Golden goal makes it 425-1

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The Independent Online
A VILLAGE football team have finally scored their first goal after letting in 425.

The Sutton St Nicholas under-12 side, formed a year ago, failed to find the net at all last season when they became the whipping boys of the Herefordshire Junior League.

This term the team's goal famine extended to 32 successive defeats against rampant rivals who averaged one goal every five minutes when pitted against Sutton.

Worse still, 12-year-old Daniel Durkin became Sutton's second goalkeeper to quit in the face of such a deluge. But he agreed to carry on playing for the team in a different position after his mum, Jenny, offered him a pounds 2-per-match bribe.

And during his first full game in midfield Daniel sent Sutton's frustrated fans into raptures when he netted with a close-range shot to end almost 33 hours of goalless strife.

Now club officials intend to present him with a "golden goal" shield in recognition of the team's magic moment.

"All the parents were jumping up and down cheering - it was as if we'd won the FA Cup final," said the club founder's, Stephen Hunt, 38, an accounts manager.

Daniel, who was given the nickname Ronaldo by his colleagues and delighted supporters after the game, said scoring "felt great".

The Manchester United fan added: "I thought of packing it in a month ago because I was getting bored of losing, but my mum said, `Keep it up'."

Club treasurer Trudy Atkin said: "The goal was a long time coming, but we are hoping that will boost their confidence."

And Sutton's fans didn't give a hoot that visitors Bromyard Town won the game 12-1.