Scoring the winner in the FAI Cup final was quite literally a dream come true for Anthony Elding.
He was the hero as Sligo Rovers came from behind in a frantic finish to beat Drogheda United 3-2.
Ryan Brennan’s equaliser in the 92nd minute looked set to send the cup final to extra time for the fifth time in six seasons.
But a minute later Elding latched on to Danny North’s pass to clinch Sligo’s fifth win in the competition.
“I must admit, I dreamt about scoring the winner,” Elding said.
I prayed and I dreamt and it happened. I’m a hard-working honest player and I always believe you get what you deserve in the end.
North’s assist was the final act in a supersub cameo that changed the final.
Brought off the bench with 20 minutes left, he scored Sligo’s equaliser and then gave them the lead in controversial circumstances following a quick free by Joseph Ndo.
“It was a great lay-off by Danny North,” Elding said of his strike-partner’s involvement in the winner.
“Unselfish play really because as a striker, he was on a hat-trick and he maybe could have turned himself and shot.
But that’s the team spirit that we’ve got. He’s seen me in a better position and I’ve turned and hit it. Thankfully it has gone in the top corner — I probably couldn’t do it again if I tried but for it to nestle in the net is an amazing feeling.
Ian Baraclough’s decision to start with Elding rather than North as his lone striker was a surprise selection when the teams were announced.
But when Baraclough gambled in pursuit of an equaliser, the two combined with perfect consequences.
“That was the talk at the start of the year, that me and Danny North were going to be the two players that took the league by storm. I was fully looking forward to it.
“It was Danny North that got me over here. He rang me up and said there might be a little bit of interest and would I be interested in coming.
I feel for him a little bit that I started the game today. He was the one who brought me over here and I started the game in front of him but that’s football.
I set his goal up for the first one and then he goes and sets me up. I think if we both played together we’d score a lot more goals, that’s for sure.