This is a special occasion – O’Neill

Brannon ONeill celebrates his opening goal on Saturday
Brannon ONeill celebrates his opening goal on Saturday

Rebels midfielder Brannon O’Neill admitted Saturday’s play-off final success was a special occasion for everyone at the club.

O’Neill scored the first goal direct from a corner in the 3-0 win, which was his 16th goal of the season, and said afterwards: “This is one of the best feelings, it’s a special group of lads we’ve got here.

“They’re just brilliant and with the fans as well, it just makes it a special occasion.

“We had a platform here with a young group of players from last season and then just added experience with Gary Elphick, Steve Metcalf and Rikki Banks, it really helped us push on this year and make the play-offs.

“Luckily enough, we got a good draw at home and blew everyone’s minds away in the semi-final and today we took it on another notch.

“We (came back down to earth) on Thursday night at training, it was a good stretch-out and we made sure everyone was on the same wavelength and was focused on today’s match.

“We really focused and pushed ourselves on to get the win and get ourselves up.”

On his goal, O’Neill said: “It definitely crossed the line, it was a good three to four inches over. I was the first person to claim it to the lino and, luckily enough, he put his flag up.

“I scored from a corner either last season or this season against Guernsey at home, and I just put the ball in the area for players to go and attack. Today the wind got hold of it and luckily enough it went over the line.

“Any goal is crucial but to get the first goal on a special occasion like today and then to get an early second as well just took the pressure off and allowed us to do what we do best. That’s organise ourselves, prepare for what other teams throw at us and then go and do what we believe in, which is playing football.”

Rebels also still have the Sussex Senior Cup final to look forward to on May 20 and O’Neill said: “I haven’t even thought about the cup final yet – once we won the Senior Cup semi-final, the next thought was let’s make sure we’re in the play-offs.

“Then when we were in the play-offs, it was the next step of going on to win the play-offs.

“We’ve done it and we’ll enjoy tonight and enjoy the occasion, especially for the fans. They’ve been brilliant all season and then we’ll look forward to the 20th.”

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