The final of the Sussex Sunday Challenge Cup – sponsored by Gardner & Scardifield is due to take place on Thursday 14 February 2019 between AFC 2015 and AFC Aymer.
AFC 2015 vs. AFC Aymer
Sussex Sunday Challenge Cup Final – sponsored by Gardner & Scardifield
Date: Thursday 14 February 2019
Venue: Sussex County FA, Culver Road, Lancing, West Sussex, BN15 9AX
Both finalists compete in the Sussex Sunday Football League Premier Division with AFC 2015 sitting top of the table and AFC Aymer currently placed second.
These two teams have met on previous occasions and so are no strangers to each other. Back in December AFC 2015 thumped AFC Aymer 13-1 in the league; therefore many would suggest that AFC 2015 are the likely favourites to clinch the Cup for a second consecutive year.
AFC 2015 are evidently having a tremendous season and have already wrapped up the SSFL being 15 points clear after just 10 wins, with an astonishing +48 goal difference!
Ian South, manager of AFC 2015 insists that this County Cup Final is the most important competition that his team enters: “This Cup is prestigious, it means everything; it means more to us than anything else.
“The occasion, the way we get looked after the pitch and the facilities, it’s all about the County Cup.”
Despite them netting 13 goals past Aymer, the AFC 2015 gaffer knows that his opposition will put up a fight Thursday evening and that it will be a competitive encounter: “We will not take anything for granted, the fact we beat them 13-1 in the league before Christmas means absolutely nothing because I know they had so many players missing. We will be showing them the utmost respect.
“We will be giving it everything and there won’t be any complacency. Aymer at the moment are the second best team in our league, so we will be treating them as the second best team.”
“It will be a closely fought game but we would like to prove that we are one of the better sides in Sussex by winning this Cup Thursday night,” he continued.
South claims that their route to the final was tough and that their semi-final 3-1 victory over Broadwater was one of their hardest games they have ever had.
He also believes that his side has strengthened from last season’s squad that lifted the Cup after putting 5 past Queens Park and said: “We are missing two centre halves, be we still have a strong side.
“From last year’s final, we have 5 new players, but other than that, the squad is pretty much the same, we’re just stronger in certain areas this season.”
AFC Aymer will be first to admit that they will be going into this final as the under dogs and manager Ben Wingfield, who took charge two seasons ago said: “We are expecting a tough game. I think if we fight for each other from the first to the last whistle we will have a chance.
“It’s important for us to not make too many mistakes because they do punish you.”
Despite the big loss in December, Wingfield has belief in his side going into Thursday’s final: “I know we got beat heavily the last time we met, but we had 10 men and were missing our stronger players so we didn’t have our regular team.
“Before that we met them in a league Cup Final and we only lost 1-0, so I know we are capable of beating them, it’s a massive task which we are up for.
“We are missing a couple of key players but I still think we will give them a good game and the players we do have available will give it their all.”
Winning the Sussex Sunday Challenge Cup will be a fantastic achievement for the club as only two seasons ago they experienced a tough period and were close to folding.
Therefore, Wingfield stresses how much it means to get to this point of the competition: “It obviously means a lot to get to the final and it means the world to our owner Jeff Hillman, who has been running the club for about 28 years now.
“It’s great for us considering where we were two years ago when we were very close to not being a team anymore and credit to the players and everyone involved at the club.”
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 Cup - sponsored by Gardner & Scardifield, please contact Competitions:
T: 01903 753547