TOWN’S player-manager Paul Quinn summed it up: “If I was their manager I would have said this was a real smash and grab job well done.”
After a goalless first half in which Town just about had the upper hand against a harrying and tireless Derbyshire outfit, it looked on the cards as though the Premier Division side would advance to the semi finals against the Division One side.
However two late goals gave the jubilant visitors that place, but they have only one man to thank - goalkeeper Mark Frost.
He made two match-winning saves in the first half and five more in the second,
Town also hit the woodwork in the second period with a rasping James Sutcliffe shot.
Town’s best chance to open the scoring came after 10 minutes when Shane Hamilton went close with an overhead kick and then it was a stalemate situation as Shirebrook chased every ball.
There was also some over zealous tackling and referee Andrew Halliday chose to just remonstrate in the first half before in the second producing his yellow card.
The bone hard pitch also caught the players out on several occasions with a variance of bounce, not conducive to fast flowing football.
Town should have had a penalty for a blatant hands ball but the referee on the 18 yard box to witness the offence almost on the dead ball line waved claims away.
Town’s keeper Ben Imeson, apart from an odd foray, was virtually a spectator, but on the 34th minute his opposite number Frost produced a superb diving save to deny Anthony Haigh a 20-yard rocket after diminutive Leon Henry had weaved his magic.
Three minutes later from a free kick 20 yards out, Sutcliffe had his shot tipped on to the bar and over by Frost.
Two minutes from half-time Shirebrook’s Luke Thomas had the ball in the net but he was penalised for pushing.
Four minutes into the second half Henry was booked and on 58 minutes Shirebrook’s Lee Briggs went into the book.
Two minutes later and a rather quiet Tom Matthews brought out another great save from Frost after good approach work from Danny Hull.
Then it was Sutcliffe’s turn for a second time to be thwarted by Frost before Quinn brought on Danny Naidole for Hamilton on 70 minutes.
He was soon in action and receiving a ball from wing back Sutcliffe he almost squeezed it between Frost and his near post but yet, again, Town were foiled.
There was always the chance that Shirebrook could snatch a game looking towards extra time and they nearly did on 75 minutes but the under worked Imeson snuffed out the danger.
However five minutes later centre forward Peter Stubley let one fly from 25 yards out and it sailed over a flailing Imeson and into the top right hand corner of his net.
Town took the ball straight from the kick-off to the other end and Naidole just failed to squeeze it inside the post for a second time, with Frost hampering his chances.
Sutcliffe two minutes later hit the post and then on 87 minutes a rare Town defensive error let in Julian Topliss to add goal number two.
Quinn said: We had enough chances to win three or four games and we should definitely have had a penalty which had we been given it and scored could have turned the game.
“Their keeper was outstanding and it was one of those games where we could have played another 90 minutes and not have scored.”