Non-league star beats Haaland to FA Cup golden ball

A non-league footballer has beaten Manchester City's Erling Haaland to be crowned the FA Cup's top scorer.

JJ Lacey picked up the golden ball at the FA Cup final after scoring 10 goals in the competition for Southern League Premier Central side Biggleswade Town.

Haaland was the only player with any chance of beating the total ahead of his team's 2-1 loss to Manchester United - but would have needed to have scored six goals.

"It's once-in-a-lifetime stuff, to be able to walk out the match ball out before kick-off, and to be presented this award, it's amazing for me and my family," said Lacey.

Erling Haaland clapping
Erling Haaland had already been crowned top scorer in the Premier League [PA Media]

Haaland, who won the Premier League golden boot for the second successive season, came closest to scoring when he hit the bar in the second half.

The Bedfordshire club was promoted to step three in the English football pyramid this season.

The Waders played six games in the FA Cup before being knocked out by Solihull Moors in October in the fourth qualifying round.

Lacey, 25, said he was unaware of the award until September, when he scored a hat-trick in an away tie with Bishop's Stortford, a team two leagues above his.

"To do that at their place was pretty special," he added.

The player that made him most uneasy was fellow non-league player and runner-up, Joe Taylor, with nine goals for Ramsgate.

Taylor threatened his lead by going further in the competition and had an "unbelievable" season with 53 goals, Lacey said.

Haaland scored all five of his cup goals in the fifth round, knocking out Lacey's beloved Luton Town in a 6-2 drubbing at Kenilworth Road in February.

Lacey's footballing career has seen him play for both Sunday and non-league clubs.

He first joined Harpenden Colts, before moving on to Berkhamsted FC and then Hemel Hempstead Town.

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