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Cottesmore beat Yaxley Reserves in penalty shoot-out to reach final of Rutland Cup

Cottesmore staged a superb late fightback before triumphing on penalties to book their place in the final of the Rutland Cup.

Rich Giblin's side were three goals adrift of Yaxley Reserves with just eight minutes remaining of Saturday's semi-final at Oakham United.

But they produced a rousing finish to score three times and level the match at 4-4 before emerging victorious 7-6 on spot kicks after a sudden death shoot-out.

Craig McJannet scored Cottesmore's crucial penalty.
Craig McJannet scored Cottesmore's crucial penalty.

Cottesmore did have enough chances in the opening forays to put the match beyond a Cuckoos side who had taken the place of Ketton in the competition which was returning after a 24-year absence.

Harry Stannard headed over when picked out by a Harry Sabberton cross before Kieron Burley had a cross-come-shot tipped over by Yaxley goalkeeper Bailey Clifton.

Stannard sent another effort over before Cottesmore were reduced to 10 men for 10 minutes when Danny Seals became the first player to incur the wrath of referee Reg Parker after being sin-binned for dissent.

Despite being a man down, Cottesmore broke the deadlock after 18 minutes when Eathan Milne weaved an opening before drilling home a low shot into the bottom corner.

They continued to create the better openings and Stannard took too long to get his shot away with the goal gaping after Milne had charged down a clearance and Yaxley recovered to block.

Stannard saw another effort tipped to safety by Clifton before Yaxley levelled just before the half-hour mark as Cemel Korkmaz's cross after a marauding run down the right picked out skipper Josh Wilson who converted at the back post.

Stannard was again thwarted by Clifton on the stroke of half-time with the young Yaxley keeper continuing to deny the Rutland side after the break with a fine save as Tom Atkins burst clear.

Jordan Neil then went close with a header before Yaxley stung Cottesmore by taking a 64th minute lead when they were awarded a penalty following a push at a corner and Josh Hales converted the resultant spot kick.

Wilson was then sin-binned to leave Yaxley with 10 men but a second penalty then followed five minutes later as Hales charged down a clearance and was then upended in the box before scoring again from the spot.

Trafford Crane then cracked home a superb strike into the top corner of the Cottesmore net with just 13 minutes remaining and Yaxley looked to have secured their place in the final.

However, Stannard prodded a shot past Clifton from just outside the area to halve the deficit before Seals headed home a Shaun Denigan cross moments later.

The momentum was now with Cottesmore and they equalised in the 88th minute when Craig McJannet's inswinging free-kick took a slight deflection and curled straight into the Yaxley net to take the tie into penalties.

Yaxley's first spot was turned onto the post by Alex Brown but Stannard then saw his penalty saved for Cottesmore.

The Cuckoos then converted their next three penalties with Seals and Denigan netting for Cottesmore.

However, when Atkins' penalty was saved by Clifton, Yaxley had the chance to win it but Brown kept out their spot kick.

Darren Wilke was then successful to take the match to sudden death where each side scored three times with Tom Bendle, Sabberton and Joe Hatherill scoring for Cottesmore.

Yaxley then hit the post with their next penalty and McJannet stepped up to score to send Cottesmore into the final against Oakham United.

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