Peter Murphy will not forget this weekend in a hurry. The Carlisle United defender became a father for the first time on Friday, then scored the winning goal in yesterday's Johnstone's Paint Trophy final here.
To add a twist in the tale, it was Murphy who was blamed a year ago when he gave away a penalty in Carlisle's final defeat against Southampton. "We felt we had something to prove after last year. Hopefully it will shut people up," the 30-year-old said.
It was the second time Carlisle had lifted the trophy but all the talk was of Murphy's whirlwind few days. His partner Lisa Armstrong was always scheduled to watch the game, even if she had not gone into labour on Thursday evening. As it turned out, mother and son were in the crowd, so soon after the birth that the newborn boy had not been named.
"I cannot believe it but the plan was for her to travel down here," said the Carlisle manager, Greg Abbott. "If she was about to have it in London, she would be whisked away from the stadium to have it. He would have been a Cockney."
Murphy, who had not travelled to London with the rest of the team, made his mark on the game 12 minutes after kick-off. He had already offered a warning when he headed wide in the early stages, then had another chance from a corner after Brentford keeper Simon Moore had clawed away Francois Zoko's header.
Zoko challenged for James Berrett's set-piece, with the ball falling for Murphy to control with his thigh and powerfully volley home into the roof of the net. "You couldn't write the script. And me getting the goal was the icing on the cake," Murphy said.
"I just want to spend some time with my partner and my little boy and then talk about a name, because we haven't even had a chance."
Carlisle had to hold on to their lead without the help of Ben Marshall, the on-loan attacking midfielder from Stoke City, after he was on the receiving end of a heavy tackle from Adam Reed.
Reed, who trapped Marshall's standing leg as he slid in, received a yellow card but was fortunate not to be dismissed and was substituted at the interval. "I didn't want a man to be sent off in a cup final as it would ruin it, but I didn't want to lose Ben," Abbott said.
Jeffrey Schlupp struck the post for Brentford 10 minutes into the second half but manager Nicky Forster was left to bemoan his team's lack of attacking quality.
"It seemed they were ready to go but didn't turn up [in the] first half," he said. "I thought we were off the pace because of the occasion. Overall in the 90 minutes we didn't have enough quality balls in the box and didn't really test their keeper."
Brentford also had Toumani Diagouraga dismissed in the final stages for picking up two yellow cards, the second for a trip on Tom Taiwo. "I haven't seen it again but it looked like a sending off," Forster added. "I thought the referee was quick to get his yellow card out early on but I have no complaints at all as it had no bearing on the game."
Both teams were wearing black armbands following the death of Edward Stobart, the former head of the Carlisle-based haulage giants Eddie Stobart.
Abbott added: "The Stobart family, who have had a massively tough week, will have some pleasure from this, in seeing the town and the football club enjoy this. They will be delighted to see the town achieve something. They support industry in Cumbria massively, not just the football club, and I think that is key to the family."
Brentford (4-4-2): Moore; Neilson, Osborne, Legge, Woodman (O'Connor, 88); Weston (Grabban, 78), Diagouraga, Reed (Bean, h-t), Saunders; Schlupp, Alexander. Substitutes not used: Byrne, Carson.
Carlisle United (4-1-2-1-2): Collin; Simek, Murphy, Michalik, Robson; Thirlwell; Berrett, Taiwo (Loy, 88); Marshall (Noble, 23); Zoko (Madden, 68), Curran. Substitutes not used: Livesy, Caig.
Referee G Salisbury (Lancs).
Attendance 40,476Reuse content