The locally-based Sussex Futsal Club’s remarkable run in The FA Futsal Cup culminated with a runners-up finish.
Sussex began the four-team finals’ weekend at Wolverhampton University with a 5-2 semi-final victory over Manchester before losing 10-5 to London Baku United in the final.
Sussex staged a remarkable comeback against Manchester. Goals from Adam Oldham and Danny Stapleton had given Manchester a 2-0 lead, but Sussex hit back with a vengeance thanks to two goals apiece for Hastings United footballer Sam Cruttwell and Mario Cano, with Carlos Visiedo De Amo also on target.
Sussex certainly made a fist of the final, with Sam Crutttwell and Sergio Garzon each scoring twice, adding to Alan Foster’s strike.
But Baku took the trophy thanks to five goals from Jarrod Basger - the tournament’s eight-goal top-scorer - and one each for Diogo Da Silva, Tobias Seetho, Marcello Graca, former England international Robert Ursell and Diego Pagliuso.
Baku had previously seen off Loughborough International 9-5 in the semi-finals aided by a hat-trick from Australian ace Basger.
It’s been a fabulous season for Sussex, who won 13 of their 14 matches to be crowned FA National Futsal Super League South Division Two champions, and knocked out holders Oxford City Lions and London Helvecia - another of the country’s top teams - in the Futsal Cup.
Sussex Futsal’s squad also included former England futsal international and Hastings United footballer Jimmy Elford, plus Little Common football goalkeeper Matt Cruttwell.
Sussex were sponsored by Knight Accountants.
Club spokesman Graham Knight said: “It has been a remarkable season and we have truly announced ourselves as one of the top clubs in England. An amazing achievement to only lose one game this season - in the FA Cup final.
“The only negative from the season was not being selected to be in the National Super League, despite all of our efforts on the court.
“However, we will bounce back even stronger next season with the announcements of some new signings, a world class futsal partnership, a second side competing in the National League and the relaunch of our youth academy.”
Any youth or adult players wishing to join Sussex Futsal for the 2017/18 season should email firstname.lastname@example.org