It was a tale of two spot-kicks for Wealdstone, who were agonisingly knocked out of the FA Cup by National League side Sutton United at the Vale despite a spirited display.

With both sides on level terms going into the dying minutes, the Stones had a glorious chance to make it through to the first round when referee Sam Allison pointed to the spot after Elliott Charles was hauled down by Nicky Bailey inside the area.

Bailey was sent for an early bath but having opened the scoring for the Stones from the spot earlier in the second half, Bradley Bubb couldn’t repeat the trick, as his penalty was saved by Jamie Butler.

That miss proved to be costly as within three minutes, Aaron Drinan scored the winner for Sutton deep into stoppage time to secure the National League side a slender 2-1 win.

Stones boss Bobby Wilkinson named an unchanged side following last week’s 2-1 win over Hampton and Richmond Borough but as expected, it was Sutton, who are a division above Wealdstone, who made most of the early running.

Kieron Cadogan sent a free header straight at Jonathan North and the Sutton man came even closer later on in the first half, when his effort from a tight angle smacked the bar.

That seemed to be the wake-up call Wealdstone needed and they were handed a perfect chance to take the lead in the 50th minute when referee Allison pointed to the spot after Rhys Taylor was scythed down inside the area.

Bubb stepped up and blasted his penalty straight down the middle to hand the Stones the lead.

Wilkinson’s side were handed a big let off though almost immediately after the re-start when Bailey sent a diving header over the bar from point blank range but the Stones went straight down the other end and almost notched a second, as David Pratt somehow couldn’t bundle home the rebound following Fumnaya Shomotun’s drive across goal.

Sutton would equalise thanks to Jamie Collins’ penalty with 25 minutes remaining, but it was the Stones who almost snatched a late winner.

Firstly, David Pratt’s header from a Shomotun cross was excellently kept out by Butler, who then broke Wealdstone’s hearts in the 90th minute when he saved Bubb’s spot-kick.

Within three minutes, Sutton were in the first round, as Craig Eastmond fed Drinan, who found the bottom corner to secure the National League side a 2-1 win.

Wealdstone first team coach Mike Percival told the club’s website: “We’re absolutely gutted. We were one kick away from the first round proper, but we have to take the positives. We’re in a good moment here and although we’re disappointed, we have to stick together.

“We’ve played well today against a very good side. It’s about game management. Of course we missed the penalty but the most important thing is not to lose, we should be in the hat Monday.”