Balham’s incredible run in the London Senior Cup continued as they knocked out Ismithian League side Dulwich Hamlet with a fantastic 1-0 win to reach the final of the tournament.
Dulwich hosted Balham, on the 3G pitch of Carshalton Athletic’s War Memorial Sports Ground, due to last week’s postponement. The winning goal came with just six minutes to play. Arsen Ujkaj found space to shoot on the edge of the area. His shot dipped dangerously in front of the goalkeeper Corey Addai and he was unable to hold it, leaving Luke Fenlon to sprint onto the loose ball and slot into the bottom corner, incredibly putting Balham in front. The referee chose to add on 5 minutes of injury time, and Dulwich used that time to try to force extra time. They could not find their way through; the Balham keeper, Haydn Read authoritatively claimed every long ball, although with almost the whole team in the box, Balham also had to clear one attempt off the line.
At the full time whistle the Balham players and fans celebrated on the pitch, the result marking a “magical evening” according to boss Greg Cruttwell.
“What can you say? It was a magical evening, and it shows dreams can come true. They are 2 levels above us, but it was a well deserved win for us. It was a great game for the club.”
Balham will play Cray Valley in the final of the cup, after they defeated Tooting & Mitcham United last week in the other semi final.
The FA have tweeted: The stage is set and it will be an all Step 5 Senior Cup Final for the first time. History will be made, will Cray Valley PM retain the famous trophy or will Balham FC be victorious a year after winning the Senior Trophy.
Wednesday 9th May is the date for the diary