Late switch makes the difference for Uppingham Town

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An inspired substitution by manager Richard Kendrick minutes from time helped Uppingham secure a cup semi-final place.

The manager sent Will Thomas on in the 82nd minute against Coates Athletic in a last ditch attempt to break a 0-0 deadlock before a penalty shoot-out became due.

With uncanny foresight, Kendrick told the striker he would go on and score the winner ... and that’s what he did, just four minutes later.”

A delighted Kendrick said: “I bet Will a pint he would score the winner, but I somehow ended up buying him one!

“Never mind, it was worth it. I’m delighted. It was a good goal and we deserved the result. We went there to win and just kept going right to the end.”

Thomas, who had been out for the previous two games, took his chance well when he followed up a shot on goal and was able to turn a rebound into the net.

The victory earns Uppingham a semi-final tie against second-in-the-table King’s Lynn Town in the ChromaSport & Trophies President Premier Shield.

They are in cup action again tomorrow when they face fourth-place Moulton Harrox in the senior cup.

Kendrick said: “It will be a very difficult game but when all our players are available I am confident in my side. We have a young team which is growing with experience and the lads have played some cracking football this year.”

Uppingham’s passing game threatened to be their undoing on Saturday, when they were frutrated by the playing surface.

Both Rob Forster and Dave Laughton had chances when through on goal in the first half, but lost their footing in the long grass.

Tom Hubbard had only two stops to make in the entire game, while his forward colleagues squadered at least four one-on-one chances at the other end before Thomas’s timely intervention.