Corinthians book a UCL Knockout Cup final spot
Rothwell Corinthians reached the final of the United Counties League’s Kitmanuk Knockout Cup final for the first time in their history after a superb 3-1 win over Premier Division rivals Deeping Rangers at Sergeants Lawn.
Mitch Austin’s team took the lead early on when Jordan Henson flicked an Ash Bodycote goal-kick into the path of Andy White who was forced wide but did get his shot off and managed to squeeze the ball past goalkeeper Danny Bircham and two defenders on the line.
Deeping came close to levelling when Jordan Macleod produced a fine run on the right-wing but was forced wide with Corinthians defenders Merson Styles, Kalon Peniasko and captain Aaron Campion chasing him down.
However, Macleod still managed to shoot from a very tight angle with his effort beating Bodycote at his near post with the ball rolling across the face of the goal and hitting the far upright and, with no other Deeping player in to follow up, the ball was cleared by Corinthians.
Rothwell’s Nathan Bobowicz then won a free-kick on the Rothwell right.
The free-kick taken by Marcio Concalves was knocked into the box finding Penisako who judged the flight of the ball perfectly and simply nodded the ball down and into the Deeping goal with Bircham unable to get across to stop it rolling into the left hand side of his net.
Deeping were determined to try to get a goal back before half-time and they were given their chance when Macleod cut inside the box and, with two Rothwell defenders in front of him, he attempted to get a cross in which was adjudged to have come off a defender’s hand with the referee pointing to the penalty spot.
Macleod stepped up to fire the ball to his left with Ash Bodycote diving in the opposite direction to make it 2-1.
Corinthians were denied a penalty of their own just before the break when Dodzi Agbenu found ran at the Deeping defence at speed, but the tackle on him by Deeping captain Dave Burton-Jones was deemed to be fair.
The first real chance in the second half fell to Bobowicz but he was unable to get the ball under control in the Deeping penalty box and Rangers defender Luke Anderson was able to clear.
Agbenu saw a shot from the left of the box go right across the face of goal, beating everybody in the area, and White then had another chance to put Rothwell further ahead when he shot with power from the edge of the penalty area, but Bircham made a fantastic save to his right and was up on his feet in a split second to make a second superb stop from Agbenu.
But Corinthians eventually did find the crucial third goal
Tom Mills headed down to find Bobowicz who after getting into the area, went down under a challenge from Anderson with referee Wayne Chalmers pointing to the spot.
Styles stepped up and found the back of the net despite Bircham guessing correctly to make it 3-1.
The fourth quarter of the game was all about a couple of bookings and substitutions and not much else and it really petered out following Rothwell’s third goal of the game.
And they were able to celebrate a first-ever knockout cup final appearance in what is their 25th year in the UCL.