The final of the Sussex Principal RUR Charity Cup Final is due to take place on Thursday 18 May 2023 between Peacehaven & Telscombe and Broadbridge Heath.
Peacehaven & Telscombe vs. Broadbridge Heath
Sussex Principal RUR Charity Cup Final
Date: Thursday 18 May 2023
Venue: Sussex County FA, Culver Road, Lancing, BN15 9AX
We spoke to both managers to get their thoughts ahead of what promises to be a game worthy of this prestigious trophy.
First up was Mark Shutt, 42, who’s hoping to lead Peacehaven & Telscombe to victory in a competition they are all too familiar with.
Shutt has held the reins of his boyhood club for seven years now and is no stranger to success with them.
“This will be the third time in four years that we have qualified for this final,” said Shutt, “this is a cup and competition that we take very seriously. We won it four years-ago and got to the final the next season, but we never got to play it due to the lockdown.
“So being back means a lot to everyone at the club. We want to win it and we will be throwing everything at it to try and recreate the memories we made four years ago.”
Shutt knows the potential challenge Broadbridge Heath can pose in the final but is backing his team to rise to the occasion. He said: “They won the league, and rightly so, because they were the most consistent team that played in the league.
“We must be respectful of that but at the same time, we must also remember that we have beaten them twice this season, once in the league and once in the cup.
“We have what it takes to beat them on the day. It is not going to be an easy match in the slightest, but we must be confident in ourselves that we can beat anyone.”
The Peacehaven manager is not too bothered by his opponent’s unblemished record in the tournament either.
“Broadbridge Heath may not have conceded a goal all tournament, but we have scored against them this season, and anything is possible in a one-off game,” said Shutt, “I expect it to be close, but I also expect it to be a real good game of football for the neutral.”
Shutt is hoping his side’s fans will make themselves heard from the stands in Lancing come the final. He said: “Our fans follow us home and away and the boys love the support we get with their noise and songs.
“I want them to make as much noise as possible and give the boys all the encouragement they can from the stands.”
After what has been a long, arduous, and successful season by his standards, Shutt wants Peacehaven to cap it off with a trophy. He said: “This will be our 61st first-team game of the season. We got to the semi-final of the League Cup.
“We got through to the quarter-final of The FA Vase only to lose out on penalties, so we were 90 minutes away from playing at Wembley.
“We were the furthest County League club in The FA Cup and The FA Vase, and we got through a couple of rounds of the Sussex Senior Cup as well. Now, we are ready to go into our break on a high with a win in this final!”
In the opposing dugout will be Chris Simmons, who has been managing Broadbridge Heath for the past three seasons after moving up from the role of assistant manager with their Under-23 side. Simmons, 49, has played County football for 20 years, seven of them with Broadbridge Heath.
It’s been a season to remember for Broadbridge Heath, as they saw off strong competition from the likes of Crawley Down Gatwick and Newhaven to win the Southern Combination Football League with 87 points.
Heading into Thursday night’s final, Simmons is hoping the defensive prowess his team have shown over the season will lead them to their second trophy of the campaign.
He said: “Defensively this season, we have had 23 clean sheets including our league campaign, so it has been a good showing from us.
“It's the first time we have won the league and it is the highest we have ever been, so that is definitely a highlight for all of us and now to be in this cup final is a nice bonus.
“Securing the league title was our target and now we are fully focused on topping that achievement off with a win in the cup final. It will not be easy because they are a good team but we have beaten them before so it will be an even game."
Simmons is as pumped for the final in Lancing as his players are. He said: "The boys are really looking forward to it. They are a bit tired because it has been a long season for us and this final is right at the end of it, but they are hoping to finish the season on a high.”
Simmons’ side have not conceded a single goal on their way to this final, picking up a number of impressive wins along the way, including a 5-0 win over Uckfield Town in the third round and a 4-0 victory against Arundel in the quarter-final.
Following this remarkable run to the final, Simmons is keen to stress that he wants to let his team bask in the glory of the situation they find themselves in.
"I want the team to enjoy the occasion,” he said, “we have a young side and a lot of them would not have experienced a senior final at this level. So, I just want them to go out and enjoy their football and play with a smile. Players perform better when they are enjoying themselves.”
The Broadbridge Heath manager also wants to make it memorable for his side’s ardent fans. He said: “Our crowds have increased this year and it has been really good to see that.
“We have had tremendous support from them everywhere we have played. We will certainly be going out to try and give them a good evening of football because they deserve that!"
Entry prices are as follows (Cash and Card accepted):
£7.00 Adult (17+)
£5.00 Concession (66+ and students with valid student ID card)
£1.00 Child (16 and under)
£1.50 Official Match Day Programme
For further details about the Sussex Principal RUR Charity Cup please contact:
T: 01903 753547