A visibly upset Nathan Jarman spoke of his disappointment as Gainsborough Trinity were relegated for the first time in their 145-year history.
The captain said he felt sick after Gainsborough threw away a two-goal lead at Telford to lose 3-2 and crash out of the National League North.
Trinity, who will play in the Evostik League next season, looked to be on course for the great escape when Ashley Worsfold broke the deadlock four minutes before half-time after the visitors had twice struck the bar.
Worsfold doubled the advantage with his 18th goal of the season, from a Nicky Walker cross, nine minutes after the break.
But then Trinity fell apart as Shane Sutton smashed home from a 61st minute corner. Marcus Dinanga volleyed in five minutes later and then completed the turnaround in the 74th minute.
Jarman said: “To be so close to taking it into the final day of the season (on Saturday)... I just feel sick and gutted. I can’t put it into words.
“It has never happened before.”
After Telford struck their first goal Jarman said it was like a pin had deflated the Trinity balloon.
“Everyone dropped. You could feel it and I don’t know why. Our second goal was such a good one and we were flying, 2-0 up,” he said.
“I thought we were going to see it out.”