All England Sunday Cup Final Report

Hardwick Social Club travelled to Bramall Lane Sheffield for the final of the All England Sunday Cup where they were to meet the holders New Salamis from North London.  Hardwick started brightly and had the first chance after only three minutes that saw Sonni Coleman just fire wide from the edge of the box.  Hardwick continued to dominate the opening exchanges and on 12 minutes Jamie Owens saw his shot from the edge of the box well saved by the Salamis keeper with a corner being the outcome.  On 22 minutes Hardwick took the lead when James Ward saw his 20-yard shot spilled by the keeper and Sonni Coleman followed up to drill the ball home and send the large Hardwick support into raptures.  New Salamis nearly equalised when a storming run down the right wing by Deniz Mehmet saw him cut along the goal-line and his shot struck the post and out of play.  On the half hour mark Hardwick were forced into a change as Adam Nicholson had to come off with a knee injury and was replaced by Steven Roberts with Jamie Poole moving back into defence.  Hardwick maintained their advantage going into half time and the lead was well deserved.  The second half began with New Salamis on the attack and they were awarded a free kick just outside of the box on 47 minutes but the resulting kick went over the bar.  On the hour mark a left-wing corner from Nathan Mulligan was headed just wide in a crowded penalty area.  New Salamis made a couple of changes and on 66 minutes were awarded a penalty which Leon MacKenzie converted for one all.  New Salamis started to dominate the play and force Hardwick onto the back foot and on 72 minutes MacKenzie was left unmarked 10 yards from goal but Michael Arthur saved well with his feet to deny the forward.  New Salamis substitute Alex Addai was causing Hardwick problems down the right wing and he produced a number of crosses into the box but Hardwick dealt with these.  Hardwick introduced Kallum Hannah for Craig Bishop on 79 minutes and on 85 minutes another Nathan Mulligan corner was saw Sonni Coleman head just wide.  New Salamis nearly sneaked the win when MacKenzie sent a long ball forward to Percy Kiangebeni but saw his effort well saved by Michael Arthur at the expense of a corner.  In injury time Arthur again denied New Salamis with a point blank save to take the game into extra time.  Hardwick made their final change at the start of extra time with Luke Whittaker replacing Sonni Coleman and from the kick off Hardwick pushed forward and a cross from James Ward was headed just wide by Kallum Hannah and minutes later Hannah crossed for Jamie Owens whose attempt was pushed over the bar.  The second half of extra time saw both teams struggling with players suffering cramp and the tie headed for the dreaded penalties.

New Salamis were up first and their penalty taker was Leon MacKenzie whose scored with his first effort but this time Michael Arthur guessed correctly and saved.  Up first for Hardwick was Kallum Hannah and he made no mistake with his effort.  Next for New Salamis was John Kyriacou and this time Arthur was beaten then Nathan Mulligan was next for Hardwick and he saw keeper Darren Behcet get a hand to the ball but could not prevent it entering the net.  Next for New Salamis was Harrison Georgiou and again he saw Arthur save his effort, up stepped Tom Coulthard and he saw Behcet save his penalty to make it 2-1.  Next for New Salamis was Kyri Portou and he beat Arthur but saw his shot hit the crossbar and bounce away.  This meant that if Hardwick scored with their next penalty they would win, up stepped goalkeeper Michael Arthur and he drilled the ball home to send Hardwick players and supporters into raptures. 

FA Sunday Cup Chairman David Robinson presented the medals to the match officials, New Salamis and Hardwick Social Club and then presented the trophy to Hardwick captain Jamie Owens. 

Hardwick Social Club line up:
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 (Capt) 11 Chris Stockton

12 Richard Allan
14 Steven Roberts for Adam Nicholson
15 Luke Whittaker for Sonni Coleman
16 Tony Johnson
17 Kallum Hannah for Craig Bishop