Hamilton Serbians repeat as Spectator Cup champions - FC Beograd wins over 35 Spectator Cup trophy
There’s a bright, shiny new look to North America’s oldest trophy for competitive soccer.
The Hamilton Spectator Cup, first awarded in 1896, was sent out for a much needed facelift and is now no longer wonky or dull in appearance. However, in the near future it’s going to need another base because there’s hardly any more room for individual team plaques.
That refurbished piece of hardware reappeared at Brian Timmis Stadium Sunday night and was hoisted in victory by the Hamilton Serbians. Perhaps that’s appropriate. No other team in history has captured the Spec trophy as many times as the Hamilton Serbians. They’ve won it a total of 11 times over the years.
And with their 1-0 victory over Hamilton Sparta, the Serbian squad claimed back-to-back titles.
“It’s great to win it,” said Serbians coach John Gibson. “And to repeat is awesome. Our club has a great history. But it’s a Cup final and you know it’s going to be hard fought. Both teams battled.”
The only goal was scored late in the first half on a penalty kick by former Hamilton Croatia Canadian Soccer League player, Jamie Dodds. He also has experience with the former Toronto Lynx franchise.
Said Gibson: “I thought it was a penalty and the shot was well-taken. Jamie is 30 years old but he’s still a great talent.”
Forward Adam Bond had several near-miss scoring opportunities for Sparta.
“We had to really plug this one out,” Bond said. “They’re in a higher division than us but we sized them up pretty well. If it wasn’t for a couple of dodgy calls … Overall, we played well. It’s tough when a penalty kick decides the game.”
The contest was halted for about 10 minutes because the lights weren’t turned on midway through the second half. And that left Hamilton and District Soccer Association president Al Carriafielo fuming at city officials.
In the press box, during the delay, Carriafielo said: “We rented the field until 10 o’clock. Do they expect us to play with flash lights. We can’t find an employee here. It’s unbelievable. What a disgrace.”
Fans shouted ‘turn on the lights’ and ‘stop the game’ during the period when it became difficult to see the action.
Serbians also made it to the final eight of Ontario Cup competition this season.
FC Beograd wins over 35 Spectator Cup trophy
Before Hamilton Serbians lifted the trophy in the open division, FC Beograd made sure that Serbian community has two Spectator Cup trophy winners.
In the over 35 final FC Beograd met Vasco Da Gama. Beograd started of very well with Joe Liguori finding the beck of the net in the 5th minute. Vasco rebounded back and after 10 minutes of play converted penalty kick to tie the game at 1:1.
This goal jump started FC Beograd and they created numerous chances before the half. On two of those chances Ninos Kando was precise and with two goals gave FC Beograd 3:1 lead at the halftime.
Second half FC Beograd played with patience and making sure that opponents are not allowed to score and get back in the game. While keeping possession they looked to increase the lead. One of the chances for FC Beograd was converted by Nikola Vorkapic to make it final score of 4:1.
This is the the first major trophy for the FC Beograd side. Over last few years team has completed some chances and the Spectator Cup trophy is first result of those chances. Players and management hope that this is the only beginning of trophy collection.
FC Beograd would like to help all the friends and fans who made this season success.
In the women’s division, the Dundas Royals edged the East Hamilton Stars 1-0 to capture the Cup (separate from the Spec trophy) for the first time since its inception in 1994. After a scoreless first half, Rebecca Rewi notched the winner as a brief heavy shower arrived on the scene. Her lofting shot came from the top of the penalty area.
“I guess we got a lucky break in the middle and I was able to pop it in,” said Rewi, a striker who previously played university basketball for the McMaster Marauders until her career was ended by the effects of a concussion about two years ago. “I just play soccer in this league for fun and to keep in shape. But I have to be really careful about getting hit on the head or going too hard.”
It was the second time in as many tries the Royals have beaten East Hamilton this season. They have one meeting remaining.
“I would say they had more of the chances today,” Rewi said. “We have a very strong keeper (Shannon McArthur). Normally, she doesn’t play in net but we convinced her to go in today. She played keeper in high school but she likes to play out nowadays.”
East Hamilton, led by the clever work in the midfield of Laura Ciccone, had several dangerous scoring opportunities. The Stars, incidentally, upset the Ancaster Athletics 2-0 in a Spec Cup semifinal, snapping Ancaster’s four-year undefeated streak. Dundas won its way into the final with a 3-1 decision last week over Mount Hamilton Dynamo.
Jackie Penman, a player-coach for the Royals, said Dundas has the best fan support in the league. “We always laugh at ourselves on the field and stay positive,” she said.
This season the Hamilton and District association fielded 38 women’s teams in a total of five divisions. Sixteen participated in the Spec Cup draw.
Proceeds from the three games go to the Spectator Summer Camp Fund for kids.
Hamilton’s soccer history will also be made this fall, according to Gibson. He and several others have founded the Hamilton Soccer Hall of Fame. Inaugural inductions are planned in the next few months.
“I think we’re the first city in Ontario to have a complete and independent soccer hall of fame,” Gibson said. “We have a rich history in soccer and we’re going to start celebrating it.”