Gallant Hull City have had their hearts broken by Arsenal in an absorbing FA Cup final at Wembley.
Chasing a first piece of major silverware in their 110-year history, the Yorkshire club forged 2-0 ahead in the first eight minutes before being taken to extra-time by Arsene Wenger’s side.
But their hopes and dreams were dashed when Aaron Ramsey poked home the winning goal 11 minutes from the end of extra time of a draining Cup final
The Welshman’s strike ended Arsenal’s nine-year trophy drought but extends Yorkshire’s search for an FA Cup winning team into a 43rd year.
Hull were terrific for 70 minutes, but Laurent Koscielny’s equaliser sucked the air out of their lungs and from then on they were hanging on for penalties.
The Tigers had surged ahead through James Chester when he diverted Tom Huddlestone’s shot past Lukasz Fabianski on three minutes.
The 25,000 Hull fans were then in dreamland five minutes later when Curtis Davies - the Tigers man of the match - found the corner of the goal after Alex Bruce’s header had been tipped onto the post.
Arsenal had been stunned by the energy and exuberance of Hull, but Santi Cazorla pulled a goal back on 16 minutes with a delightful 25-yard free-kick.
That breathless opening would come back to haunt Hull, who retreated deeper and deeper as the game wore on and as Arsenal sought a leveller.
Koscielny delivered, swivelling on Bacary Sagna’s deflected header from a corner and turning the ball beyond Allan McGregor.
There was a suggestion that the corner that led to the goal should not have been given as it was Yaya Sanogo who got the last touch and not the Hull defender.
Olivier Giroud hit the cross bar with a flying header at the start of extra time before he turned provider on 109 minutes, back heeling the ball into the path of Ramsay who poked it inside McGregor’s near post.
Despite the defeat, Hull were a credit to themselves and their city, and the 25,000 fans who had followed them to the capital stayed in good number to applaud their efforts on what will still go down as one of the club’s greatest days.