Del Tobias’s Hawks won the Sussex Dennis Probee U18 Youth Cup on penalties tonight in dramatic fashion.
After the 90 minutes ended all square 1-1, and with Hastings playing most of the second half with 10 men, it took 32 penalty kicks to separate the teams, with the Hawks finally winning 12-11. Elliot Dailly saved The U’s 16th kick.
Earlier, the Hawks had looked in control after an own goal from a Danny Kingston in swinging free kick had given them the lead after 20 minutes. Callum Esnouf, who was Hawks most dangerous attacker on the night, had hit the bar in the first minute of the match.
Hastings equalised from a near post corner six minutes into the second half before Cameron Thompson was sent off for a second yellow card five minutes later.
The numerical advantage made little difference to the Hawks, who struggled to find any fluency against a Hastings side that refused to lay down. All that was forgotten amid jubilant scenes as the noisy Hawks following celebrated with the players on the final whistle before Ellis Martin lifted the trophy, last won by Jude McDonald’s Hawks in 2017.
Tonight’s victory is the seventh time the trophy has made it’s way to the Enclosed Ground: 1947, 1982, 1983, 1985, 1987 being the other triumphant seasons.