Cup glory for Rovers

By James Masters, May 10, 2012

Republic of Mancunia 1st 2
Hyde Park Rovers 3

Hyde Park Rovers boss David Domb signed off in style as his side survived a fierce Repbulic of Mancunia 1st fightback to seal the Shonn Trophy.

Domb, who will leave the club this summer after finishing his three-year stint at Leeds University, was forced to endure a nervy last few minutes in a five-goal thriller at Salford FC.

Leading 3-0 at half-time, Rovers looked to be home and dry against a Republic side chasing a cup double.

But Si Kaye pulled a goal back after the break, before James Rosenberg smashed home late on to set up a tense finale.

Republic threw caution to the wind at the end, but Rovers held on to claim a famous victory and give boss Domb the perfect send off.

“It was absolutely amazing," said Domb. "We went from cruising to being very tense, but it was simply fantastic to win it.

“I was so emotional at full-time that I just fell to the floor and everyone was taking the mick out of me.

“It means a lot to me and to the players.I'm just over the moon."

Rovers raced out of the traps and forged into a three-goal lead inside the first 25 minutes of what was supposed to be a closely-fought contest.

An own-goal by Kaye gifted the Leeds students the perfect start as the defender inexplicably headed the ball into his own net from a Rovers corner.

That gave Domb's men a huge confidence boost and they tore into Republic with Dan Seligman adding a second soon after.

Rovers were flying and it came as little surprise when Ryan Silvester extended his side's advantage with a neat finish after just 25 minutes.

Republic were on the ropes but a stern half-time team talk from boss Si Kaye gave his players a new lease of life.

Republic, who face Crumpsall in the Tony Cohen Cup final next Thursday, switched formation with substitute Dave Eden giving his side an extra edge to their play.

With Rovers in cruise control, Kaye gave the Leeds students a rude awakening by making amends for his own goal with a close-range header.

Rosenberg then grabbed a second after unleashing a fierce effort from outside the penalty area as Republic threatened the great escape.

But Rovers held out to win the tie and leave Republic manager Si Kaye rueing his side's first half horrow showing.

He said: “The lads looked a bit nervous in the first half and if we had played like we did in the second then we would have won the game.

“The important thing is we have the Tony Cohen Cup final next week and hopefully we can put it right then."

Last updated: 12:49pm, May 14 2012