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Collins hails cup kings

    Neil Collins hailed his South Manchester 2nd heroes after they booked their place in the quarter-finals of the Harold Freedman Trophy.

    Jack Lee’s double was enough to see off Hyde Park and set up a last eight clash with MJSL champions Manchester Maccabi 3rd.

    And despite admitting being too tired to even celebrate his side’s victory after playing another full 90 minutes at the age of 58, Collins had enough in the tank to heap praise on his players.

    “It was a massive win for us, absolutely massive,” said Collins.

    “The league has gone for us because we’ve dropped far too many points

    “Hyde Park are by far the best team we’ve played this season and they play some great football.

    “At one stage we were really struggling to get a foothold in the game but we fought back and deserved the win in the end.”

    Adam Jackson’s first-half effort had brought Hyde Park level after South Manchester’s Lee had fired the home side ahead.

    And it was the Nottingham University striker who sealed the win in style as he marked his return from injury by curling home a stunning free-kick from 25 yards.

    “Jack is just different class,” said Collins.

    “He might even be too good for us but we’re delighted to have him. His second goal was like a David Beckham special. It was superb.

    “But the whole team performed well and we’re still in with a chance of some silverware.”

    Collins also had encouraging news on the return of No.1 keeper Gary Stewart, who could return to action in the next couple of weeks after suffering a horrific eye injury.

    “Gary was there to watch and he could be back either next week or the week after,” said Collins.

    “He’s just waiting to get some protective head gear and then he’ll be ready and we’ll be delighted to have him back.”

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