Uxbridge 2 AFC Wimbledon 1
One of the biggest days in Uxbridge history ended with one of their most impressive wins in years after Johnnie Dyer's brace hauled the Reds from a goal down to beat the might of AFC Wimbledon.
Heavy rain so nearly washed out the contest but after passing two pitch inspections, thanks largely to the huge amount of work put in by Geoff Hinde and his team, the largest crowd seen at Honeycroft for several years witnessed a display of huge passion and belief from the home side.
Despite going a goal behind to Conference South opposition for the second round in a row Uxbridge dragged themselves into the last 32 not just because the treacherous conditions undoubtedly levelled the playing field, but quite simply because they wanted the win more.
There was no clearer indicator of that than five minutes before half-time when Wimbledon wing-back Tony Finn backed out of a challenge with Mark Dennison.
Finn not only allowed Dennison easy possession but did not even attempt to help out his defender once the ball came to Dave Thomas, whose superb whipped cross flicked off a Dons defender and there at the back post was Dyer to bundle home a close range header.
In that split second it took Finn to decide he did not fancy the contest the momentum swung completely.
Where the Reds had struggled to hold the ball up, thus inviting plenty of pressure on themselves, suddenly they were winning the battles all over the pitch - just not against Finn, whom Terry Brown not surprisingly substituted at the interval.
The damage was done though. Wimbledon, who almost took the lead inside 30 seconds when Danny Kedwell was just crowded out, just about deserved their 19th minute lead although the manner in which it arrived was very much down to Uxbridge.
Gavin Brown played the ball back 30 yards to his keeper but it held up on the sodden pitch and Paul McCarthy's clearance cannoned into Belal Aiteouakrim and squirted across the penalty area.
McCarthy decided he would not get there before Kedwell, who kept his head despite Brown trying desperately to retrieve the situation, squaring it back from the right and Aiteouakrim swept home from close range.
Only seconds earlier Aiteouakrim had squandered the best chance of the game when he was sent clear by Kedwell but the conditions got the better of him as his first touch stopped dead and his second skidded on, allowing McCarthy to block with his legs.
Brown made a vital interception to halt former Yeading midfielder Dwane Lee in his tracks and although Uxbridge finished the half better, Dyer excavating one shot out of the mud and Dennison glancing a header well wide, it was not until Finn backed off that the hosts really seemed to believe.
From then on the Reds only got stronger and Tony Choules timed it perfectly to send Lee Tunnell into the fray with half an hour to go. Tunnell, with his chase everything attitude is the last person tired Wimbledon defenders, particularly those with aging legs like Jason Goodliffe, want to see on a day like this.
Minutes later Thomas helped the ball down the left where Goodliffe stumbled, Tunnell nipped in and squared to where Dyer was the first of two Uxbridge play-ers waiting to fire the home side into the lead.
Aiteouakrim was not far away from an immediate reply but from then on Uxbridge seemed to find another gear, although four wheel drive would have been more appropriate.
A succession of Exocet missiles flew from Thomas's left foot and only brilliant defending by Michael Haswell denied Dyer a tap in for his hat-trick, before six minutes from time Uxbridge received another major boost.
Terry Brown had sent on top scorer Jon Main and as Wimbledon began to lay siege to the Uxbridge goal the ball pinged around the box until McCarthy fell gratefully on it, with Alan Inns following in late.
Far too late as far as the referee was concerned because after the melee it sparked had subsided, Inns was dismissed and two team-mates were booked along with Neil Davies.
It seemed harsh on Inns but Uxbridge were not about to complain.
After they survived a few hairy moments as Wimbledon's 10 men threw the kitchen sink at them, not least when Kedwell beat Dennison and fired in a shot but the hosts kept that out and the two follow up attempts, they were able to celebrate their place in the second round proper as well as prize money worth £5,000.
UXBRIDGE: McCarthy, Brown, Thomas (Reynolds 79), Wharton Dennison, Davies, Lawrence, K Warner, D Warner (Tunnell 60), Nicholls (Carter 90), Dyer. Subs not used: Burton.
Goals, Uxbridge: Dyer 40, 64. Wimbledon: Aiteouakrim 19. Attendance: 582.