PLEASE tell me you were there. If you were one of the 1,229 packed in the away end at the Bescott on Saturday I’ll probably be telling you stuff you already know, but here it goes: Saturday was bloody fantastic.

It might have only been a draw and yes we had victory cruelly snatched away from us when sole ownership of a numbered ball in the red velvet bag was almost within touching distance, but the way our side picked themselves up off the floor and got the result we deserved as a bare minimum was amazing.

At half-time with our lead intact, my nerves were already in shreds. Having deservedly taken the lead after a really good opening spell, the first half seemed to drag on. As the minutes ticked by, it felt like Walsall were getting into their stride. Big chances were missed. Getting to half time ahead was massive. It felt like we’d gotten to base camp with the summit of the mountain in sight albeit with a lot of hard work still required to get there.

The second half was mad. We had spells. Walsall had spells. Amazingly, the clock seemed to be ticking down nicely. In the blink of an eye, there was only 30 minutes to go. Another blink and it was 15. We got through the 80th minute and Walsall were down to ten. Pinch me! Surely we were through now?

Generally, I try to be pragmatic in how I view things. Emphasis on the ‘try’. When Walsall equalised, I tried to convince myself everything was still okay. They’d missed some really good chances. There was always the danger they’d take one. We still had a replay. Then Walsall scored their second. Devastation. I felt crushed. We’d all clocked the error from Liam Connell and my immediate thoughts were for him. Given all the attention had been on him in the build-up, my heart broke for the lad.

Ben Hedley’s red card meant little. I had no concept of the time but it felt like our chance had gone. As the fans tried to cheer the lads on to get what felt like an unlikely equaliser, I just stood numb. It was a sodden Friday night at Wembley having lost in the playoff final kind of numb. Our chance had gone.

Oh how I was doing our lads an injustice. Having seen Connell come up for a free-kick which came to nothing, I just assumed that was that. Fortunately, Will Hatfield doesn’t make such assumptions. Free-kick won, cue the cross from the Bermudian Pirlo Osagi Bascome into the corridor of uncertainty and sweet mother of God we equalised. Limbs, scenes; we had them all. Joe Wheatley you little beauty.

There are wild celebrations and then there are Darlo celebrations. When defeat felt inevitable, we earned the right to keep Darlington Football Club in the national conscious for at least another week or so.

We needed some luck. Let’s be brutally honest, if Walsall’s strikers had had the ability to hit the broad side of a barn, the game might have been just beyond our reach. They missed some really good chances. Fortunately, the barn was safe this time. Each and every man in black and white played out of their skins. Every single player contributed to this amazing experience. It was typical of a side clearly empowered by Alun Armstrong. There are no passengers on this journey now. Where the journey ends is anyone’s guess.