Manager Ricky Marheineke was left shell-shocked after St Ives Town crashed out of the FA Cup last night.
The depleted Saints suffered extra-time heartbreak as they were beaten 3-2 at lower-level Canvey Island in a second qualifying round replay.
They travelled to Essex with 10 members of their squad missing but still dominated much of the game and held a 2-1 lead before succumbing to a late leveller in normal time and a decisive goal in extra-time.
"I still can't quite believe we lost the game," said Marheineke this morning.
"We produced a brilliant performance in difficult circumstances with so many players missing.
"We had three more out last night in addition to the seven we were without for the first game at our place on Saturday.
"It was always going to be an uphill battle but we had the chances to be out of sight after 70 minutes.
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"We played some great football and carved out a lot of good chances, but we lacked the killer instinct to put enough of them away.
"We ran out of steam the longer the game went on and that was inevitable with such a depleted squad who had to play 120 minutes last night after being down to 10 men for 45 minutes on Saturday."
Saints fell behind against the run of play to a Jason Hallett header but levelled midway through the first half when Charlie Johnson curled in a fine shot.
A number of other opportunities went begging and Saints also saw a penalty appeal turned down before they succeeded in hitting the front 20 minutes into the second half. Dylan Wilson was in the right place at the right time to pounce on a goalkeeping error.
Saints keeper Finlay Iron produced two smart saves to keep them ahead, but he was powerless to prevent Canvey Island from levelling seven minutes from time when a Josh Hutchinson corner sailed straight in at the far post.
Iron produced another tremendous stop early in extra-time to deny Rob Lacey, but Saints' resistance was eventually broken by another Hallett header as they bowed out.
Saints received £2,250 in prize money but would have pocketed £6,750 had they secured victory.
Marheineke handed a senior debut to youngster Tom Wakley as a substitute.