Grant late show stuns Shirley Park

By Danny Caro, January 30, 2012

Shirley Park 1 Hyde Park Rovers 2

Strikes from Jay Rosenthal and Oli Grant took MJSL outfit Hyde Park Rovers into the last eight as they edged past third division Shirley to victory in a well-contested tie at Gladstone Park.

Shirley's goal came through Gideon Gold with a stunning long-range volley.

Shirley Park manager Dave Lusman told JC Sport: "Unfortunately we blew it. After conceding in the opening 10 minutes of the game, we then decided to wake up. We took control of the first there after levelling the tie and also smashed the frame of the goal not far after.

"Their keeper had the game of his life - making several reaction saves and we played some neat football creating a hatful of chances only to be caught on the counter by Rovers from our corner for their winner. It was a stupid goal to concede.

"Besides that we put in a strong performance. We were solid throughout - wining the fair share of key battles across the park and threatened their goal time and time again up until the closing minutes.

"I can safely say and their boys agreed their keeper takes all plaudits pulling of an array of top-drawer saves to lead Hyde Park to victory and I'm sure a few of the Rovers boys are wondering how they managed to pull this one off looking back over the 90.

"This was a highly competitive performance from both teams and a great game for the Gladstone Park onlookers, and Rovers and Shirley supporters. We wish them well a they progress in the cup.

"Onwards and upwards for Park. We're looking forward to entering the Barry Goldstein Cup and have are eyes set on Wingate. I also want to thanks Rob Silverman's Team JLGB. We knew they were capable of doing the damage in league. It was only a matter of time."

Rovers boss David Domb told JC Sport: "It was a fantastic victory and it’s just what we needed.

"We needed to show we can play ugly and we dug it out and got the result.

"It's the best result we’ve had during my time at the club and for a student team to come down to London and get a win is great.

"It was a great team performance and hopefully we can build on that because we still have two other cup competitions we can win.

"We know the league title is out of reach, which is unfortunate, but we can still make it a successful season."

The visitors took just two minutes to claim a shock lead with Rosenthal smashing home from close-range following an exquisite free-kick by David Cohen.

Gold headed Shirley level before the break but the home side were unable to find a second with Rovers keeper Falk in sublime form.

Shirley continued to dominate after the interval but with 15 minutes remaining, Rovers caught their hosts napping as Grant ran clear to smash home the winner.

"I’ve never been so happy at the final whistle before," added Domb.

"It was a great win and it was a very noisy coach trip back up to Leeds after the game.

"We're going to meet up on Wednesday to celebrate and enjoy this one because the lads deserve it."

Last updated: 11:22am, February 7 2012