Deeping battle to beat strugglers while Reserves beat league leaders

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Deeping Rangers 2 Desborough Town 0

RANGERS found bottom side Desborough Town to be stubborn opposition despite winning 2-0 at Outgang Road on Saturday.

With just one win and only five points on the board, Desborough are at the foot of the Chroma Sports and Trophies United Counties League Premier Division, and when Mark Jones slotted home in the third minute, expectations of a big home win were raised. But Desborough went on to prove that they are not the whipping boys that their league position might suggest.

The visitors set about the game with the intention of breaking Rangers down with some heavy tackling and the football could never be described as pretty during a scrappy first half. Visiting captain Byrne and full back Tolton both recieved yellow cards for hefty challenges and their resistance at the back could have been rewarded as half time approached.

During a rare Desborough foray in the Deeping half, Spencer Tinkler brought Mitchell down just outside the box. Tinkler was shown a yellow card and had it not been for a terrific save from James Lowndes, the sides would have gone in level at half time.

The second half started brightly with Steven Julian having a header cleared from under the Desborough bar but despite this early promise, the rest of the game proved a little tedious.

Rangers seemed content to knock long balls towards Jones who had a constant battle throughout the afternoon with Desborough’s Donavito. On the hour mark, Deeping’s new signing. Brader almost scored on his debut, crashing a shot from just inside the penalty area against the crossbar.

A bright spot of the afternoon was the welcome return of Adam Weston who had suffered a triple fracture to the cheekbone in a horrendous challenge during Deeping’s FA Vase fixture at Ollerton Town, earlier in the season. He did very well during before being replaced on 75 minutes by Logan, another recent signing by manager Tuncay Korkmaz.

Rangers made the game safe with three minutes remaining with Mark Jones scoring his second after good work by George Cox.

Deeping Rangers: Lowndes, Evans, Fenton, Tinkler, Julian, Gilbert, M Jones (Jackson), Cox, Battersby (Burton-Jones), Weston (Logan), Brader. Sub not used: Doughty

Coates Athletic 1 Deeping Rangers Reserves 2

Peterborough and District League Premier Division

DEEPING travelled to table-toppers Coates looking to protect a seven match unbeaten run and came away with another well-earned three points.

Rangers’s 2-1 victory extends their winning streak to four games by winning a tight game with featuring two of the meanest defences in the league. It Deeping’s superior finishing that was the difference between the two sides.

Rangers were without goalkeeper Jamie Lowndes, Dave Weston and Ian Bradbury but manager Andy Bailey was able to welcome back Ben Leisner and Tom Waumsley from first team duties and Ryan Birtles from injury, while Lee Peacock again deputised for Lowndes in goal.

Coates were yet to lose this season and in the opening exchanges Deeping looked nervy, But after being under constant pressure it was Deeping who should have opened the scoring on six minutes when Chris Mavros played in Waumsley who, one on one with the keeper, miscued his shot wide of the target when the ball took an untimely bobble.

Two minutes later it was Coates’ turn to curse the state of the pitch as frontman Mark Newton found himself one on one, and suffered the same fate as Waumsley as the ball kicked up and his shot was skewed wide of Peacock’s goal.

It was somewhat against the run of play when Deeping opened the scoring on 22 minutes.

The hard working Lewis Leckie played in Waumsley on the left and he laid the ball off to Anthony Graves 25 yards from goal. Graves cut inside to fire an exquisite drive into the roof of the Coates net.

It was probably more than Deeping deserved and it came as no surprise when Coates were on level terms nine minutes later.

Rangers’ lack of communication, a bobbly pitch and strong wind all made it difficult for them to clear their lines and Graves’ mishit clearance looped into the air and onto the top of the crossbar for the league’s top scorer Newton to nod home from a yard.

Deeping looked better in the second half and deservedly regained the lead on 64 minutes. Skipper for the day Carl Griffiths swung in a corner which dropped to Chris Armitage who shielded the ball before laying it off to his centre half partner Matt Simpson to smash the ball home from 12 yards into the top corner.

Soon after Newton was in one on one again but his shot was beaten away by a good save from Peacock.

Coates turned the screw as they looked to preserve their unbeaten record but Rob Speechley’s lob, drifting over the bar with 10 minutes remaining was a close as they got to an equaliser as Deeping battled through to the final whistle.

Deeping reserves boss Bailey said: “We were not at our best today and I was very disappointed with the first half display. To come to the team who are top of the league and not look interested is not acceptable.

“We were far more committed in the second half and I feel we shaded it in the end. If you don’t play well you have to grind out results and to do that against a side that has not lost all season shows the character that we have in our dressing room.”

Deeping: Peacock, Vanner, Leisner (Atkins), Simpson, Armitage, Mavros, Ireland, Griffiths, Leckie, Waumsley, Graves. Subs not used: Stewart, Bailey.