Sheffield United manager Danny Wilson admitted he could not think of a worse way to lose after his side's play-off heartbreak at Wembley.
Huddersfield emerged victorious 8-7 on penalties in the League One play-off final after the Yorkshire teams played out a stalemate.
All 22 players were forced to take a spot-kick and things looked good for the Blades when the Terriers missed their first three efforts.
At that stage, United goalkeeper Steve Simonsen looked likely to be the hero but ultimately he was the villain.
The 33-year-old failed to save from his opposite number Alex Smithies, before blazing over the bar himself to send Huddersfield into the Championship next season.
It was hugely disappointing for Wilson, who had also guided his team to the brink of automatic promotion only to be usurped by arch-rivals Sheffield Wednesday late on in the campaign.
"I can't think of a worse way to lose," he said.
"Steve had a terrific game. Who would have thought it would come down to the two keepers?
"He feels doubly disappointed because of his performance.
"These boys are devastated, all their hard work has been taken away, it's very difficult to console them.
"It's come down to two goalkeepers, quite honestly. One who'll be very happy and one who'll be very sad obviously.
"To go out in this manner is not an easy one but it has to be finished in some manner.
"We're disappointed, of course we are, because we've had a great season.
"When you finish with 90 points and you finish third it seems like a double blow.
"But we have to be men about it. We have to take it on the chin and we've got to move forward.
"I hope the players themselves can be very proud because this season they've been fantastic.
"The fans have been absolutely double fantastic because they've stuck with us in numbers all throughout the season.
"So we think we've done a little bit of good in what we've done this season but when you look at the end of the game now it's desperately disappointing."