20 and hopefully he will learn from this. His commitment to the team is unerring.”
AFC Dunstable are back in cup action this coming Saturday when they visitCBHounslow United in the FA Vase First Round Qualifying.