The Brighton footballers whose title is reward for years of hard work

FC Sporting are celebrating lifting the Mid Sussex League Division 3 South title.

Friday, 28th May 2021, 10:30 am
FC Sporting celebrate their title

FC Sporting are celebrating lifting the Mid Sussex League Division 3 South title.

The 2020-21 season started for the Brighton-based club with a few friendlies to get them geared up for the road ahead. Little did they know then just how long a road this was going to be.

Rob Semple, a player and the chairman of the club, who play home games in Hove, praised manager Wayne Pocock after the team were one of only two clubs in the whole league to go all season unbeaten, the other being Southwick 1882 in the Championship.

Semple said: “We hit the ground running after a very good pre-season with a huge 6-0 win which we followed with a further two clean sheets in our next two games.

“This had all the lads buzzing when they saw how the team was coming together.

“We had some close calls in the next three games, only winning by one goal each time, the toughest being versus Brighton Med, where we were 4-2 down with six minutes to play. This was our first real test of mental strength but the lads dug in and won 5-4.

“Next we travelled to Newick and played out to a hard-fought 0-0. I think we knew then that, apart from ourselves, they would be the team to beat this season.

“Into mid-season we managed to maintain the wins with very few goals conceded and this was when we started to believe the only team who could stop us was ourselves as we’d gone this far unbeaten.

“Then Covid-19 decided it was time to step in – and the season was in jeopardy of being shut down.

“Thankfully, after a lengthy break, the Mid Sussex League came up with a plan to allow us to continue and play out the rest of the 2020-21 season.

“From the restart we went at teams like men possessed, with just one thought in our heads, to win.

“We got back in the habit of defending all over the pitch and racked up the clean sheets, making it hard for other teams to handle us.

“That’s not to say there weren’t a couple of sticky moments – there were.

“And again Newick proved to be one of those by almost taking us to the wire, but we managed to prevail and on Saturday, May 1, 2021, FC Sporting history was written for the men’s adult team with our first ever league success.

“It is a welcome addition to the only other success, which was our girls’ team winning the league in 2015-16. The lads and everyone behind the scenes have worked tirelessly for eight years developing our club to where it is now.

“We can look to progress and hopefully dominate Division 2 next season.”