Ex-Hatter Watkins scores as St Joseph's lift FA Sunday Cup to begin treble-winning week

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Three cups in the space of seven days for Luton side

​St Joseph's (Luton) were crowned FA Sunday Cup winners after securing a 3-2 victory over Aigburth Arms in a thrilling final at Derby County's Pride Park.

The Bedfordshire club edged their opponents from Merseyside by the odd goal in five, courtesy of a dramatic stoppage-time winner.

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They had to show their character too, as Aigburth took the lead in the first half when Stephen Hoy slammed home from close range to give the Liverpudlians the lead.

But St Joseph's were level after a short period of pressure ended with a direct ball into the area picking out Patrick McCafferty, and he lashed the equaliser past Philly Thompson to ensure the teams were all square at the break.

St Joe's then took the lead after Ryan Blake's jinking run on the right ended with a low cross to Adam Watkins, the former Luton Town midfielder drilling a low shot into the bottom corner.

It looked as though extra time was on the cards when Aigburth Arms won a penalty in the second minute of stoppage time following a handball on the line by Charlie Briggs.

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Substitute Lewis Hassan took the spot-kick, and after seeing his effort saved he managed to re-position himself to hit an awkward rebound into the bottom corner.

St Joseph's celebrate winning the FA Sunday Cup last week - pic: The FASt Joseph's celebrate winning the FA Sunday Cup last week - pic: The FA
St Joseph's celebrate winning the FA Sunday Cup last week - pic: The FA

But St Joe's weren't finished and with the celebrations at one end barely over, it was Blake who slipped through on goal before calmly finishing past Thompson at the other end to win the game in dramatic fashion, as they lifted the cup for the first time since 1996, ending a run of three defeats in the final since.

Manager Steve McDaid said: “To my squad, I thank each and every one of you for sticking with me and the club, and as they say, ‘trusting the process.’

"As a group I think we deserve that, it’s been eight years of heartbreak for me, whether you go out in the first round or lose the final, it hurts all the same.

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"I never had a brother, but in this squad, this club, I have found my brothers, I love you all.

"To our supporters, you were all incredible, the atmosphere was insane, a moment I will treasure forever, we thank you all so much.”

St Joe’s then carried on their form by winning two more cup finals this week, as they beat FC Victoria 6-0 in the Grip Active Sports Leighton District Sunday League Premier Cup final, also thrashing Punjab Lions 6-0 in the Bedfordshire County Sunday Cup final as well.

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