FC Bentons manager Russell Windsor hailed his nine-man side after they won the Bob Smith Cup 4-2 on penalties against holders Real Milan following a 1-1 draw.
After a goalless opening half, Milan went in front early in the second period when Umar Riaz drove into the box, beating three players before crossing for Calvin Morgan to tap home the opening goal from six yards out.
Milan had a chance to double their lead moments later, only for Nadir Shafi to shoot wide, and it was not long before Bentons equalised as Ollie Jemmet fired home from the edge of the box after a corner was not properly cleared.
Things took a turn for the worse for Bentons when goalkeeper Rouke Pickford received a straight red card after bringing Shafi to the ground.
They had another player sent off before the end of 90 minutes, but a stubborn rearguard set up the penalty shoot-out, and with Bentons slotting all four of their spot-kicks, misses from Emmanuel Goganos and Amin Khomsi saw Windsor’s men claim the trophy.
He told the Observer: “It was brilliant. I thought we started off the better and for the first 10-15 minutes they could not get near us.
PHOTO: FC Bentons celebrate with the Bob Smith trophy after beating Real Milan on penalties.
“Real Milan got back in it but there was not much in it in the first half.
“Milan scored first against the run of play, then we scored but lost our keeper.”
He continued: “We hit the bar and had one cleared off the line.
“Milan were always going to have more possession at 11-v-9 and they are a decent side, but we’ve done well and it was a great result.
“I am very pleased. We have done well in the whole competition to get to the final.
“We normally get some silverware, so it was nice.”