Connor Wickham scores incredible FA Cup goal almost from his own half

Mikel Arteta looks ahead to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang reunion against Chelsea

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Connor Wickham rounded off Forest Green Rovers’ FA Cup first-round victory at South Shields with a stunning goal from the halfway line. The former Premier League striker stole the show on Saturday afternoon as his experience and quality prevailed against lower-league opposition.

Wickham made 120 Premier League appearances from 2011 to 2020 for Sunderland and Crystal Palace, registering 19 goals and eight assists. And his top-flight know-how shone brightly as he netted both goals in Forest Green’s 2-0 win against opposition from the Northern Premier League – England’s seventh tier.

He fired a pinpoint header past Myles Boney to give the League One side a deserved lead in the first half. But his headline-stealing contribution came in the dying embers, putting South Shields to the sword with a sensational strike from just inside the hosts’ half on 96 minutes.

After being released by MK Dons at the end of the 2021/22 season, Wickham joined Forest Green on a short-term deal until January. But head coach Ian Burchnall will no doubt be keen to extend his stay after his standout performance on Saturday continued a positive campaign.

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Wickham has scored seven goals in his first 14 games for Forest Green, directing his career back on track after a difficult spell since his Palace release in 2021. He will hope he can spearhead a memorable FA Cup run after epitomising the popular ‘Magic of the Cup’ phrase with his incredible effort.

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