EVESHAM United were made to pay for a series of missed chances as they were dumped out of the FA Cup at the first hurdle by Northern Premier Division One South outfit Newcastle Town.
The Staffordshire side – who play at the equivalent level to United – rode their luck thanks to an inspired goalkeeping display and wasteful finishing from the Robins to prevail 3-2 after extra time in Wednesday’s preliminary round replay at the Jubilee.
The match had finished 2-2 after 90 minutes following a 1-1 draw in Saturday’s original tie.
In the first encounter, the hosts took the lead on nine minutes through Jordan Cole after a ball over the top of the defence.
Evesham midfielder Matt Liddiard scored his third goal in three games to equalise in the 22nd minute with a shot from the edge of the box after a lay-off from Bradley Gray.
Then, Carl Brown was brought down by the Newcastle keeper, but the resultant penalty from Matt Wiliams was saved.
In the second half the Robins’ Lorcan Sheehan hit the bar with a powerful shot from 20 yards and at the other end Kevin Sawyer made a superb save.
Evesham, who had controlled large portions of the weekend game, would have been confident of finishing the job on home soil and booking a first qualifying round tie at Stratford Town, but they had only themselves to blame for failing to do so.
In the replay, Liddiard had already seen a header tipped on to the bar before he did give United the lead on 17 minutes from the penalty spot after James Campbell had been fouled in the box.
Gray was then denied three times by the visiting keeper before Town grabbed a 44th-minute equaliser through Bott completely against the run of play.
Adam Mann and Gray wasted excellent headed chances after the restart before Town substitute Wilson beat the offside trap to put the visitors 2-1 up on 65 minutes.
However, parity was restored three minutes later when Gray’s free kick was smartly finished by Matt Bennett, for whom it was a first Evesham goal.
Substitute Greg Peel thought he had put the hosts ahead late on but his header was disallowed and the match went into extra time.
Paul Collicutt’s previously dominant side lost some of their momentum in the extra half hour and Newcastle missed a glorious chance before Sheehan headed over with five minutes remaining.
However, with penalties looming, Town secured an incredible victory with a 119th-minute smash and grab goal to leave Evesham players, management and supporters wondering how the hosts had managed to lose the tie.
Evesham, with four points from two games, return to Southern League West action on Saturday with a trip to Paulton Rovers before hosting North Leigh on Tuesday.