Uppingham Town are through to the semi-finals of the Peterborough Senior Cup after victory over Stamford Bels
Goalkeeper Tom Hubbard was the penalty shoot-out hero for Uppingham Town as they secured their spot in the semi-finals of the Peterborough Senior Cup with victory over Stamford Bels on Saturday.
Hubbard had already produced several superb saves during the 90 minutes of the quarter-final clash after the honours had finished even in a 2-2 draw.
The Town custodian then saved two of Bels' spot kicks as Uppingham triumphed 4-3 on penalties to set up a last four clash with Peterborough North End this weekend.
Both sides had played their part in a cracking contest which was watched by a good crowd at Tods Piece.
The opening exchanges were end-to-end with Fin Bishop and Martin Turickki combining early on for Town to set free Rob Montgomery only for some alert goalkeeping from Keenan Murphy denying the Uppingham frontman.
Sean Kelly and Luke Toomey both went close with headers for the visitors before Hubbard produced his first superb save of the afternoon midway through the first half with a terrific stop to deny Josh Dowell.
Jack Corby then went close for the visitors before Bels felt they had a strong appeal for a penalty turned down when joint player-boss Lewis Morley went down in the box.
However, Bels' pleas were rejected by referee Ben Woodward who then booking Morley for diving.
The visitors' dismay then turned to delight though when they broke the deadlock just past the half-hour mark.
They had been denied moments earlier by a crucial goalline clearance when Harry Bains was in the right place to thwart Kieran Duffy-Weekes.
However, Kyle Scott's pinpoint cross picked out Paul Cramp in the area moments later and he guided his header perfectly into the top corner of the Town net.
Bels now had their Premier Division hosts on the ropes and both Scott and Duffy-Weekes were crowded out in the box when well-placed.
Town youngster Noah Oliver produced a superb tackle to deny the pacey Dowell as Bels were unable to turn their moments of dominance into goals.
And they paid the price five minutes before half-time when Turiccki's inch-perfect pass set Callum O'Berg free and he finished past the advancing Murphy.
Hubbard then kept his side on level terms with another sublime save to deny Duffy-Weekes as Bels looked for a response.
But the Division One side could then have found themselves trailing at the break when O'Berg burst clear onto a long clearance from Hubbard only to shoot over.
Town then suffered a setback on the stroke of half-time when Will Thomas was forced off injured to add to their list of missing players which already included Rob Forster, Robbie Pearce, Ben Easson, Cam Cleaver, James Howe and Jack Salt.
The contest did look to be turning in Town's favour though when they hit the front shortly after the restart of the second period.
O'Berg and Bishop both had chances to get their shots away in the box against some last-ditch Bels defending which eventually saw the ball creep towards the post before coming back and hitting the unfortunate Scott who turned it into his own net.
Bels had Joe Morley dismissed for dissent in the aftermath of the goal and Town looked to make the most of the opportunity against 10 men.
Bishop guided a shot narrowly wide after some superb link-up play with Montgomery who then rattled the crossbar with a towering header.
Bels had introduced Ben Cowles at half-time and the Deeping Rangers player was a constant threat with his searing pace.
He was denied by another top-drawer save from Hubbard before firing into the side-netting when well-placed.
Bels threw caution to the wind in the final 15 minutes in a bid to get back into the contest and they were rewarded with an equaliser.
Hubbard was penalised for making a block with his hands outside the area and Cowles stepped up to curled home the resultant free-kick into the top corner of the home net.
Bels sensed the game was theirs for the taking as Town were then reduced to 10 men late on as substitute Jordan Spencer was dismissed for a bad tackle.
But again Hubbard kept them at bay to deny Cowles before O'Berg had the last chance of the 90 minutes for Town but rifled over when well placed which sent the game to penalties.
Hubbard saved Bels' first penalty with a fine stop to thwart Dave Atkinson with Bains then converting for Town.
Sean O'Donnell brought Bels level but Montgomery restored Town's advantage with Corby then successful for the visitors.
Bels goalkeeper Murphy restored parity by saving O'Berg's spot kick with Dowell's successful conversion then putting the visitors ahead.
But Josh Porter levelled it again for Hubbard to then save Toomey's effort which left Bishop to score the winning spot kick for Town and secure their semi-final spot.