Adam Gilman made a dream return to action after an injury-ravaged year by heading Leeds Maccabi 1st into the last 16 of the Peter Morrison Trophy.
The popular midfielder suffered a nightmare knee injury during last year’s quarter-final clash against eventual winners Manchester Maccabi.
Gilman severely damaged his anterior cruciate ligament and has been forced to spend months of frustration on the sidelines.
But his patience and perseverance was finally rewarded when he capped his substitute appearance by meeting Marcus Edge’s cross with a spectacular diving header, to wrap up a 5-0 win over Haroldeans.
“The boys went absolutely berserk when Adam scored because it means so much to us all,” said Leeds boss Ian Selwyn.
“It was an awful injury he suffered last year and it’s just great to have him back in the team. He’s such an important player and very popular within the squad.
“He’s a mainstay of the team and although he’s not fully fit or ready for regular action yet, it was nice to give him a few minutes.
“We just wanted him to get some confidence and play a few minutes and he’s done that and scored a goal.
“The boys didn’t really celebrate the other goals, but when Adam scored they went crazy.”
The game was already over by the time Gilman headed home late on as Leeds cruised past a determined Haroldeans side.
David Woolman netted a hat-trick and Richard Black converted from the penalty spot before Gilman stepped off the bench to steal the show.
The only blot on an otherwise perfect afternoon for Leeds was the sending off of midfielder Josh Rose, who was given his marching orders for a two-footed challenge.
“It was probably the correct decision,” said Selwyn.
“After the sending off, the game fizzled out but I thought Haroldeans played well and have certainly improved since last season.
“They dominated the first 15 minutes of the game and I thought it might be a tough day at the office.
“But we were the better team after that and deserved to win the game. You can tell that Haroldeans are a good team and it’s no surprise they’re doing so well in the MJSL.”