Picture slideshow: Five-star Blues move step closer to ending 12-year silverware wait

Rustington Football Club moved a step closer to a first trophy in 12 years on Saturday.

Declan Jenkins was at the double, Stephen Kirkham struck from the spot, Chris Darwin netted and an Angmering Seniors player put through his own net as Blues ran out 5-2 victors in the Sussex Intermediate Cup semi-final at their division-lower West Sussex League Premier Division opponents.

Declan Jenkins celebrates after netting one of his two goals in Rustington's Sussex Intermediate Cup semi-final win. Picture by Derek Martin DM1831805

Declan Jenkins celebrates after netting one of his two goals in Rustington's Sussex Intermediate Cup semi-final win. Picture by Derek Martin DM1831805

Rustington last lifted silverware back in 2006 - when they won both the Sussex Intermediate Cup and Sussex League Division 3 Cup title and they are now in a great position to end a 12-year wait.

Blues boss Jon Tucker was delighted to see his team book a final spot after a woeful start at Angmering Seniors.

He said: “The first 15 minutes we were diabolical. They scored an early goal and should have had a second aswell.

“Gary Peters broke his nose inside the opening ten minutes and things were not looking good for us.

“Credit to my players, they started performing after a shocking start to get us to the final. It’s a great achievement to be in the final of this competition, the aim now is to go on and win it.

“Scott (Farrell; Angmering Seniors manager) deserves great credit for getting the game on. He got to the ground early and did all he could to ensure the match went ahead.

“The pitch was in an awful state but both teams wanted to play the match.

“We’ve got a chance to end a 12-year wait for a trophy and it’s something myself and this group want to do.”

Blues will now meet Mid Sussex League Championship leaders Eastbourne Rangers in the final at Culver Road on Tuesday, April 24.

Angmering took the lead inside the opening ten minutes but back came Blues.

Darwin levelled things up on the half-hour, then a Angmering player put through his own net as Blues went ahead for the first time five minutes later.

Frontman Kirkham netted from the spot seven minutes before the break - after he was brought down in the area - to put Tucker’s team in control.

Jenkins got his first just shy of the hour but Angmering quickly got one back.

Rustington’s spot in the final was then secured when Jenkins rounded off the scoring 18 minutes from time.

Blues, who are still in with a chance of lifting the SCFL Division 2 title and League Cup this season, continue their treble bid at Montpelier Villa in the league on Saturday.

With a potential of 15 matches still to play this season, Tucker admits winning the treble is unlikely.

He said: “It’s going to be such a tall order to win three trophies. We’ve got so many games between now and the end of the season but we’ll keep fighting.”

RUSTINGTON: West; Beaney, MacIver, Miles, Edwards; Hudson, Heater, Peters; Jenkins, Kirkham, Darwin. Subs: Llewellyn (Peters, 10), Harvey (Kirkham, 80).