The deputy mayor of Havant was Denmead’s penalty shoot-out hero as they claimed a memorable Portsmouth Senior Cup victory.
Prad Bains - a Conservative councillor for the Hart Plain borough - saved the first three spot-kicks he faced as the Hampshire Premier League First Division underdogs shocked three divisions higher AFC Portchester.
Due to the heroics of the all-round sportsman - Bains achieved his taekwondo black belt when he was just seven and has also played Southern League cricket for Hambledon - Denmead won 3-1 on penalties to progress to the quarter finals.
Though Harvey Hawkins saw his first penalty saved, captain Brad Simmonds, Danny Lucas and Jacob Arend all converted to send the former Meon Valley Sunday Leaguers through.
Home goalkeeper Brad Snelling was the only Royals player to net from 12 yards in the shoot-out.
‘Prad’s saved penalties before for us,’ said boss Paul Goddard. ‘All the boys had confidence in him going into the shoot-out.’
The teams had earlier shared six goals in an entertaining affair at The Crest Finance Stadium.
After Patrick Hnath had put the Royals in front, Denmead - in their first season in the HPL - hit back through a Lucas penalty before Steve Ramsey’s spot-kick restored Portchester’s advantage.
After the break, Lucas - ‘the smallest player on the pitch’ according to his manager - was left unmarked at the back post to nod in a corner and Ryan Harrison robbed a home dender of the ball before a quick one-two with Hawkins saw him fire Denmead in front for the first time.
Portchester forced penalties when Jordan Brooks headed in.
‘It was a truly inspirational performance,’ enthused Goddard. ‘Everyone was buzzing, as you can imagine.
‘I just said to the boys beforehand that they needed to ensure they didn’t let themselves down. It was a great chance to show people what they could do, and if we got a result then great.’
Denmead pulled off the greatest result of their history without skipper Steve Field, who suffered an ankle injury during a light training session the day before.
Denmead are joined in the PSC quarter finals by US Portsmouth’s first and second teams, Baffins Milton, Paulsgrove, Fareham Town and Paulsgrove.