Swansea City 2 Walsall 2 (After extra time: Swansea win 6-5 on penalties)
Walsall crashed out in dramatic fashion as Swansea won a 16-kick penalty shoot-out to reach the area final.
Alan Tate scored the winning goal after a tense finish in which Andy Oakes missed and saved a penalty within a minute.
However, Paul Merson, the player-manager, can draw solace from a scintillating second-half performance.
A first goal by Alex Nicholls and a classic finish by James Constable ensured Walsall tested the odds-on favourites. Leon Knight and Andy Robinson had twice given Kenny Jackett's men the lead but Walsall showed their new-found mettle on a bitterly cold evening.
Considering Mads Timm, Paul Devlin, Michael Leary and Kevin James were absent, there was character shown that had been absent on the road so many times this season.
Swansea started impressively and led on eight minutes when Knight reacted quickest to flick the ball past a helpless Oakes, after Robinson had headed on Lee Trundle's corner.
The Saddlers were struggling to make headway against a robust defence. Leon Britton burst clear of Daniel Fox and appeared to be tripped by the Walsall defender but referee Jones waved away appeals. Oakes denied Trundle, Darren Way and Robinson, while Walsall had their first shot when Mark Wright's effort trickled towards Willy Gueret.
Walsall should have levelled on 53 minutes. Wright's drive was parried by Gueret and eluded Grant Smith by inches and reached Ishmel Demontagnac on the edge of the penalty area. The winger hurried his shot and sliced the opportunity horribly wide.
Yet the defence still had to be vigilant and when Knight skipped round Oakes the visitors' Anthony Gerrard made a fine saving tackle. Nicholls and Craig Pead caused consternation among home supporters before Nicholls scored.
Latching on to a Grant Smith through-ball, he held off Kevin Austin and drove a low shot past Gueret.
On 83 minutes, Andy Robinson rammed home the rebound after Adrian Forbes' header had been tipped on to the post by Oakes. Within 90 seconds Constable wriggled past Austin in the penalty area.