FA Youth Cup first round: Dereham Town 2 Peterborough United 1
22:33 05 November 2015
Striker James Cooper hit a brilliant brace as Dereham Town caused a huge FA Youth Cup upset, writes Gavin Caney.
The young Magpies were as heroically resilient in the first half as they were dangerous going forward in the second against League One club Peterborough United’s youngsters. And they got their just rewards when Cooper doubled his tally at the death to prevent the game from going into extra-time at a drenched Aldiss Park.
Town’s match-winner had put the non-league hosts in front just before the interval with a sensational free-kick which set the first round clash alight. He bent a sublime set piece around the nearside of the wall and into the top corner from 30 yards to spark wild scenes as the Norfolk club’s teenagers sensed an upset.
Those hopes were heightened in the second period when Posh’s Ethan Lee got himself sent off for a moment of madness on the hour. The combative midfielder was booked for a hack at Seb Bialasik and 30 seconds later barged Connor Green to the ground off the ball to earn a second yellow.
His stupidity cost a team that had looked like they may be getting back into the game with a fine Curtis Child save and goal-line block from Jordan Ramm keeping Dereham in front early in the second period.
Yet there only looked like there was going to be one winner from there on in with the Magpies’ Cooper spurning two great chances to wrap things up and Will Sainsbury-Logan flashing wide.
Heartbreak appeared to have arrived when Cameron Gow nodded an 89th-minute equaliser. Yet there was still time for Dereham’s goalscorer to double his account by heading Sam Lawn’s delicious cross into the top corner and create bedlam.
Eight minutes of injury time later the final whistle blew and the Magpies’ squad and staff, including first-team boss Matt Henman, poured on to the pitch to celebrate a memorable victory. Their reward for creating a lifetime of memories, especially for two-goal hitman Cooper, is a trip to League Two Mansfield Town in the next round.
Dereham Town: Child, Ramm, Cook, Rivett, Clayton, Bialasik (Fuller, 71), Linford, Green, Lawn (Hazell, 90+6), Sainsbury-Logan, Cooper. Subs not used: Attree, Robertson, Taylor.
Goalscorer: Cooper (43, 90)
Peterborough United: Curtis-Henry, Ferrier, Maslen-Jones, Goode, Humphrey (Gow, 74), Hood, Lee, Baldry (Lucan, 58), Keating, Moore, Da Silva Lopez. Subs not used: Penfold, Jarvis, Connor.
Goalscorer: Gow (89)
Cards: Yellow – Green, Da Silva Lopez, Hood, Maslen-Jones, Green, Goode; Red – Lee (2x yellows)
Referee: N Cooper.