Derek Hares says he will never forget Deal Town’s extraordinary FA Vase replay win at Binfield.
Goalkeeper James Tonkin struck the winning penalty - the 22nd of the shoot-out - as the Hoops won 7-6 on spot-kicks after a 3-3 draw to reach the last 16.
Ben Chapman’s double saw Deal twice fight back from a goal down before going 3-2 up in extra time through Jack Paxman.
Binfield made it 3-3 but it was Deal’s day with Tonkin saving three penalties before scoring the winner to send Hares’ men through to a fifth-round tie at Northern League Consett.
It’s the first time Town have reached this stage since winning the competition at Wembley in 2000.
Manager Hares said: “It’s one you’re never going to forget. It was an unbelievable game and our fans were amazing.
“So much went on during the game and then the penalties. You couldn’t make it up.
“The boys were just amazing. They never gave up. There were times we were up against it but they wouldn’t lie down and when we went 3-2 up in extra time you wonder if we might have done it.
“We had two chances to win the penalties, and missed them, then Joe Reeves has scored to keep us in it.
“To win it the way we did, with our keeper scoring the winner, you couldn’t write it.
“I didn’t really watch any of the penalties - I never do - but I felt confident Tonks would score because he’s got such a strong kick on him. I knew he would thump it.
“I’ve been involved in football a long time and that game tops the lot.
“The scenes at the end were unbelievable with everyone running over to Tonks.
“I tried to keep up with Kingy (assistant boss Steve King) but I lost that one!
"The scenes in the dressing room afterwards made it, too. That’s why you’re involved in football.”
Deal are back in action at home to Bearsted in a rearranged Challenge Cup tie tomorrow night (Tuesday).
Ever the professional, Hares said: “We’ve got to concentrate on that one now. It’s an important game for the club.”