The final of the Sussex Sunday Challenge Trophy sponsored by Luke & Luke Construction is due to take place on Sunday 7 April 2019 between Unicorn United and Hassocks Fatboys.
Unicorn United vs. Hassocks Fatboys
Sussex Sunday Challenge Trophy Final sponsored by Luke & Luke Construction
Date: Sunday 7 April 2019
Venue: Sussex County FA, Culver Road, Lancing, West Sussex, BN15 9AX
Unicorn United are going to enjoy themselves whatever the outcome of the Sussex Sunday Challenge Trophy Final but a night out in Brighton and Hove will be sweeter if they can win the competition for a second time in six years.
The Bognor-based team won the trophy in the first year they were formed and they are back in the final on Sunday when they face Sussex Sunday Football League Division One side Hassocks Fatboys.
Manager Dennis Barclay, who formed the team, would love to win the trophy for a second time. He said: “In our first season six years ago we won the competition 4-2 against Peacehaven at Lancing. It means a lot to be back there, for a little pub side like us. To get there twice is quite an achievement.
“We have done it thanks to the attitude of the players. I am quite surprised how many times we win against sides that are supposedly better than us. We have a very good spirit.
“It is a good group. Win or lose we are going into Brighton after the game, we have already booked ten double hotel rooms to stay for the night, have a night out, then go home in the morning. It shows the boys are all together.”
Barclay is now helped in running the team by his two sons, Alex and James. They have won the Worthing and Horsham Sunday Football League this season but will show full respect to their opponents on Sunday.
Barclay said: “We have played two teams already from their league, Kemp Town and Tally Ho. They are not as high up as Hassocks but we beat them quite comfortably, 6-0 and 5-0. It will be quite interesting. My biggest problem will be picking the side. I have thirty players signed on and some Sundays I might only have eleven after the Saturday night but now I have twenty eight for this final.”
A place in the final was furthest from the minds of Hassocks Fatboys as they prepared for a third round tie away to Crawley Cosmos with nine players on the pitch.
Player-manager Scott McCarthy explained: “We have done it the hard way because in the quarter-final and the semi-final we beat the two teams above us in our league 1-0 and in the third round we played away in Crawley and ten minutes before kick-off we only had nine players.
“Two more turned up two minutes before the start and we managed to win 3-2 with a bare eleven. One of our players, John Humphrey, is forty-six and had an arthritis flare-up halfway through the game so we were effectively playing with ten men but we managed to get through. So it has been quite earned.”
McCarthy, a goalkeeper, describes Hassocks Fatboys as a group of drinking buddies who enjoy playing football together, although the last two seasons have not been so easy to enjoy. He said: “Getting to the final is good because the last two season we were playing in the Premier Division and we conceded over one-hundred goals each season.
“We had got accustomed to losing games and fairly heavily. We got relegated at the end of last year and this year has been a lot better. We are winning games and we are enjoying it.
“We have never got beyond the second round of the cup. We got to the quarter-final last year of the senior county cup but because we got relegated we are playing in the Trophy this year.
“We were formed in 2012 and have done pretty well. We won the league in our third season I was in charge but then we went up to the Premier Division and that was always going to be hard because it is County League players and they take it quite seriously - and we are not a very serious team at all!”
Entry prices for the final are as follows:
£5.00 Adult (17+)
£3.00 Concession (65+ and students with valid student ID card)
FREE Child (16 and under)
For further details about the Sussex Sunday Challenge Trophy please contact Competitions:
T: 01903 753547