Gym United bow out of Sunday football after a decade of dominance with Suffolk Sunday Cup their 27th trophy
Bury St Edmunds-based side Gym United signed off in the ‘perfect way’ by winning the Rushmere Golf Club Suffolk Sunday Cup.
Goalkeeper Ben Mayhew saved two penalties as they defeated Brandon Town Community 4-3 in a shoot-out following a 2-2 draw in the delayed 2019/20 final on Sunday afternoon.
It was Gym United’s final match as a Sunday side as they have now folded and will not be competing in the Bury & District Sunday League or any cup competitions this season.
The result meant Gym United retained the cup they also won in the 2018/19 season and this was their fourth success overall in the county competition.
Gym United player-manager Matt Morton, also Thetford Town's player-manager, described it as the ‘perfect way’ to sign off, with the club breaking the all-time record of wins in the competition for Bury & District Sunday League clubs.
Opponents Brandon Town Community pushed them all the way, twice taking the lead before being pegged back on both occasions in a pulsating opening 45 minutes at The Denny Brothers Ram Meadow Stadium, home of Bury Town FC.
Shaun Avis put them ahead after just three minutes, squeezing his penalty between goalkeeper Duncan McNally and his right-hand post after he himself had been fouled by Cordel Jackson.
Gym United were on level terms after quarter-of-an-hour, Alex McIntosh’s pace taking him away from two defenders before beating Frank Gammon with a low cross-shot inside the far post.
Brandon Town Community restored their advantage in the 29th minute, Jake Bogle’s low shot taking a deflection and creeping inside the far post, but Max Melanson equalised a minute later, cutting in from the right and firing home.
Mayhew replaced McNally in the Gym United goal at the start of the second period and he produced a fine save, clawing away Josh Green’s header from Bogle’s diagonal cross with just three minutes remaining.
Craig Nurse almost won it in spectacular fashion for Gym United in the 89th minute, Gammon flying full length to save his rising drive.
Although Gammon saved skipper Nathan Clarke’s effort, Mayhew kept out spot kicks from both Ryan Sanders and Murray Burt to seal victory for Gym United.
Morton took to Twitter after the game, posting: "So we did it! 10 years, 27 trophies, countless records broken and priceless memories made along the way. Thank you to everyone who has supported us & shown us respect, thank you to so many good opponents who have battled against us the right way like Tostock, Brandon, Ferals ...."