Goalkeeper Hopkins is hero as Whitwood win final

Whitwood Metrostars celebrate winning the Castleford Sunday League's First Divisional Cup
Whitwood Metrostars celebrate winning the Castleford Sunday League's First Divisional Cup

Goalkeeper Wayne Hopkins made two crucial penalty saves and collected the man of the match award in a stunning display to lead Whitwood Metrostars to First Divisional Cup final glory.

Whitwood were the underdogs up against Division One champions FC Byram Munich but, inspired by the heroics of Hopkins, they came up with a 4-1 victory.

They started slowly with Byram using the width of the pitch to play the ball down the wings. But the defence, led by Steve Backhouse, stayed strong.

Whitwood’s only escape was the long ball down field which strikers Calve Dunning and Mark Noble found difficult to hold up for the midfield to join them.

But they took the lead after 15 minutes when Dunning’s corner was missed by everyone as it hit the far post and dropped into the net.

This was the stroke of luck Whitwood needed as it transformed the game. All of a sudden the midfield started to pass the ball around making the Byram players chase and it was 2-0 on the half-hour when Sean Douglas played Noble through and he smashed the ball past the helpless keeper.

The game could have been so different after 40 minutes when Byram were awarded a penalty with Douglas bringing down a Byram attacker in the box.

But keeper Hopkins dived to his right to save then stood straight back up to tip the rebounded shot onto his left hand post before Scott Teale was able to make a clearance to put an end to the danger.

Whitwood pushed forward after the break and when Karl Robinson played in Noble the last man brought him down. This earned the defender a straight red card and the Metrostars a penalty which was put away by Dunning.

From here it was a long 40 minutes for Byram with the league champions beaten a long way from the end.

Both teams brought on fresh legs and Whitwood were not finished as defender Liam Watson started and finished a length of the field move with his head to make it 4-0.

Byram were awarded another penalty with Watson bringing down striker Adam Priestley, but again Hopkins stood strong and denied him with his second spot kick save of the match.

Byram did manage a goal late on to make it 4-1, but it was too late for them to make it a league and cup double.

Whitwood Metrostars have thanked Netszch for being kit sponsors this season.