Team Sunderland Mens Football boss James Clark described his sides performance as the ‘most complete of the season’ as they progressed to the Northern Conference Plate final with a 2-1 extra-time victory over York St John’s.
Ewan James bagged the winner deep into extra-time after Sotiris Kyriakou had drawn the hosts level towards the end of regular time.
And Clark believes his side has what it takes to overcome Salford, who beat Liverpool 3-2 in the other semi-final to set up a mouth-watering tie.
“I thought it was the most complete performance of the season, with perfect execution of our game plan” said Clark.
“Every player went above and beyond to help secure the result.”
With the hosts trailing at half-time, Clark sought to highlight the mistakes his side had made in the first and offered inspiration for a way back into the game.
“We talked about why we conceded and how to make sure it doesn’t happen again” said Clark.
“Also that I was pleased with them overall, to trust themselves, their team mates, and the plan that I believed would help us overturn the result.”
James’ goal set up a nervy last couple of minutes for the hosts as they looked to tighten up and see the game out, and Clark was keen to ensure concentration levels didn’t waver:
“I was obviously delighted with the goal, and what a strike it was, worthy of winning any game” he said.
“I just made sure we got back into shape, switch on and see the game out in the right manner. We were thoroughly professional the whole game and I didn’t want them switching off at such a vital moment.
“It’s a fantastic feeling to get there, but the job isn’t finished. We want to bring home the trophy.
“We know what’s expected of us and that we have the ability, how we handle the occasion will be key. But I believe in this group of players to produce when it matters.”