FROLESWORTH United succumbed to their second successive 5-4 defeat, after extra-time on this occasion, as Charnwood Premier League side Quorn Royals broke the Rabbits' hearts with a winner three minutes before the dreaded penalty shootout in a wonderful cup tie at Sarson Street.
Harvey Morgan had earlier given United the lead, prodding home at the second attempt from inside the six-yard box before Royals forward Matt Langham thumped home an unstoppable 30-yard volley to stun the visitors.
Ben Harris' side trailed at the break, but a quick fire double from firstly Joe Cook and then Dom Ivens put the Alliance League side in command. It looked as though they would hold on to book their place in Round Three of the Greene King Premier Cup, but Mark James' challenge was punished by Langham who drilled home a low 82nd minute free-kick to send the game into extra-time.
The home side took the lead for the second time in the game six minutes after the restart, but the Rabbits roared back once again as Cook headed home his second to make it 4-4. But with penalties looming, Royals struck the killer blow in the 117th minute to end United's dreams of reaching Holmes Park for the first time.
Harris's side made the 60-mile round trip to Sarson Street following a disappointing 5-4 reversal at the hands of table-topping Star & Garter and the Yorkshireman had to exercise the depth in his squad after forward Callum Wills suffered a dislocated shoulder promoting the goalless draw with GT to be abandoned after 75 minutes at Dunley Way.
17-year-old Oli Faulkner was named between the posts for his United debut, while the back four comprised of Joe Swanwick, James, the returning Jack Boulton and Ben Hirst was employed as a makeshift left-back. Club secretary Evans was the springboard alongside Filipino playmaker Ivens for United's attack of the pacy Miles Splevings, talisman Jake Pantony and Cook - exiled on the left in place of Wills - behind lone-striker Morgan who made his first appearance of the season.
And Morgan, often seen at the heart of defence last season, rewarded his manager's faith by stabbing home his first ever goal for the club midway through the opening period. The game had been played at a frantic pace in the miserable autumnal weather so far and the visitors had shown little in the way of an attacking threat.
But always likely to cause danger using Splevings' lightening pace, United crept forward on the right and the 20-year-old slammed home at the second time of asking when his initial effort had been saved. It was good for the game in terms of the fact that Royals would now have to seek an equaliser and initially foiled by Faulkner and the sky blues' defence, the home side got back on level terms via a moment of magic from their golden boy.
Assistant manager Jordan Halford had warned his side about the ability Langham possessed having locked horns with him during his youth ranks and his words were proven true when the Quorn striker unleashed a stunning volley from fully 30-yards to gazump the stranded Faulkner.
It proved to take the wind out of the Rabbits' sails too, as just six minutes later the home side had their noses in front for the first time when Swanwick's footing unfortunately gave way on a slippery surface and Langham teed up his team-mate to send United into the dressing room adrift at the break.
It was harsh on the travelling contingent, who were left furious when their appeals for a penalty were waved away on the stroke of half-time after Morgan's drive appeared to have struck a flailing arm on the goal-line but United's protests fell on deaf ears.
Frolesworth's fortunes in the cup had never been too impressive - an Intermediate Cup quarter-final defeat at the hands of Perrin Rangers the furthest they had ever gone - but making their debut in the Greene King Premier Cup, Harris was keen to progress and his words of encouragement seemed to work as his side hit back with two goals inside 10 second-half minutes.
Firstly it was the former Coventry City man Cook who hauled the visitors level, gambling on Ivens' speculative effort and bundling home the rebound from close range before just five minutes later, the game was turned spectacularly on its head when the roles were reversed.
This time it was Cook who was the provider, breaching the hosts' fleeting defence before driving towards the touchline and sending a vicious cut-back to the far post where it was gleefully steered home by the Filipino.
It was a ruthless 10 minutes from the Alliance side, but ultimately they would rue a host of spurned chances when Boulton sent his free-header over and Morgan was denied one-on-one. Harris instructed his side to sit back and absorb the home side's pressure, then spring quickly on the break and that looked to have been a masterstroke until just eight minutes from time their resistance was broken via a dead ball.
James had once again been magnificent at the heart of Frolesworth's defence, but in his desperation to prevent Langham from getting a shot away he could only slice him down with a tired challenge on the edge of the box. The Frolesworth wall stood tall, but Langham bent the ball low into the opposite corner and beneath the outstretched arm of young Faulkner.
And so, an extra half-an-hour was required to separate these two dynamic young sides. But with momentum in their favour, the home side struck the next blow of this pulsating contest when Langham's skewed cross wasn't dealt with and was somehow volleyed home.
Legs were now growing weary and with his resources fully stretched, the Yorkeshireman pleaded of his side for one final swan song and it duly arrived just two minutes after the turn around courtesy of Cook. Hirst had been asked to pay a role he wasn't too acquainted with but after a sterling performance, he quickly threw the ball into Ivens who rolled his man and delivered a stand up ball to the far post.
It found Cook unmarked after he had peeled away from his marker and he powered home his second to square things up at 4-4. He had the chance to win it shortly after, but when he breached the offside trap he could remarkably only fire into the arms of a stunned Royals goalkeeper with the goal at his mercy.
He was denied the chance to snatch it at the death again when an offside flag was wrongly raised following Morgan's deft flick, but with Harris plotting his five spot-kick takers the home side snatched it late on in spite of another offside flag astray at the other end.