Action from Romans Old Boys vs. Ifield Galaxy Sunday in the Sussex Sunday Challenge Trophy Final sponsored by Luke & Luke Construction

Rampant Romans lift Sussex Sunday Trophy

Romans Old Boys completed a league and cup double on Sunday as they beat Ifield Galaxy Sunday to lift the Sussex Sunday Challenge Trophy sponsored...

A very entertaining cup final finished 4-1 to the Romans, in what was a physical battle throughout.

Romans manager James McKechnie said afterwards: “We started off very slowly; we seemed a bit off the pace, not as quick as we usually play on the floor and to go in at half-time 2-0 up was a bit of a surprise.

“Second-half, the boys reacted exactly how we wanted them to, and that was to hold the ball a bit more, pass the ball around, and just move up the pitch as we were so deep.

“The guys did what we said and we were much better in the second-half, we were talking more and we played our own football.”

Both sides started the game brightly. In just the second minute Romans striker Rob Clark wriggled free from his marker in the area but his low drive came back of the post.

Terry Whetstone made a great save for Ifield shortly after getting down well to his left to deny Romans Tom Shelley’s goal-bound header.

Romans were getting some success down the left-side which they exploited during their first goal after twenty minutes.

Clark played the ball in-field to Shaun Skipper and he, after taking a touch to steady himself, found the top corner with a fine curling effort from twenty yards leaving Whetstone helpless.

Romans second goal came from the opposite side as tenacious work from Dan Measom on the right created the simplest of finished for Clark who tapped in at the near post.

Despite the two goals, there was a rather ugly end to the second-half. An untidy aerial challenge from Romans Ross Tasker looked to have got the midfielder in a spot of trouble with the referee.

However, to the surprise of the Ifield players, Tasker was only warned by referee Des Childs and that led to a fiery exit down the tunnel at half-time, with both sets of players and staff exchanging words as they left the pitch.

Just three minutes after the restart Ifield pulled a goal back. A wonderful strike from Cameron Brown on half-volley, from the right flank and a full twenty-five yards out, flew over Steve Allfrey and into the top corner.

The goal didn’t seem to affect the Romans though and they restored their two goal advantage just over ten minutes later.

From a long throw Ifield failed to clear and that allowed Joe Shelley the space to hit a thumping drive on the half-volley into the back of the net.

Tom Shelley completed the scoreline with fifteen minutes left on the clock as he tapped in from close range after more good work from Measom who combined with Skipper to set up the chance.

Mark Butcher serving his final game in charge as player-manager of Ifield felt the decision not to give Tasker his marching orders in the first-half did have a bearing on the match, but admitted Romans probably edged it on the day.

“I’m not one to bark on about decisions that have or haven’t been made, but if it was a red card early on then it would have definitely changed the game.

“Despite the decision, they’re a really good side, we switched off, we went for broke at the end and got caught a few times but we’ve probably lost to the better side on the day.”

(Photographs from the match can be found on Facebook - courtesy of Simon Roe Photography)
(Video highlights from the match can be found above and also on YouTube - courtesy of FilmMyMatch)

Stats: (Romans Old Boys-Ifield Galaxy Sunday)
Goals: 4-1; Shots: 15-8; Shots-on-target: 6-2; Corners: 1-3; Fouls: 12-6; Offside: 5-4; Cautions: 1-0; Red Cards: 0-0.

Romans Old Boys: Alfrey, Heath, Kelly, Thompson, Ash, Measom, T. Shelley, Tasker, J. Shelley, Clark, Skipper.
Subs: Rouse, Meridith, Gunn, Slimmon.

Ifield Galaxy Sunday: Whetstone, Gurd, Osbourne, Finch, Stanford, Tricker, Achucarro, Lamb, Pritchard, Brown, Cave.
Subs: Tucker, Frappell, Monniot, Hopkins, Nash.

Match report by George Patient

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