Hayes & Yeading were a matter of moments away from making FA Cup history as they watched a two-goal extra-time lead slip before losing 4-3 on penalties at home to Sky Bet League Two Carlisle.
Jon Mellish netted a brace at the death to make it 10 goals in 10 games in all competitions to take this FA Cup first-round tie to penalties.
The Southern League Premier Division South side had gone 2-0 up courtesy of excellent goals from Omar Rowe and Amos Nasha.
Both sides were guilty of glaring misses during normal time.
Hayes striker Francis Amartey could have had his name in lights only to twice fluff his lines with just Carlisle goalkeeper Marcus Dewhurst to beat.
And Gavin Reilly somehow only found the post when he was put clean through.
The real drama was saved for extra-time, with Rowe starting and finishing a move to put Hayes ahead.
Substitute Nasha doubled the lead, but the Cumbrians refused to give it up.
Mellish pulled one back from distance, then took the tie to penalties with a close-range finish on the spin.
Midfielder Jack Williams was first to miss from the spot, but Lewis Alessandra did the same as he found the woodwork.
Misses were exchanged, but Gavin Reilly atoned for his earlier miss to bag the decisive penalty which brought an end to a remarkable day and progression for the League Two side by the skin of their teeth.