“UNBELIEVABLE. What a game. Brimming with pride.”
That was Gym United Player-Manager Matt Morton’s reaction to his side reaching the final of this season’s FA Sunday Cup.
The Premier Logos Bury & District Sunday League side thus became the first from Suffolk to make it to the final of this national competition.
Gym United had to come from behind to do so in Sunday’s semi-final against Liverpool Business House Premier Division side Mayfair FC, winning 2-1 at Solihull Moors FC.
After a goalless first-half, in which Gym United striker Tanner Call struck a post, the Suffolk side were grateful to goalkeeper Duncan McNally, who was later voted as man-of-the-match, for some smart saves.
Mayfair went ahead in the 49th minute when Paul Mooney fired home a free-kick from just seven yards after Morton was adjudged to have made a back pass to McNally. The Suffolk side were soon level, Andrew Wood striking a shot inside the left-hand post after 53 minutes.
The decisive goal came in the 72nd minute, skipper Nathan Clarke powering home a header from Ross Bailey’s right-wing corner.
Gym United’s achievement was all the more impressive considering six of their players had played for their club sides the day before, whereas none of their opponents had done so.
Player-Manager Morton said yesterday: “Although goalless, they deserved to be ahead at half-time and it was the first time in this competition that I have had to have strong words with the players because I was not impressed that a few of them were not doing their jobs.
“We thought we can’t play any worse in the second half and we addressed tactical changes that needed to be made and were the better side.”
Reflecting on reaching the final, Morton said: “It has still not 100 per cent sunk in yet, although it has done more so today than it did on the day. There was a lot of joy and emotion – I have never felt like that before when I collapsed to me knees when the final whistle has blown.”
It is likely the final will be on April 29th, although nothing will be confirmed until after the other semi-final between The Hardwick and New Salamis, which was postponed on Sunday, is played. Their tie been rescheduled for March 25th.
Suffolk FA Chief Executive Richard Neal, who was there to see Gym United create history, said: “What a comeback victory it was for Gym United, against a very competitive and spirited Mayfair FC! Huge congratulations to the players, supporters and whole club for this famous victory.
“Despite going 1-0 behind early in the second half, their composure, team spirit and positivity remained unbroken. Throughout the game, the behaviours shown by players and management alike towards the officials and opposition was an example of the RESPECT values shining through even in such a tense situation.
“The whole Suffolk footballing community should rejoice in Gym United’s achievement. For the first time ever, we can all say we look forward to supporting a team from Suffolk in the final of The FA Sunday Cup. Fantastic!”