Sam Stephenson spot on as Codicote power through to cup last four
PUBLISHED: 09:39 12 February 2015 | UPDATED: 13:19 12 March 2015
Sam Stephenson’s extra-time penalty sealed Codicote’s passage into the last four of the Division One Cup after an enthralling victory at Stony Stratford.
After a long midweek journey the visitors started the brighter, immediately pressing the home side and it wasn’t long before they opened the scoring.
Good build up work allowed Joel Mason the space to slot home from 10 yards.
The Cod continued to press and should have made it two when good hold up play from Sam Stephenson saw Tom Randall unable to guide the ball on target from just outside the area.
Grant McAree looked to dominate midfield against the Stony captain, with Ricky Case providing the required ability to support the front too.
However, Case provided more influence at his defensive end as Stratford equalised.
After receiving treatment for a hand placed into the Codicote man’s face, Case sort further treatment on the touchline only for the official to show him a yellow card for doing so.
This seemed to upset the rhythm of the villagers, and when a delightful through ball split the Codicote backline, Liam Moore lifted the ball into the top corner.
The remainder of the first 45 minutes was an even affair, although new signing Ashley Grinham had his hands full with the skilful Stony striker.
The second half started with both sides probing but when an innocent tackle saw the official point to the spot it left Codicote inconsolable.
The away side protested the foul was outside the box but the official was unmoved.
Former Arsenal striker Christopher Wreh sent Barnes the wrong way and put his side into the lead.
With their feathers ruffled, Codicote went on the attack.
Stephenson, Mason and Case all had chances, but on a poor pitch, none of Codicote’s frontmen could find that vital strike.
Manager Coughlin rung the changes removing Craig Cawcutt and Grinham for Andy Carter and another new signing Jamiah Plentie-Laurence.
So it wasn’t long before Plentie-Laurence had his first strike on goal, but straight into the keepers body.
With time running out and the home side hanging on, Mason came to Codicote’s rescue.
A long ball out of defence saw Mason challenge both central defender and keeper and manage to push his way past both to roll the ball into the empty net.
Codicote looked determined to end it in 90 minutes.
Stephenson had a good chance to seal it, with only the keeper to beat, the striker could only lift the ball over the bar.
He nearly made up for it in the closing minutes when his excellent free kick found McAree but the midfielder could only blast it wide from close range.
With the game now entering extra-time and on a leg sapping pitch, it would be the visitors who were on the offensive in their attempts to stop the game going to penalties and they got their reward.
Once again Stephenson jinked his way into the area only to be up-ended by some tired legs.
So it would be Stephenson to wrap up the tie putting the keeper the wrong way and Codicote into the semi-finals.
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Welwyn Hatfield Times. Click the link in the yellow box below for details.