CURZON ASHTON experienced the agony and the ecstasy of the FA Cup this afternoon as they played their part in a thrilling televised clash.
A home tie with League One side AFC Wimbledon ensured the BT Sport cameras would be coming down to the Tameside Stadium for a midday kick-off.
The Dons currently sit seventh in League One, some three divisions and 82 places above Curzon, yet Adam Morgan fired the Nash in front after just 30 seconds.
The former Liverpool trainee then doubled their lead on 21 minutes and Curzon looked destined to reach the third round for the first time after he completed a memorable hat-trick on 62 minutes.
The National League North side remained 3-0 up with 10 minutes left but then there was a remarkable turn-around as Wimbledon scored three goals in three minutes to draw level.
The visitors now had the momentum and in the fourth minute of stoppage time, Tom Elliott scored his second goal to break Curzon hearts and snatch a dramatic 4-3 victory.
To not even be in tomorrow’s draw with neighbours City and United is so cruel on Curzon. The Ashton-based outfit were playing in the second round for only the second time in their 53-year history and got off to a dream start.
The Dons had lost two of their previous 17 games but stood off Morgan and the Nash forward made them pay, letting fly from 30 yards to find the net with a stunning strike.
Joe Guest then played a one-two with Luke Clark down the left before crossing for Morgan to head in his second goal before Morgan, who scored three goals over the two ties with Westfields in the last round, volleyed home from another Guest cross just after the hour mark.
Wimbledon had a total of 33 shots and 14 corners (compared to 4 and 3 for Curzon) and the pressure told on 80 minutes when keeper Hakan Burton tried to punch clear a corner but missed, and the loose ball fell for Elliott, the former Stockport County striker and Bury loanee, to stab home for close range.
A minute later another Dons corner caused havoc in the Curzon box and this time Dominic Poleon, another ex-Bury loanee who also played for Oldham, poked the loose ball in, and the visitors were level on 82 minutes as Jake Reeves chipped the ball into the box for ex-Macclesfield striker Tyrone Barnett to head home.
At 3-3, the Nash would still have been in the third-round draw and had a replay to look forward to, but deep in stoppage time the Dons pumped a free-kick from near the halfway line into the box and Elliott rose highest to flick in the winner.
Curzon manager John Flanagan said: “I’m really proud of everybody, they’ve done a great job. We’ve entertained, we’ve contributed to a really good game of football and made it exciting.
“I’m sure everybody in the area was shouting for us and they were probably as gutted as us when that final goal went in.”