Football: Elmer pull off shock to lift Shuker trophy

Elmer lift the Shuker Memorial Trophy
Elmer lift the Shuker Memorial Trophy

Underdogs Elmer pulled off a stunning fightback to defeat Sussex Challenge Trophy holders Unicorn 4-3 and lift the Shuker Memorial Trophy for the first time in their history.

An early penalty appeal for Unicorn was turned down by referee Selwyn Kemp and Elmer upporters were celebrating on 40 minutes when Brad Derry opened the scoring with a fine finish after being put through by Tom Bann.

After the break, Unicorn forced a corner and poor defending allowed Alex Barclay to force the ball home for a deserved equaliser. Twelve minutes later, Barclay powered an unstoppable header past Kyle McWilliam in the Elmer goal.

With Unicorn enjoying their best spell of the game, it fell to James Fallick to make it 3-1 with another fine finish.

With the game slipping away, Elmer cleverly pushed Matt Hope forward alongside Derry and were rewarded when Derry scored his second on 70 minsutes.

Elmer replaced full-back Alex Norgett with Jack Davis and moved to a 3-4-3 formation. This paid off as Davis fired home Elmer’s third on 81 minutes after good work by Derry.

As is so often the case, extra time was a disappointment in comparison to what had gone before.

Alex Berry replaced Pete Membry for Elmer and with penalties looming Steve Nanson came on for Elmer’s Tom Bann. However, with just moments to go, Elmer claimed the trophy.

Alex Styles’ precision pass found Hope, who joyfully fired past Munt’s despairing dive to send the Elmer players and their army of fans wild with delight.

Elmer: McWilliam; Norgett (Davis 76), Sells (Capt), Kyle Belcher, Membry (Berry 95); Styles, Keelan Belcher, Hope, Bann (Nanson 115), Greenhill; Derry. Subs not used: Booker, Hambidge.