So, let’s recap. A 3-2 defeat celebrated to the high heavens. Accusations of fans attacking players and craftily using laser pens. A penalty that, 12 years on, might have collided with Pluto right now.

Yes, it would be fair to describe Carlisle United v Leeds United, in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy, as something of a Brunton Park epic: an occasion the current Pizza Trophy, with its Under-23 teams and fan boycotts, can’t realistically get near. 

A dozen years on, and it’s still easy to feel the tension, rivalry and (sometimes) good-natured bloodlust in the air when Greg Abbott’s Blues hosted Simon Grayson’s Leeds for the right to reach Wembley in the lower-league cup. 

News and Star: Fans on Warwick Road after the gameFans on Warwick Road after the game

It was a northern final second leg which brought 9,430 fans to Carlisle’s ground, with a first trip to the newly-built national stadium the prize. United, in the early stages of a rebuild under Abbott, had swept out of Elland Road with a 2-1 first-leg victory. 

News and Star: United's Richard Keogh, centre, and Adam Clayton celebrateUnited's Richard Keogh, centre, and Adam Clayton celebrate

An advantage by that margin at the halfway point in a two-legged game was enough to give Blues fans the sweats, given what had happened in 2008’s League One play-offs against the same side. That time the second meeting was tight, tense, unsatisfying and cruelly dramatic.

News and Star: Matty Robson on the defensive for UnitedMatty Robson on the defensive for United Two years later and the face-off was different. It was lively, end-to-end, boisterous and provided all sorts of cup-tie drama for the Sky television viewers too. 

United’s team was staffed with the experience of Graham Kavanagh, Scott Dobie, Paul Thirlwell and, poetically, the former Leeds star Ian Harte, while in goal was the young Cumbrian Adam Collin, who had been preferred to Lenny Pidgeley despite the latter starting the first leg. 

News and Star: Jason Crowe volleys home for LeedsJason Crowe volleys home for Leeds

It was a decisive selection by Abbott against Grayson’s visitors whose number included stars such as Robert Snodgrass, Luciano Becchio, Gary McSheffrey, 2008’s executioner Jonny Howson and two future Blues in Lubo Michalik and Mike Grella. 

Leeds fans, as ever, also came in their numbers and the occasion bubbled along until the 33rd minute – at which point it was aflame. A low-incident start finally gave way to a highly-eventful remainder when Dobie, valiantly leading a lone line, kept possession from a throw before Adam Clayton, United’s Manchester City loan midfielder, burst through to score.

News and Star: Mike Grella levels the aggregate scores for LeedsMike Grella levels the aggregate scores for Leeds

Carlisle retained their lead through some edgy moments to the break, yet the moment the second half got under way, Leeds bit back. Harte attempted to nod a delivery back to Collin, but Snodgrass bustled in and headed home.

News and Star: Tense moments during the penalty shoot-outTense moments during the penalty shoot-out

Game on. United then broke from a deep defensive base to regain their lead. Kevan Hurst went up against Michalik and benefited from ricochets and his own persistence to gain a shooting chance. He swept the ball past Casper Ankergren, and the big arch was back in view…

News and Star: Richard Keogh strikes his penalty into the Warwick Road EndRichard Keogh strikes his penalty into the Warwick Road End

…for a few minutes. This was the point when Carlisle’s legs started wobbling beneath them, and Leeds duly got a second goal. McSheffrey looped a cross to the back stick, Jason Crowe crashed it into the net, and the deficit was one.

News and Star: United players Robson and Hurst console KeoghUnited players Robson and Hurst console Keogh

Then it was gone. Another McSheffrey cross, a well-placed Grella header, and the scores were level. United appeared to have crumbled in sight of destiny and a huge challenge now faced them with their high-profile guests on the rampage. 

Collin, thankfully, kept out a Bradley Johnson shot in the 94th minute – and that meant penalties.

News and Star: Celebrations after Collin saved Shane Lowry's penaltyCelebrations after Collin saved Shane Lowry's penalty

Cue another saga which immediately went down in Brunton Park folklore. Harte, with trademark technique, dispatched the opener for United – and then Collin got his big frame in the way of Johnson’s first finish for Leeds.

News and Star: Ian Harte in aerial combat against his former clubIan Harte in aerial combat against his former club

Hurst and Madine maintained Carlisle’s lead in the face of Snodgrass and McSheffrey replies. Then came Richard Keogh, a long run up and a careering kick which threatened the pigeons at the back of the Warwick Road End.

News and Star: Keeper Collin is the hero of the hourKeeper Collin is the hero of the hour

Agonisingly, then, it went on. The teams traded three more each, Leeds’ Max Gradel gesturing to the Warwick after scoring his, Clayton, Evan Horwood and Matty Robson sinking Carlisle’s – and then up stepped Shane Lowry.

Collin went to his right, the ball stayed out.

Pandemonium. Fans poured from behind the goal at United’s 6-5 victory, some deliberately colliding with Leeds’ beaten players in the madness. Grayson later lambasted the policing and stewarding of the situation; Carlisle managing director John Nixon maintained the latter had acted in “textbook” fashion.

News and Star: Celebrations on Warwick RoadCelebrations on Warwick Road

You can imagine how it was received, meanwhile, when Leeds owner Ken Bates later alleged Blues fans had been shining lasers into the eyes of his players. Abbott and his players, meanwhile, were overjoyed. 

News and Star: Celebrations on Warwick RoadCelebrations on Warwick Road

Collin, the local-born keeper in his first professional campaign, was the star of the hour. “It means a lot to be part of it, having been born in the city and living down the road in Penrith,” the Blues’ No1 said. “It’s an unbelievable feeling.”

Wembley wasn’t quite so much fun, Carlisle annihilated 4-1 by Southampton in the final. But the manner of getting there won’t be forgotten any time soon. 

United: Collin, Keogh, Horwood, Livesey, Harte, Thirlwell, Clayton, Kavanagh (Taiwo), Robson, Hurst, Dobie (Madine). Not used: Pidgeley, Murphy, Offiong. 

Leeds: Ankergren, Crowe, Lowry, Naylor (Grella), Michalik, Doyle (Johnson), Howson (Kilkenny), McSheffrey, Gradel, Becchio, Snodgrass. Not used: Martin, Bromby. 

Crowd: 9,430.