THEY may have been just eight minutes from a place in the third round of the FA Trophy, but Hampton & Richmond Borough are fortunate to even have Tuesday night's replay.
The Blue Square South side's goal led a charmed life right up until Sam Higgins' 82nd-minute equaliser for East Thurrock United.
Twice the Ryman Premier side hit the woodwork, and on more than one occasion they squandered golden chances to inflict a second cup giant-killing of the season on Hampton.
The first of these came just seven minutes in, when after Beavers keeper Craig Ross had pushed a dangerous bobbling shot from Sam Collins around the post, Higgins put free header with from point-blank from the resulting corner.
However, just three minutes later, Hampton were in front when Charlie Moone (pictured) linked up to good effect with James Simmonds on the right before blasting a deflected shot home from a narrow angle just inside the area.
Higgins should have levelled matters soon after when he struck the crossbar after turning Billy Jeffreys in the area, and after the same player's shot was pushed wide by Ross, Kris Newby was next to rattle the woodwork on the stroke of half time.
The hosts continued to dominate after the break, as Reiss Gilbey missed another point-blank free header, andn there was another let off for Hampton minutes later when Thurrock somehow managed to squander a three-on-one situation with a poor finish from Kye Ruel.
On the hour mark, a lovely curling effort from Greg Cohen from the edge of the area was tipped over by Ross, who then saved superbly wth his legs from Higgins, and pushed over a teasing effort from Newby.
But the Beavers keeper was finally beaten with just eight minutes left, having saved a shot from Simon Preddie in his goal area, the rebound was hammered home by Higgins.
This finally shoot Hampton into life, and Louis Rae Beadle was unlucky not to snatch the visitors an undeserved win when he too hit the post from a Nathan Collier cross in the dying minutes.
Instead, the two teams will do it all again at Beveree on Tuesday night.