WE WILL be back.
That was the defiant message from player-manager Matt Morton after Gym United lost 2-0 in the FA Sunday Cup Final.
Holders Hardwick Social struck twice in the second half of extra time to break the hearts of the Suffolk side at Bramall Lane, home of Sky Bet Championship side Sheffield United.
An own goal, which went in off the unfortunate Charlie Robinson following a mix-up in the Gym United defence, gave their Stockton-on-Tees opponents the lead in the 107th minute.
Victory was sealed six minutes later when Gym United conceded possession and Nathan Mulligan squared to striker Sonni Coleman to roll the ball into an empty net.
Gym United had defended for their lives to keep the scoreline goalless until then, but could have no complaints at the outcome as they failed to test opposing keeper Michael Arthur.
Morton, who is also chairman of the Premier Logos Bury & District Sunday League side, said: “I am over the moon and so proud just to be here.
“I didn’t say that before the game, because having reached the final you want everyone to go one step further and win it.
“But I have just said to the players I am proud of them and that they have done fantastically well to get here, and they were fantastic on the day.
“We didn’t lose because of heart or desire, but because of our fitness. We had five players cramping up after 90 minutes and then myself in extra time. It was difficult playing on a big pitch against a very good side.”
Morton said that poor communication had cost his side the all-important first goal, which was awarded despite Stuart Walker’s attempts to hack clear off the line.
“There weren’t a lot of complaints – I thought all three officials were very good on the day,” continued Morton.
“We will definitely be back to have another go at winning the competition next season. Last year’s journey gave us the confidence that we could possibly win it, and now everyone knows that we can.
“But we will need to be fitter as a team if we are to be successful.”
Gym United striker Andrew Wood is pictured above holding the ball up as team-mate Ross Bailey looks for a pass.