WARREN Byrne played just six minutes as a late substitute as Hetton Lyons secured a record third FA Carlsberg Sunday Cup victory in 2010.
But the striker – one of just four survivors from the side two years ago – played a far more influential role in yesterday’s final after his brace secured a fourth cup win in seven years for Lyons as they swept aside Merseyside outfit Canada FC 5-1 at a sodden Stadium of Light.
The triumph was as comfortable as the scoreline suggested with Hetton out-muscling and out-passing their Liverpool opponents after Byrne’s early double gave the County Durham outfit the necessary confidence boost.
Byrne said: “I missed out on the final two years ago. I was on the bench and got a little run-out.
“So it was nice to get a couple of goals. I’d have been pleased to get a third, but I’m happy with the two and a good victory.
“I’m pleased for the lads because they’ve worked hard.
“Getting an early goal definitely changed the game. Once we got it down and passed it about, they couldn’t get anywhere near us.
“It’s quite a new team, there’s a lot of young lads who’ve come in this year, but there’s still four or five of us who are experienced who like to help them along.”
It took Hetton just three minutes to break the deadlock after the route one approach paid dividends.
Keeper Keith Finch lofted the ball long downfield and it was flicked on at the edge of the Canada area by targetman Mark Davison.
Strike partner Byrne pounced on the loose ball and beat Canada stopper Ryan Brookfield to it, getting enough on his stabbed effort to divert it into the bottom corner.
Brookfield was injured in the collision, but after a brief hiatus, the game proceeded and Canada were almost caught out again by a long ball in the seventh minute.
Right-back Kallum Griffiths cushioned a clearance down the flank for Davison to run on to and with Brookfield hesitating, the Hetton striker got to the ball first only for his sliding effort to bobble into the side netting.
Hetton did double their advantage in the 18th minute when, after a slick passing move, Griffiths swept an inviting ball across the face from the right, which took a deflection and landed perfectly at the far post for Byrne who slid home his second.
Buoyed by the two-goal cushion, Hetton began to play the better football – getting the ball down and switching it intelligently, with Craig Price and former Sunderland youngster Keith Graydon pulling the strings from the middle of the park.
Canada finally mustered a response on the half-hour mark when Kevin McNabb lofted the ball forwards towards hitman Steven Tames.
Hetton centre-half Christopher Hunter got underneath the ball after misjudging the bounce – leaving Tames with just Lyons keeper Keith Finch to beat.
From 20 yards out, Tames took it early and drove the ball towards the far corner, but his effort drifted wide of the post.
Hetton extended their advantage eight minutes into the second half when Graydon drove in a low free-kick from the right-hand side of the area and skipper Daniel Moore was on hand at the near post to deflect it beyond the wrong-footed Brookfield.
It was almost two in two minutes for Stuart Gooden’s side as Byrne blasted over the top from 18 yards after Ian Watson picked out the striker with a superb ball in behind the Canada defence from the left.
Hetton were almost caught out in the 59th minute when McNabb lifted the ball down the right-hand channel for Tames to chase onto.
Tames got in the wrong side of the Hetton defence, but found himself at an acute angle to the right of goal and could only square it into an empty six-yard box.
But Hetton made it four a minute later when ex-Sunderland youngster Stephen Capper found Davison in space 25 yards out.
Davison tried his luck with a low shot which skidded off the surface and crashed against the outside of the post.
But Capper pounced on the rebound and from the left of goal swept it beyond Brookfield into the far corner.
Canada grabbed a consolation in the 70th minute when McNabb’s corner from the right found Joe Fargan at the back stick, whose header bounced off the turf and into the net.
Hetton rounded off their comprehensive victory in the four minute of stoppage time when the influential Moore played the ball in behind and substitute Daniel Craggs ran from deep to beat the offside trap.
Craggs had just Brookfield to beat and kept his cool, rounding the keeper before slotting it into the empty net.
HETTON: Finch, Griffiths, Hunter, Price, Moore, Capper, Graydon (Ellison 78), Walton, Davison, Byrne (Davis 66), Watson (Craggs 73). Subs not used: Woods, Kane. Booked: Davison (9), Moores (45), Graydon (45), Davis (82)
CANADA: Brookfield, Wardle, O’Rourke (Hanley 60), McNabb, Fargan, Downey, O’Brien, Riley, Tames, Furlong (A Williams 63), G Williams (Davies 60). Subs not used: Wright, Blayney. Booked: O’Rourke (40), Fargan (52)
Referee: Craig Pawson.