Uppingham Town mark chairman Richard Kendrick's 50 years in football by securing Peterborough Senior Cup semi-final spot
Uppingham Town crowned a day of celebration to mark chairman Richard Kendrick's 50-years in football by booking their place in the semi-final of the Peterborough Senior Cup on Saturday.
Town toasted the club stalwart's sterling service by producing a polished performance to defeat in-form Parson Drove 5-2 at Tods Piece.
The victory marked a welcome return to form for Ryan Hunnings' side who went into the match on the back of three successive Premier Division defeats after a stop-start run of fixtures.
Hunnings said: "We haven't really been ourselves since we beat Stamford Lions so we needed to wake the lads up a bit.
"We had a good chat as a team in the week before the game, changed the warm-up and arrived earlier than usual.
"The lads really bought back into everything that we're trying to do again."
Town decided to defend against the strong wind in the opening period but began brightly to take a sixth minute lead.
Jordan Spencer surged down the right wing and his perfectly-placed low cross was turned into the bottom corner of the Drove net by top scorer Rob Forster.
An even contest than ensued with Town defending well having reverted to a back four for the quarter-final clash.
Billy Henshaw and Josh Porter were outstanding at the heart of the Town defence while goalkeeper Tom Hubbard produced a string of excellent saves to deny Drove.
However, a rare lapse in concentration saw Town switch off as Drove took a quick throw-in before crossing past a static defence for Nick Davey to equalise.
Town responded well to being pegged back and regained the lead on the stroke of half-time when James Howe's flick-on was latched onto by Callum O'Berg who finished with aplomb.
The hosts then picked up where they left off at the start of the second half and added a third goal with Spencer again the provider as his forceful run was finished with another pinpoint cross to Corey Wildman.
Wildman still had to plenty to do but unleashed an unstoppable first-time volley that flew into the Drove net.
A fourth Town goal then followed shortly after as Forster's corner was met by O'Berg who rose highest to power home a header.
The second half scoring spree then continued as Will Thomas produced a fantastic through ball which set Forster free to smash home into the top corner.
Town then rang some defensive changes to see the game out with the visitors producing a late onslaught which was rewarded with a second goal courtesy of James Tricks.
Hunnings added: "It was slightly disappointing to finish on a negative with them scoring a second goal, but it was all about getting through to the next round.
"The lads put in a real performance against a top team and it was a fantastic win after a few negative results.
"We went to Peterborough North End Sports last week with the bare bones of a side which was a bit of a shame, but we had players back on Saturday and it was good to be playing at home again for the first time in two months.
"We also used the game to mark Richard's 50 years in football and it was great to produce a good performance so we could all celebrate together."
Uppingham Reserves also picked up an excellent point after sharing the spoils in a 5-5 draw with Wittering's second string in Division Three.
Jack Godfrey hit a hat-trick for Town with George Maxwell also on target before Martin Owers hit a last-gasp equaliser.
Owers, who was assistant to first team boss Hunnings, has recently taken over the running of the reserve side.
Uppingham: Hubbard, Cleaver, Bains, Henshaw, Porter, Howe, Lacey, O'Berg, Spencer, Forster, Wildman. Subs used: Dalby, Dumford, Thomas.
More by this authorJames Bedford