Having a bawl

It's all tears as boss admits: penalty really hit the spot


Stuart Delmonte was left blubbering like a baby after his Manchester Maccabi side pulled off a dramatic Peter Morrison Trophy triumph.

Rafi Leeker's spot-kick in a pulsating penalty shoot-out gave Maccabi victory after a hard-fought goalless 120 minutes against Faithfold A at Oldham Athletic's Boundary Park.

The raw emotion was all too much for Maccabi boss Delmonte, whose side rode their luck on occasions with the Londoners hitting the woodwork three times.

But it was Maccabi who kept their cool in the shoot-out with Delmonte turning on the waterworks just seconds after Leeker had.

"When that ball went in I just started crying," said Delmonte.

"During the penalty shoot-out, I turned to co-manager Tony Rosenberg and told him I was starting to well up.

"It was weird because, normally, before a game I get very uptight but I wasn't at all on this occasion.

"I never thought I'd cry, but all the emotion just got to me. When Rafi scored, Tony and I had massive hugs.

"I'm just so proud of the boys and they totally deserve this."

Both Adam Lavin and captain Michael Sacks hit the crossbar for Manchester but despite their triumph, Delmonte admits the better 'footballing side' lost out on this occasion.

"I thought Faithfold 'out-Maccabied' us and that's what Tony said to me.

"They were very well-organised, played the game in a fantastic spirit and put in some hard but fair tackles."

Faithfold were left to rue a spot-kick by Rocky Spitzer that crashed against the crossbar.

Michael Sacks, Adam Lavin, Mark Wolfe and Josh Lewis successfully converted for Maccabi before Leeker held his nerve to win the cup.

Delmonte said: "We dug in and I'm absolutely thrilled. I don't care if it was a bad game. We won and that's that matters."

Rosenberg was also left with tears streaming down his face. "It has been a very emotional weekend and it means an awful lot to us," he said. "I've been a Manchester City fan for 46 years and so it was the perfect weekend for me.

"But if you had asked me before the game which would I choose between a City victory or a Maccabi victory, there would have been only one answer -


"It means a lot because there's a sense of personal achievement and the boys deserve it.

"This is mine and Stuart's first season in charge of the team and we said at the start we wanted to build a side capable of winning the Morrison Trophy within three years.

"Stuart and I have been friends since we were 17 and I'm just so happy for him. We've won it in our first year and now we want to defend it and build a dynasty."

During the game, Faithfold's Jonny Haik missed a string of chances on a day because Manchester keeper David Garman was in inspired form.

Zuriel Solomon, the Faithfold manager, said: "We dominated possession for the full 120 and I felt we deserved something more. The ball just would not go in for us.

"The trip to Oldham brought the boys together and their unity bodes well for next year. I have a fantastic bunch of boys who did themselves proud."

Assistant-manager Daryl Phillips added: "There was only one team in it and it appeared that Manchester were happy to play for penalties. In terms of football, they could not match us.

"We had a lot of new boys this year including Lorian Madanes, Paul Babai, Jonny Haik and Alex Kaye, who have all played their part and made giant strides.

"It's a shame for the boys but we will only come back stronger next season."

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