Tottenham ensured they were not the victims of the biggest ever FA Cup shock with a 5-0 win at Marine, who even in defeat proved the magic of the competition is still alive.
Never in the competition’s 149-year history has there been such a mismatch as the Premier League side travelled to a club 160 places below them in the football pyramid.
And even though Spurs racked up a comprehensive win it was still a day to remember for the Northern Premier Division North West League outfit.
Jose Mourinho’s side won it through Carlos Vinicius’ first-half hat-trick, a Lucas Moura free-kick and a goal which saw Alfie Devine become the club’s youngest ever player and goalscorer at 16 years and 163 days.
But this was all about the eighth-tier side, who enjoyed a dream day and made enough money to safeguard their future for some time, selling over 20,000 virtual match tickets which supplemented a TV fee and prize money for reaching this round of the competition.
And in no way were this team – made up of teachers, plumbers, factory workers and bin men earning a maximum £300 per week – embarrassed.
If the FA Cup has lost some of its prestige, then no one told Neil Young’s side as they were determined to enjoy the biggest day in their history.
Despite the national lockdown, the streets around the stadium were lined hours before kick-off as local residents came out to see the Premier League side arrive.
Some of the residents then decamped to the back gardens that adjoined three sides of the Marine Travel Arena to get a close up view, with one supporter perching on a wall just yards from where Mourinho took his position on the touchline and another bringing a life-size cardboard cutout of Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.
This was supposed to be a landslide, especially after Mourinho named a side that would be a match for Premier League opposition, and the visitors spurned some early chances.
But in the 20th minute Marine came within inches of scoring what would have been one of the most famous goals in FA Cup history.
Trainee plumber Neil Kengni found space in the middle of the pitch, drove forward and thundered a 30-yard shot that beat former England goalkeeper Joe Hart and crashed into the crossbar.
If there was to be a shock that had to go in, but instead four minutes later the dream was dead.
Spurs scored the first of four goals in 13 minutes, with Vinicius bagging a hat-trick.
The Brazilian striker’s opening two goals came from close-range tap-ins, first from Dele Alli’s cross and then after Bailey Passant had saved Matt Doherty’s shot.
Moura scored the goal of the game as he whipped in a 20-yard free-kick and then his compatriot completed his treble with a looped finish into the top corner from inside the penalty area.
Spurs introduced Devine at half-time as he made history and he needed only 15 minutes to enter another page of the record books.
A summer signing from Wigan, Devine found the bottom corner from the edge of the area to cap a memorable day.
When the Marine players return to work on Monday they will be able to tell their colleagues how they stopped Gareth Bale from scoring as the Wales international came on with 25 minutes but could not make a telling impact.
Spurs pushed for a sixth but never really looked like finding it as Marine left with their heads held high, not knowing when their next game will be due to the suspension of their league.