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Oakham United are through to the Peterborough Senior Cup final which will be played at Peterborough United Football Club

Oakham United have set up a cup final date at Peterborough United after producing a remarkable comeback on Saturday.

The Rutland side looked to be heading for defeat in their Peterborough Senior Cup semi-final clash when Premier Division rivals Moulton Harrox raced into a 4-1 lead.

However, Oakham hit back to square the contest at 4-4 before taking the tie to penalties where goalkeeper Jamie Stephens was the shoot-out hero.

Goalkeeper Jamie Stephens was Oakham’s shoot-out hero. Photo: Rob O'Brien
Goalkeeper Jamie Stephens was Oakham’s shoot-out hero. Photo: Rob O'Brien

Stephens saved Moulton's fourth spot kick before converting Oakham's final penalty himself to secure a place in next month's final at the Weston Homes Stadium where they will take on Warboys Town.

Manager Lea Jordan was full of praise for his players who defied an indifferent run of form to topple a much-fancied Moulton side.

He said: "It rarely happens that Moulton are 4-1 up and they go on to lose the game or even draw it.

"For some reason, the boys just believed that they could do something and it's not often you get the chance to play at Peterborough United.

"It was a massive carrot for them and, although we had our backs against the wall, it was just a case of having nothing to lose.

"We just went out and gave it all we had and it was a really good performance from the whole team.

"We just didn't give up and the lads weren't accepting defeat until that final whistle which is massive credit to them.

"We had a mountain to climb in the second half and it was a chance to really prove how good we are and can be. It was the perfect occasion for it."

Oakham had fallen behind early on when Moulton converted the first of four penalties awarded during the 90 minutes.

They were soon back on level terms though when Jamar Dobson charged down a clearance from the visiting goalkeeper before tapping home into the empty net.

Three goals before the break, including a second Moulton penalty, then put the visitors in control of the contest but Oakham refused to give up hope.

Jordan commented: "If it had been a league match, it would probably have been game over at half-time.

"We had a good man-to-man chat in the changing room and all the players just believed that they could get back into the game.

"For some unknown reason, it was like some demons had come out of their bodies because they were so eager to get back out there."

Oakham were then awarded their first penalty of the game which Cardin Pierre-Liverpool converted to make the score 4-2.

Michael Uff was then successful from the spot to close the deficit to one goal before Pierre-Liverpool levelled the contest with his second strike of the match.

Ed Sakovich had a good chance to win the match for Oakham late on but he over-hit his touch as he looked to round the Moulton goalkeeper and the game headed to penalties.

Pierre-Liverpool, Ryan Smalley, Lewis Duncan and Uff all scored Oakham's first four penalties before Stephens took centre stage.

He made the vital save which put Oakham on the verge of victory before stroking home the decisive spot kick.

It was a quirk of fate that Stephens was back between the posts for Oakham as he has been playing in the centre of their defence for most of the campaign.

Manager Jordan had deputised for the injured John Swales last weekend but, with assistant boss Dave Parker-Meadows and player-coach Stewart Lambie both missing the match, he felt his presence was needed on the sidelines.

Jordan commented: "I would have played if we had someone else on the sidelines so it is like fate really.

"Anybody else could have gone in goal and they might not have saved the penalty so sometimes these things happen for a reason.

"Jamie actually said before the game that it was going to go to penalties and he would score the winner - and we all laughed because no-one believed him."

Oakham are back in Premier Division action tomorrow night (Wednesday) when they host Rutland rivals Uppingham. Kick-off at Newton Fallowell Meadow is 7.30pm.

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