STEETON fell at the first hurdle on the road to Wembley in the FA Vase at West Allotment Celtic, in an enthralling game filled with drama and heartbreak.

Trailing 4-1 with 20 minutes on the clock, it appeared as if Roy Mason’s side would bow out of the competition at the first qualifying round stage with a whimper.

But a sensational final 25 minutes of the game saw the Chevrons stage two unlikely comebacks to draw 5-5, before losing through the lottery of a penalty shootout.

In truth, West Allotment Celtic were the better side for most of the contest and created a number of early chances to break the deadlock, only to be denied by a couple of superb saves from George Bristol.

They opened the scoring through Mikel Thompson, who cut inside from the edge of the area to smash the ball home after a throw from the home side was allowed to bounce.

They doubled their advantage just three minutes later as the Steeton defence waited for an offside flag that never came, allowing Callum Larmouth to race in behind and score with ease.

Steeton found a way back into the contest as following a clearance from a corner, Alistair Morgan tapped the ball in at the far post from an outstanding delivery by Jake Townsend.

The early stages of the second half saw the Chevrons push for the equaliser, but they were caught on the counter attack and a delivery into the area allowed Regan Paterson to smash the ball past Bristol.

Just 90 seconds later, the ball was again in the back of the Steeton goal, and the contest appeared to be over, as Matthew Hayton beat the offside trap to slide the ball beneath the keeper and into the net.

However, this sparked the Steeton bench into making a triple substitution that changed the momentum of the game.

Two of those subs, Josh McKiernon and Jack Lynn, linked up instantly and the latter’s cross was superbly volleyed home into the top corner by Kayle Price to give the visitors a glimmer of hope.

Price was then denied a seemingly clear penalty by the referee after he was chopped down from behind inside the area.

They continued to push forward and set up a grandstand finish as the other of the three subs, Luke Baldwin, fantastically turned the ball home on the half volley after Price’s initial shot deflected into his path from the back of Andy Briggs.

The first comeback was completed shortly after.

A corner from Lynn was half cleared out of the area and Morgan, in unfamiliar territory out on the wing, whipped a cross across the face of the West Allotment goal which Price headed home for the unlikeliest of equalisers.

From the kick-off though, it appeared all the hard work had been for nothing as Larmouth got the wrong side of Tyler Marsh and fired the ball home from 25 yards in the first minute of injury time.

Cue Morgan for an even more unlikely equaliser.

Steeton won a corner in the fifth and final minute of injury time, and after a headed clearance fell to Mo Farhan Subhani, the midfielder put the ball back into the mixer.

It found its way to Morgan, who slotted the ball inside the far post after recovering from a heavy first touch to make the contact.

But heartbreak followed in the shootout as Baldwin saw his penalty saved and Briggs saw his go over the crossbar, as the home side progressed.