Boss Chipie Sian was in dreamland as Punjab United thrashed Deal in their Kent Senior Trophy Final at Maidstone’s Gallagher Stadium on Sunday.
The Hoops were favourites ahead of the match but Sian’s side ripped up the script and they were four goals to the good by half-time through strikes by Paul Vines, Jayden Hussain, William Johnson-Cole and Theo McKenzie.
It got even better after the restart, too, in front of a crowd of 1,851 as Hussain completed his hat-trick in their 6-0 win while teenage Deal defender Alex Green was sent off.
But Sian said: “I couldn’t sleep last night.
“My missus was having a go at me because I kept tossing and turning! We were in a Final, a big Final as well, and I knew we had 400 fans from Gravesend coming.
“I wanted to make them proud. It feels like a dream. When we went 4-0 up, I thought ‘God, I can’t believe this’ - but we deserved it.
“I’m proud of everyone who came, all the players, all our management teams and Jayden who I took from the under-23s. Those managers have been unbelievable.
“It’s a beautiful club to be in. It’s a family and that’s how we do it.”
Deal entered the showdown on an 18-match unbeaten run. Sian always felt confident, though.
“I said to the boys at the beginning that I’d done my homework on them and I knew, if we got it right, we’d be all right,” he said. “I didn’t expect that [the scoreline] but I expected to win.
“Sometimes when you get games like this, it’s a one-off. It was one of those dream games where everything we did was right.
“I thought we were outstanding.”
Promising young attacker Hussain was the pick of Punjab’s players and won the player-of-the-match award.
“It was well deserved,” Sian noted. “The boy works hard.
“When you work hard, you get a bit of luck. Jayden is only young - 20 or 21 - but don’t poach him! He’s one of mine.”
On where the triumph ranked during his time with the Gravesend-based club, Sian, whose outfit are ninth in the Southern Counties East Premier Division, replied: “This is the best.
“I know I had back-to-back promotions, but this is the best.
“My family were here, my wife were here, my kids were here and, for them to see something like this, it’s the best feeling.”
But 39-year-old frontman Vines broke the deadlock as he steered home an excellent cross from right-back Chris Edwards.
Sian said: “Vines had been resting for nearly 14 days.
“We have been looking after him because we wanted to make sure he was fit and ready, and he was ready to go. We put him through his paces on Friday night - and he hated it! But we had to.
“The physio put him through his paces and he phoned me on the way home and said: ‘I’m ready. My hamstring is fine and I’m ready to go.’ The guy is unbelievable.
“He’s 39 but age is just a number, right? When you are scoring goals like that in front of 1,800 fans, who cares!”
Monika Copley, from title sponsors DFDS, added: "Congratulations to Punjab United on an excellent victory in the DFDS Kent Senior Trophy Final.
"It was a magnificent occasion in front of an excellent crowd with a Final played in an excellent spirit."
Punjab are at Tunbridge Wells on Wednesday and finish their season at home to Lordswood this Saturday.