Kam English’s dramatic late winner stunned Dagenham & Redbridge and booked Bracknell Town’s place in the Emirates FA Cup first round proper for the second year in a row.
Super-sub English broke the Bottom Meadow deadlock in the 94th minute to shock Ben Strevens’ out-of-form National League visitors and trigger Saturday lunchtime ecstasy in front of the BBC television cameras.
The Daggers currently sit 54 places higher than Bracknell in the English football pyramid and started the game more brightly on the 3G Sandhurst surface.
Conor Lawless, Josh Hare, Frank Vincent and Inih Effiong all went close as Strevens' side – bidding to extend their recent record of reaching the second round in two of the last three years – hunted a first win in nine matches.
But joint managers Jamie McClurg and Carl Withers’ steam grew into the contest as Tom Jackson and Darryl Harrison both threatened in the opening half hour.
Former Ipswich Town striker Freddie Sears missed a golden opportunity for the visitors before the break as Bracknell held on to head into the second period level.
Hosts’ skipper Ashley Lodge was unable to properly test Elliot Justham with his effort after the break as Jordan Esprit also went close to grabbing an opener.
Both sides pressed for the decisive intervention throughout the final half an hour and it was English – brought on by McClurg and Withers in the 65th minute – who finally found it, keeping his cool at the far post to fire home Lodge’s low cross and complete one of the upsets of the day in Emirates FA Cup fourth round qualifying.
FT | INTO THE FIRST ROUND PROPER OF THE EMIRATES FA CUP FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 2001!!!— Worksop Town FC (@worksoptownfc) October 14, 2023
🐯 3-2 ⚪️ pic.twitter.com/PQ4R5vifzH
Elsewhere, Worksop Town secured their spot in the first round proper for the first time since 2001 with an eventful 3-2 win over Boston United.
Liam Hughes, Aleksandrs Starcenko and a Terry Hawkridge penalty did the damage as the Northern Premier League side knocked out their National League opponents.
Merseyside club Marine, who memorably navigated their way to a third round tie with Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur back in 2021, were another lower-ranked team to progress as Louis White’s early strike helped them battle past FC Halifax Town away from home.
And down in the capital, doubles from Kyrell Lisbie and Freddie Parker fired Step Four Cray Valley Paper Mills to an action-packed 5-2 win over Enfield Town.
Ethan Freemantle’s 78th-minute strike helped Hereford beat recently-relegated former Football League club Rochdale, while Needham Market resiliently forced a replay against York City.
Chester won 2-0 at higher-ranked Hartlepool United, Ramsgate clinched a hard-fought 1-0 away win at AFC Totton and Horsham triumphed 2-0 against similarly stronger-looking opponents Dorking Wanderers.
Elsewhere, there were comfortable 3-1 victories for AFC Fylde and Alfreton Town against Leek Town and Macclesfield respectively, while Bromley beat Wealdstone 3-2 and Chesterfield put five past Kettering Town.
Solihull Moors strolled past Biggleswade Town 4-1, Maidenhead United won 3-0 at Weston-super-Mare and Gateshead triumphed by the same margin at Stourbridge as another dramatic day of Emirates FA Cup action unfolded up and down the country.