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Belstone won the Senior Centenary Trophy after a surprise victory against Sun Postal Sports
Updated 6:35pm Thursday 20th March 2014 in Sport
Belstone became the first Herts County League side in seven years to win the Senior Centenary Trophy after they pulled off a seismic shock to beat South Midlands high-flyers Sun Postal 1-0 on Wednesday night.
A second-half strike from the lively Jamie Arthur saw the Radlett-based side bridge a two-division gap to land the trophy in what surely must represent the finest hour in the club’s 31-year history.
In becoming the first County League side since London Lions to win the trophy contested by sides from step six or lower of the National League System, Belstone kept alive their hopes of a league and cup double.
They appear well off the Premier Division pace in ninth but they have five games in hand on leaders Whitwell and would go joint top if they win them all.
This win, over a Sun side who are top of Division One in the South Midlands League, will have put them on cloud nine and manager John Sheridan may well need the next week or so to bring them back down to earth before their next league game with Bovingdon.
Paul Hobbs, meanwhile, will need to pick his players up off the floor if Sun are to maintain their title push.
He could not argue Belstone did not deserve their goal after 76 minutes, especially as Arthur had seen one chance brilliantly cleared off the line by Edwin Twesigomwe and another saved bravely by Ross Hampton, but he will still be wondering how his team did not score in a grandstand finale.
Chasing their first piece of silverware since 1995, Sun threw the kitchen sink, the dishwasher, the fridge freezer and the oven at Belstone in a sustained spell of pressure in the final ten minutes yet failed to find a way past Sam Styles in the Belstone goal.
The excellent Phil Merritt cleared two off the line, substitute Elton Scarlet saw a dipping volley fall just wide and Ryan Luke will be having nightmares about the header he somehow put wide from six yards.
Hobbs would have hoped one of the chances fell to James Armstrong, who won the trophy with Hobbs and Kings Langley in 2012, but he cut an isolated figure up front and the closest he came was with a snapshot that flew just over.
It was only the second time free-scoring Sun have failed to score this season. How they could have done with someone with the of pace of Arthur who, against one of his former clubs, latched onto a ball from the bright Lee Inch after a mistake from Dan Tompkins, burst clear and finished cooly for the only goal of the game.
Sun fared better in Spartan South Midlands Division One on Saturday as they thrashed Langford 8-1 to maintain a four-point gap at the top of the table.
James Armstrong sparked the rout with the first inside two minutes after an incisive pass from Ryan Luke, who then made it two soon after with his maiden goal for the first team.
Five more goals followed in a hugely one-sided first half, with Armstrong, Nathan Pooley, Craig Lynskey, Scott Bonner and Elton Scarlet all on the scoresheet to make it 7-0 at the interval.
Langford improved after the break and were rewarded with a goal but the last word went to Sun and Armstrong, who completed his hat-trick to seal an emphatic win.
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