Hardwick Social overcame defending champions New Salamis on penalties to win The FA Sunday Cup at Bramall Lane.
Goalkeeper Michael Arthur proved the hero in the shootout, scoring the winning penalty after saving two of the opposition spot-kicks following a 1-1 draw after 90 minutes and extra time.
- The FA Sunday Cup Final
- Sunday 7 May 2017
- Bramall Lane, Sheffield United FC
Sonni Coleman had put Hardwick ahead in the first half but New Salamis fought back after the break and Leon MacKenzie equalised from the penalty spot.
But Hardwick’s triumph comes in just their second season in The Cup, having reached the fifth round last year.
In a game of north against south, both teams started nervously, with neither side able to get a foothold early on.
Stockton-based Hardwick began to take control of the contest and deservedly went ahead in the 23rd minute, with Darren Behcet spilling Chris Stockton’s effort and Coleman tucking away the loose ball.
The north Londoners equalised in the 67th minute though, as MacKenzie calmly stroked his penalty into the bottom corner after Deniz Mehmet had been brought down in the box.
An equalising goal seemed to fill the holders with confidence and they nearly extended their lead moments later – Harrison Georgiou’s header found MacKenzie open in the box but Arthur made a strong save.
Both teams had chances to win it late on in regulation time. First, Coleman headed wide from a few yards out and then Arthur produced a string of strong saves to deny New Salamis.
The holders looked the more dangerous in extra time but neither side could produce enough quality to win it.
And Hardwick held their nerve in the shootout, converting three of their four attempts while their opponents scored just once, with goalkeeper Arthur sealing The Cup.
Hardwick Social FC: (4-2-3-1) 1 Michael Arthur; 2 Joe Carter; 3 Craig Bishop; 4 Jamie Poole; 5 Adam Nicholson; 6 Tom Coulthard; 7 Nathan Mulligan; 8 James Ward; 9 Sonni Coleman; 10 Jamie Owens; 11 Chris Stockton
Substitutes: 14 Steven Roberts for 5 Adam Nicholson 33; 17 Kallum Hannah for Craig Bishop 79; 15 Luke Whittaker for 9 Sonni Coleman 90
Substitutes not used: 12 Richard Allen, 16 Tony Johnson
Managers: Andy Westwood & John Heslop
Goals: Coleman 23
New Salamis FC (4-2-3-1): 1 Darren Behcet; 2 John Kyriacou; 3 Alaa Oujdi; 4 Ryan Hervel; 5 Mark Kirby; 6 Lee White; 7 Richard Georgiou; 8 Percy Kiangebeni; 9 Leon MacKenzie; 10 Deniz Mehmet; 11 Murat Karagul
Substitutes: Harrison Georgiou for 7 Richard Georgiou 57; 18 Alex Addai for 11 Murat Karagul 63; 14 Kyri Portou for 10 Deniz Mehmet 116
Substitutes not used: 12 Andy Loizuo, 20 Chris Xiouri
Managers: Robert Pattwell & George Georgiou
Goals: MacKenzie 67
Referee: Dean Whitestone