Goalkeeper Elsom proves penalty king as Deeping deliver Trophy triumph
Deeping Rangers were crowned county champions after lifting the Lincolnshire Senior Trophy on Wednesday night following a penalty shoot-out success over Grimsby Borough.
The Clarets claimed a 4-3 success on spot kicks after the match had finished goalless at the end of 90 minutes.
Despite Henry Dunn seeing the first penalty of shoot-out saved, Cameron Johnson, Scott Mooney, Charlie Coulson and Dan Flack were all successful with their efforts.
Borough, who currently top Division One of the Northern Counties East League, converted their first three spot kicks before Daniel Trott's effort was saved by Lewis Elsom.
Peter Winn then missed the vital final spot kick which handed victory to Rangers who had seen Elsom also save a penalty in normal time when he kept out Jack Debnam's effort early in the second half.
Manager Michael Goode felt the triumph was a fitting reward for four solid seasons at the helm of the United Counties League club.
He said: "I think we deserved it in the end. The balance of play was probably 60-40 in our favour.
"It was a great save from Lewis for the penalty, but I was fuming about it because I thought the referee gave it from a blind position and he had his assistant to ask but he didn't.
"Their lad said it hit on the chest and it should never have been a penalty in a million years. Thankfully Lewis has got a great reputation for saving penalties.
"I thought we played well for the first 20 minutes. It was a real, fast game and we had a couple of chances which we should have taken.
"They've hit the post and, although it was an even first half in terms of possession, I thought we shaded the chances which were good ones.
"We said at half-time that, if we could keep the intensity up, I thought they would drop off because if they kept theirs then fair play to them.
"I thought they dropped off a little bit and tried to play for a draw in the end. We kept going, we were getting tired, but we had a couple of bits of luck and kept creating chances.
"We probably just missed that bit of guile in the last 10 or 15 minutes to open something up. We've had a lot of really tough games recently but we've got through them.
"To get to penalties is always a worry but, when you're got Lewis in goal, you've got a chance.
"It's great for the lads. We've had four seasons at Deeping and we haven't really been rewarded with anything.
"We've met two of the best step five sides in the country in recent finals so it was nice to get some silverware for the lads.
"It's been a bit of a journey to get there and, if we're successful with the League Cup appeal, we might have another crack at something.
"It's brilliant we've got some silverware for the club. We've had four really good seasons and it was nice to get some silverware for these guys."
Rangers could have taken the lead inside the opening two minutes of the contest at Lincoln United's Sun Hat Villas and Resorts Stadium.
Mooney released Johnson with an astute through ball, but his well-struck effort brought a fine save out of Borough custodian Liam Higton.
David Burton-Jones then flashed a header narrowly wide before some fine play from Dan Jarvis teed up Johnson again but an awkward bobble saw his shot fly past the post.
Borough's best opening of the first half saw the powerful Daniel Trott burst clear but his effort rattled the upright after beating Elsom.
Rangers responded and should have opened the scoring 10 minutes before the break when Jarvis was denied by Higton who turned the ball into Dunn's path but, with the goal at his mercy, he could only direct his header against the post as the half finished goalless.
The woodwork again denied Deeping on the resumption as Burton-Jones thundered a powerful header against the crossbar before the Deeping skipper was adjudged to have handled a cross in his own box moments later to give Grimsby their penalty.
However, Elsom came to his side's rescue with a superb stop to Debnam before excelling again moments later to thwart Marc Cooper with a cracking save to send the tie into penalties.
Although Dunn saw the first effort saved, Rangers recovered with four successful conversions as Grimsby saw their final two takers stall to hand cup glory to the Clarets.
Rangers resume their United Counties League Premier Division campaign on Saturday with a trip to ON Chenecks.
The Clarets currently trail league leaders Daventry - who visit Holbeach this weekend - by six points with five matches remaining.
Goode added: "We've now got five more cup finals. We just have to go forward with another tough game with only a couple of days to recover.
"If we can get three points, Holbeach will hopefully step up to the mark and do us a favour."
Deeping: Elsom, Flack, Andersen, Burton-Jones, Hunnings, Jarvis, Dunn, Coulson, Mooney, Simpson (Marsden), Johnson. Subs not used: Carter, Dee, Sootheran, Baldock-Smith, Bircham.
Borough: Higton, Petronzio, Winn, Trott, Sunter, Burrows, Drury, Venney, Cooper (Birke), Debnam, Winfarrah (Bradbury). Sub not used: Dean-Atkinson, Ashton, Grant, Lovett, Drury.
Lincolnshire FA man-of-the-match: Dan Jarvis.