Jamie Cade held his nerve under immense pressure to convert a last minute penalty and send Horsham through to the next round of the FA Cup.
With the Preliminary Round contest with Corinthian Casuals heading towards a replay, Gary Charman was pulled back on the edge of the penalty area by Casuals defender Danny Dudley.
The referee did not award a foul, but after consulting with his assistant, eventually gave the home side a spot kick and showed the defender a red card.
Captain Cade was made to wait for minutes before taking the kick, but kept his cool to find the bottom corner and set up a meeting with Ryman Premier outfit Kingstonian in the First Qualifying Round.
The match was a tight affair - Horsham were rocked by the departure of Billy Dunn in the days before kick off but did not miss his creativity in an encouraging first half performance, before Casuals had the better of the second period.
One week after young striker Jamie Ampleford produced a man of the match performance against Merstham, fellow teenager Harry Smith inspired the Hornets through the first 45 minutes.
In the opening stages, a driving run and low cross by Smith found Ampleford, who hit the side netting, and Smith lashed wide from range.
But the Hornets looked more likely to score, Ampleford only denied by goalkeeper Danny Bracken’s legs after linking up again with Smith.
Horsham’s best first half chance came on 36 minutes.
Ampleford raced on to a sloppy back pass by Mason Welch-Turner, taking the ball around Bracken and squaring for Cade - but the striker’s poked effort was blocked on the line and cleared by a covering defender.
The second half was an entirely different spectacle, as Casuals looked the more dangerous side.
But they were foiled time after time by Hornets keeper Gareth Williams, who first beat away a Lee Hall drive with a strong hand.
Lively visiting striker Jamie Byatt forced two super saves from Williams, the second with less than ten minutes to play.
Player-manager Charman, who was not fully fit, came on in the latter stages - his introduction proving vital to the late drama as the Hornets progressed.
Horsham: Williams, Hills, King, Kaffo, Gilbert, Tarbie, Morley, Miller (Charman 81), Ampleford, Cade, Smith (Bingham 67).