Chris Beech hailed Carlisle United for going right to the end as they avoided an FA Cup upset at the death against Hayes & Yeading.
The Blues won 4-3 on penalties after a late Jon Mellish double in extra-time had saved them from humiliation against the Southern League Premier  Division South outfit.
United sneaked into Monday night's second round draw after the dramatic finish against their non-league hosts. 

And head coach Beech said it spoke volumes about his team’s character that they didn’t give up the ghost when 2-0 down with three minutes to go in the tie.

“Nobody wins a race at the start line, you can only win at the finish line,” he said. 

“We finished really strongly and ended up winning.  

“I can’t give our opponents enough credit. But I also want to give our players credit for going right to the finish line.” 

Carlisle, whose side featured five changes, failed to make the breakthrough in 90 minutes with Joe Riley and Gavin Reilly both hitting the woodwork. 

They were then stunned in the space of four minutes in extra-time when Omar Rowe shot Hayes & Yeading ahead and Amos Nasha doubled their lead. 

Mellish, though, kept up his brilliant goalscoring form by taking his tally to 10 in 10 games with strikes in the 118thand 120thminutes to level things at 2-2. 

Debutant keeper Marcus Dewhurst then saved two home penalties, with Lewis Alessandra hitting the post and Joshua Kayode having his spot-kick saved, leaving the shoot-out locked at 3-3. 

Home skipper Liam McDevitt then blasted wide, allowing Reilly to win it for the Cumbrians and secure £16,972 prize money on top of the £12,500 broadcast fee earned through yesterday’s live BBC coverage.

The Blues will be ball number 24 in the second round draw, which is held at about 7.10pm tomorrow on the FA's social media sites and BT Sport. 

Beech insisted Carlisle’s performance had been good enough to have made it a more comfortable afternoon. 

He said: “We were at it. If Joe Riley’s [first-half] shot goes in it’s 1-0, we had ample opportunities with wide free kicks etc, and if Gavin Reilly’s shot goes in it’s 2-0 and we’re playing well. 

“I’ve got to support our players. They’ve been excellent since the start of the season and here, in a tricky tie, you have to commend the way we tun right to the finishing line. 

“No matter how well you start in a game or a race, you can only ever win it at the finish line. That’s the place where you get your gold medal, not at 0, 10, 50m. You get it at 100m in a 100m race right on the line. We sprinted right to the line and got our just rewards.” 

Mellish, Nick Anderton and George Tanner were successful from the spot in the shoot-out before Reilly’s sudden-death winner. 

Alessandra hit the post and Kayode’s kick was saved, while Dewhurst kept out efforts from Jack Williams and Keano Robinson before home skipper McDevitt shot wide in sudden-death.