Defender Joel Senior ignored the heat and the occasion to put on another excellent personal performance on Saturday, with the sweetest of dinks to Owen Moxon the first of the dominoes to topple on the way to John-Kymani Gordon’s close-range finish.
Speaking to us not long after the final whistle, and when asked if he could sum up what had just happened, he said: “Not really, no, to be honest. It was probably the best feeling that most of us in that changing room have had throughout our careers.
“To celebrate with all the fans at the end just summed up the game. I’m so tired, even just speaking about it, because it was the type of game which took everything out of you. It’s the best feeling I’ve had, so it was worth every minute.
“Getting that first goal was important. We’d had a couple of chances and the keeper had made a few good saves, and Mox had a strike after I got it to him with JK there to follow it in.
“That’s the striker’s instinct and it lifted the whole stadium up, the fans and the players. It’s hard to put into words how we all felt, but it really is an amazing feeling.”
A game between tow evenly match outfits was eventually decided in extra time.
“I thought that after the first 30 minutes of the first game we were the better team,” he told us. “Obviously they are a good side so it was always going to be tough.
“It was just about who finished their chances, and in this game I thought we had the better chances and we were the better team over the whole 120 minutes. They’re always going to have a couple of spells, because they are decent, but overall I think we deserved to get through to Wembley.
“Even when they got their goal, and the timing of it, it just shows the character of the group to come back from that. We could have let our heads go down, but we didn’t.
“We got the ball back to the halfway line and everyone was bang back on it. That’s what helped us to come out on top in the end.
“You’ve got to go through tough moments to get to the places you want to be. We’ve come through this game after suffering a setback like that. We showed loads of character, got ourselves another goal, and it’s sent us through.”
And the reward of a Wembley final was earned thanks to every single one of them running themselves into the deck.
“It really is worth it, isn’t it,” he insisted. “You run yourself into the ground, you work hard for everyone, yourself, the fans, the club, and each of your teammates.
“It’s all worth it when you’re celebrating like that at the end. It hasn’t really sunk in yet. Honestly, I’m so tired it hasn’t had chance to sink in.
“All the boys were buzzing after the game and they were all having a good time in the changing room. You’ve got to celebrate the highs in football, so it probably won’t be until tomorrow that it’ll sink in.
“It was such a good game, the fans were superb, it’s been the best day we could have asked for really. But, and like the gaffer has said, we’re not going there to make the numbers up.
“We’ll do everything we can to make Carlisle proud. We want to win, we want to go up. We’re going there to get this club promoted and we’ll give it our everything to do so.”