It is strange to think that anyone who weighs 16 stone can live in the shadows of another man, but Adebayo Akinfenwa went some way to putting that right yesterday.
All season the super-sized Swansea City striker has waited for his day in the sun as partner Lee Trundle took all the plaudits. But at the Millennium Stadium Akinfenwa's late goal won the Football League Trophy for the Welshmen. "It's the best day of my life," Akinfenwa said. "To get a such a crucial goal is a beautiful feeling. I didn't have to do much, Trundle gave me the pass and I just pushed it in but it's still a wonderful thing."
Trundle had done his best to upstage his team-mate and his volleyed third-minute opener was worthy of winning any game, as was his all-round performance but the flamboyant forward could do little to change matters after Adam Murray had put the Cumbrians' level before the break.
But having already been denied three times by Carlisle's excellent goalkeeper, Kieren Westwood, Akinfenwa's determination paid off. "They both played very well," said manager Kenny Jackett. "But I'm pleased for Bayo because he just doesn't give up."
Trundle's opener had come from bustle and brilliance. He rushed Westwood into his clearance which gave Swansea the ball. Leon Britton found the striker on the left of the area and he controlled on his chest before firing home. Carlisle regrouped and showed why they lead League Two. Chris Lumsdon's header was ruled out for offside before Zigor Aranalde's long throw caused space for Murray to head home on 40 minutes. But as extra time loomed, Trundle's flick found Akinfenwa and he lifted the ball over Westwood to share the spotlight.
Goals: Trundle 3 (0-1); A Murray 40 (1-1); Akinfenwa 81 (1-2).
Carlisle (4-4-2): Westwood; Arnison (Grand, 89), Livesey, Gray, Aranalde; A Murray (Hackney, 79), Lumsdon, Billy, Murphy; Holmes (G Murray, 71), Hawley. Substitutes not used: Williams (gk), McGill.
Swansea (4-4-2): Gueret; Tate, Monk, Lowe, Ricketts; Britton, Tudur-Jones, O'Leary (Knight, 64), Robinson (Martinez, 83); Trundle, Akinfenwa. Substitutes not used: Murphy (gk), Austin, Martinez, Forbes.
Bookings: Carlisle: A Murray, Arnison.
Referee: T Leake (Lancashire).
Man of the match: Akinfenwa.
Attendance: 42028.Reuse content