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Uppingham Town return to winning ways in the Peterborough League Premier Division with victory at Leverington Sports

A last minute penalty helped Uppingham Town make a rapid return to winning ways with a hard-fought 2-1 away success at Leverington in Saturday’s Peterborough League Premier Division clash.

Skipper James Howe hit home the last-gasp spot kick as Town’s pressure paid off to seal their fourth win from five Premier Division games.

They had seen their unbeaten start to the campaign shattered last week after a 7-1 home reversal at Peterborough North End Sports.

James Howe scored Uppingham's late winner from the penalty spot. (16076016)
James Howe scored Uppingham's late winner from the penalty spot. (16076016)

Manager Ryan Hunnings admitted the result had been a ‘massive shock’ to his charges who had fallen behind on Saturday before battling back for victory.

He said: “Leverington are always a really hard side to play against. It was a horrible game and we had to grind out the victory.

"We'd had a massive shock the week before against Peterborough North End Sports, but we kept going and they eventually cracked under the pressure.

"We went behind again and I did think we might have lost our mo-jo a bit, but we got a goal back just before half-time.

"It changed the half-time team talk. It got us back in it and changed the dynamics of the game. We had the impetus.

“They sat in after the break and made it really difficult for us. They had a few chances on the break, but we just kept chipping away at them and eventually it paid off.”

Uppingham had gone into the game with a defensive dilemma as Billy Henshaw, Jack Salt, Josh Porter and Ash Hibbitt were all missing.

But the dual-registered Ben Easson was available with Blackstones not having a game while there was a welcome return from suspension for Cameron Cleaver.

Jordan Spencer also made his first appearance of the season in a defence which was superbly marshalled by Danny Dumford.

Despite putting through their own net to give Leverington a first half lead, Uppingham restored parity before the break.

Callum O’Berg’s through ball released Rob Forster who won the race with the Leverington goalkeeper who he rounded to score a crucial equaliser.

Uppingham dominated large parts of the contest after the break but had to wait until the final minutes to net their winner.

Substitute Charlie Dalby challenged for a setpiece with a home defender who handled the ball and Howe stepped up to coolly convert the resultant penalty.

Hunnings added: “We just kept pushing and pushing for a goal in the second half.

“Leverington defended the middle of the park really well so we kept making changes to the wings to create chances.

“This win gets the momentum going again after what’s been a really good start. We set ourselves a target of nine points from the first five games and we've got 12.

"I knew we had good players and it was just a case of continuing last season into this with a couple of extra lads.

“We're not under-estimating anyone though. We're taking every game as it comes.”

Uppingham, who are in second spot after their fine start to the season, are back in action at Tods Piece on Saturday when they host Tydd.

Uppingham: Hubbard, Easson, Cleaver, Spencer, Dumford, Howe, O’Berg, Mullineaux, Turiccki, Thomas, Forster. Subs used: Bains, Dalby, Wildman.

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