Francis hits five goals as Regent’s win Islington Gazette Cup
- Credit: Archant
Alfie Francis became the first player to score five times in the Islington Gazette Cup final as Regent’s FC finally lifted the trophy.
Regent’s – who were runners-up last year and went on to lose another three finals – put their dreadful cup record to bed at last by overcoming underdogs K London United 6-3 at Market Road.
However, they were given a stern test by the Islington Midweek League Division Two underdogs, who had already knocked out two top-flight teams and fought back from 4-1 down to 4-3 in a goal-laden first half.
Relieved Regent’s boss Des Casey admitted: “They were well organised, relentless and broke quickly – they didn’t stop for 90 minutes. I did start to panic a little bit when they got back to 4-3.
“We didn’t make as many chances in the second half, but we kept better possession. Alfie has been fantastic – he’s stuck with me all season, even when I benched him now and then, and he really showed his worth.
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“It means so much to the boys and we’re absolutely elated to have won a cup. Now we’ve got the Ken Doherty Cup final on Thursday [against Islington Admiral United] and we’re going to try and do it again.”
Francis gave Regent’s a dream start, firing them ahead after three minutes, but Yong Jju equalised for K London with a close-range finish 15 minutes later.
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An exquisite chip from Francis immediately restored Regent’s lead – and he then completed his hat-trick before setting up Yemi Buraimoh to make it 4-1.
However, K London fought their way straight back into the contest with two goals in the space of a minute – Yong pulling back the first before a stunning strike into the top corner from Yong Jju reduced the gap to one.
The second half proved to be a less open affair, but Francis gained some breathing space for his side when he curled a drive into the top corner on 66 minutes and then added his fifth of the game late on to seal victory.