MARCUS STREVENS’ second-half strike took Southwick Football Club to the league and cup double with victory in the Sussex Intermediate Cup final on Tuesday evening.
After being crowned County League Division 3 champions on Saturday, Strevens well-taken goal was enough for Wickers to see off Arundel Reserves 1-0 in a tight final at Culver Road.
Wickers manager John Kilgarriff was delighted with what he described as a superb end to a perfect season and said: “To win Division 3 and then this cup, which is the biggest prize in intermediate football, in our first season together, is just fantastic and it’s been a perfect season for the team.”
Tom Donnelly went close inside the opening minute for Wickers, before Arundel, who play in the County League Reserve Section Premier Division, were then awarded a penalty, only to see the decision overturned.
Dave Walker was fouled by Smith and Mullets were awarded a spot-kick, only for the decision to be over-ruled by the linesman and a free kick given instead.
Mullets’ Dan Gibb’s dipping drive from an angle ricocheted back off the bar and Josh Biggs was denied by a smart save from Jason Bridge, whose opposite number Sam Marsden then blocked well from Elliott Finney.
Strevens’ shot on the stretch was also kept out by the Arundel keeper but, as has often been the case this season, Wickers emerged the stronger after the interval.
Alex Sarkies fired wide and Donnelly’s curler narrowly cleared the crossbar after excellent work from Strevens, who then made the decisive difference with his excellently-taken goal.
He latched on to a lovely through ball from Finney, took a touch and clinically powered a low finish past Marsden on 67 minutes.
Arundel’s Walker lashed over a long ranger and substitute Harry Russell fired across goal but, despite a belated spell of pressure from Mullets, Wickers held on to seal the double and cap a superb first full season for Kilgarriff.