After they became the first team from the county to ever reach The FA Sunday Cup final, Gym United’s Matt Morton said ‘pride’ was the overwhelming emotion.
The Bury St Edmunds-based side, who are predominantly made up of Thetford Town players, recovered from going a goal behind in the weekend’s semi-final at Solihull Moors FC to beat Liverpool outfit Mayfair FC 2-1 after second-half strikes from Andrew Wood and Nathan Clarke.
Asked to sum up how it feels to make the national competition’s showpiece for Sunday sides, expected to be on April 29 at an as-yet-unnamed professional stadium, player-manager Morton replied: “Unbelievable pride. To become the first Suffolk side to reach the final was definitely motivation.
“The support we have received locally was massive for us and was huge motivation.
“I am really proud everyone has had pride in us and I can’t be more proud of a group of people than I am right now of that lot.
“I think their attitude, particularly after a tough first half, where I thought they were the better side, was outstanding.”
Despite not yet having won anything, Morton, who is also the club’s chairman, believes Sunday’s victory saw them overcome their biggest hurdle.
“I said before the game that I thought this was a bigger game than the final,” he said. “I know we have won it now, so people generally change their minds, but I haven’t.
“I think this was the biggest game we have ever played in and we have won it. The next game is 90 minutes, it is the last game in the competition.
“It is all-or-nothing now and you have got the occasion and the Premier League (standard) ground to play at.
“One of you is going to be the second best team in the country as the runners-up. It is a fantastic achievement in itself.
“You just fight to see who is one and who is two.”
The Premier Logo Bury Sunday Football League side’s opponents are not set to be revealed until the weekend’s postponed tie is replayed on March 25, but will be one of last year’s finalists in holders Hardwick Social or three-times winners New Salamis.
Despite this, Morton is bullish about their chances.
“I don’t think the occasion will get to us and I think the standard of opposition will be similar to what we played today, which is excellent.
“And if we play like we did in the second half today for 90 minutes, I think we will win.”
He added: “They will have the edge on us in terms of experience in this competition, but we will have the edge on them in terms of spirit.”
• Match report and more reaction: pages 142-143