Worksop Town’s Wembley dream came to an end thanks to a single extra-time Glossop North End goal at Sandy Lane on Saturday.
Tigers were the better side for large parts of the 120 minutes in a blood and thunder FA Vase tie, but it was the vocal away support who were celebrating at full-time.
With both sides flying high in their respective leagues, it was expected to be a tight affair, and so it proved.
The NCEL Premier side were left to rue their lack of creativity in the final third, despite some good football and promising possession throughout.
There was an early chance for the hosts, Conor Sellars delivering a cross that Glossop only cleared as far as Conor Higginson, his shot blocked.
Two fouls in as many minutes brought a sixth minute booking for visiting striker Keiran Lugsden, late challenges on Higginson and Sellars spotted by the referee.
Quick thinking from Jono Wafula allowed Tom Elliott to skip into the area and find Mitch Husbands, a defender denying him a shot.
Tigers broke out from a spell of North End pressure and the quick feet of Higginson saw him beat two defenders to cross, Wafula steaming in at the back post but unable to get a strong enough touch to steer it on target.
The temperature continued to rise in the first half, tackles flying in from both sides – most of them legal until Jason Carey’s crude wraparound lunge on Sam Liversidge, for which he was carded.
Worksop attacked with pace, but seemed reticent to pull the trigger and several chances to shoot went begging.
Within a minute of the restart, Sellars had warmed Gregory Hall’s hands with a long range drive, the keeper equal to it.
Sellars then burst into the box and pushed the ball across goal, no one able to get a touch, and when it came back to Elliott he beat a man and slipped as he shot.
At the other end, Alex Pursehouse couldn’t head clear and Carey stole in at the back post to blast at goal, Jon Stewart making a great stop.
The big keeper was stretching as he clawed an attempted lob from Tom Bailey out of the air with his fingertips, happy to concede a corner.
Glossop were looking more dangerous as the game went on, and an inviting ball into the box was headed goalwards by David Young, Stewart catching easily.
A sublime outlet ball from Elliott almost saw Higginson get beyond the last man, but the defender got a vital touch.
Kieran Lugsden was walking a tightrope when he clipped Sellars’ heels from behind to halt a Worksop attack, the referee showing mercy.
From the resulting free-kick, Tom Burgin soared to win a header and the ball fell nicely for Higginson who fired over.
Sellars went on a maurauding run towards the box and was tripped on the edge by Matthew Russell, who got up and shoved the Tiger to spark a coming together – Edward Moran and Tom Burgin joining Russell in the book.
A sharp passing move unlocked the Glossop defence on 79 minutes and Wafula was unlucky to see his attempted cross blocked for a corner, which was then met by Sam Liversidge, Hall saving well.
Glossop made a good late chance for themselves through Samuel Hind, winning a free-kick from Jake Scott just outside the box, Young placing it just past the post.
With Wafula down requiring treatment, the visitors came so close to a winner, Hind going past Stewart and attempting to squeeze the ball home, replacement Connor Smythe blocking at the near post.
The men in blue came again, a beautiful cross to the back post cleared with a vital Burgin header.
Tigers made it to the end of the 90 minutes and began extra-time well, winning a series of corners on the right that put Hall under pressure but yielded nothing.
It was the visitors who grabbed that all important first goal however, a ball into the box met by Carey who headed into the bottom corner to spark wild celebrations.
Elliott was lucky to get away with a studs up tackle on Daniel White, the referee missing it altogether to infuriate Glossop.
The second half of extra-time was just a few seconds old when Moran stole the ball and sent a searing shot just over the top of Stewart’s goal - inches from killing the tie.
Hall dropping a long ball caused an almighty scramble in the Glossop box and Elliott just couldn’t get a shot away.
Worksop’s desperation for an equaliser almost gifted Glossop a second, a quick break two on one break resulting in a ball to the back post that Liversidge somehow got back to clear.
The defender almost turned villain a second later, trying to pass the ball out through the middle of his own box and giving it to Hind whose shot was deflected wide.
Glossop then broke again, Carey running clean through on Stewart, only to hold his head in his hands as the keeper executed a perfect tackle.
Try as they might the home side just couldn’t create a clear cut chance in the dying seconds and almost every player in orange fell to the ground in despair at the final whistle.
Worksop: Stewart 8, Wafula 8 (Shillito 89), Waddle 7, Pursehouse 8, Liversidge 8, Burgin 8, Sellars 7 (Smythe 84), Scott 8 (Whincop 102), Husbands 7, Higginson 7, ELLIOTT 8. Not used: Hawkins, Jordan.
Glossop NE: Hall, Richardson, Russell, Kel Lugsden, Young, Parker (White 71), Blackshaw (Hind 71), Carey, Bailey, Kie Lugsden, Moran. Not used: Gresty, Grimshaw.
Referee: Mr C. Hainsworth. Assistants: Mr N. Howlett, Mr G. Hock.
Goalscorers: Carey 102
Yellows: Burgin 75, Scott 87, Higginson 99; Kie Lugsden 6, Carey 32, Russell 75, Moran 75