Deeping Rangers lost their long unbeaten record in the UCL Premier Division on Saturday with a 4-1 defeat at Lincoln Road against the division’s champions elect – Peterborough Sports.
The damage was done conceding three goals in a 15 minute spell just before half time.
Played on a sticky pitch, where the ball was bobbling around, the home side started the stronger, ex-Ranger Josh Moreman’s low cross from the left found Mark Jones in the goal area but his touch was well saved by Richard Stainsby in the net for Deeping.
Mark Jones had another chance, getting on the end Dan Bannister’s cross, but again his touch only found Stainsby.
Deeping weathered the early pressure and started to get their game going, skipper David Burton-Jones was a massive presence in the midfield, his pass released Jason Kilbride to cross to the near post where Sports’ Josh Sanders nicked the ball before Henry Dunn could pounce.
Scott Coupland’s ball through the Sports defence released Scott Mooney who looked to be about to be getting a shooting chance except for the clumsy challenge from Sanders.
Rangers saw a Dunn header glance wide while at the other end a Jonny Clay clearance hit Burton-Jones to fall for Avelino Vieira who shot at Stainsby, and then Moreman had a run at the Deeping defence to shoot wide.
Sports took the lead on 30 minutes, Moreman made ground to cross where Stuart Eason was on hand to tap home from three yards out.
Rangers responded well but their downfall was not making the passes reach the targets and this led to the second goal for Sports- the ball was given away, Lewis Webb fed Moreman out right, he raced past the defenders to cross to the far post where Eason rose above all to head home on 41 minutes.
Before Rangers could compose themselves they were three down – another misplaced pass was collected by Jordan Macleod who made ground and tried his luck from 20 odd yards, the ball hit Hunnings and deflected into the gap between keeper and post.
As half time approached Vieira had a free header from Macleod’s cross but was wide.
Rangers started the second half on the offensive but their good play could not penetrate the home defence and on 55 minutes they fell further behind – Moreman slung in a cross from the right, Vieira collected with his back to goal to spin and drive into the far corner past the dive of Stainsby.
The good aspect from a Rangers perspective was that this drove them on to stop things getting worse and they got some reward on 67 minutes, Dunn won the ball and sent a delightful ball forward to release Scott Coupland, he cut inside and curled his shot inside the far post.
Rangers were now having some control, Mooney showed good strength and persistence to free himself from the home defence but fired straight at Lewis Moat in the home goal. Not long after Mooney was given his parking orders after a comment to the assistant referee Damon Pywell.
Still Rangers persisted, Dunn’s pass allowed Dan Flack into the home box but he was just unable to get the ball into a shooting opportunity.
The last action saw Moreman burst to the edge of the Deeping box and blast goalwards where Stainsby made a good save to push the ball away.
So the inevitable happened and the unbeaten run came to an end at 21 games. There are now 14 games left for another run to try and get that top three slot. Rangers currently sit third.
Deeping’s next outing is to host Netherton United on Tuesday night in the quarter final of the Hinchingbrooke Cup.
Peterborough Sports: Lewis Moat, Dan Bannister, David Cobb (Olly Medwynter – 63 mins) Josh Sanders, Richard Jones (C), Lewis Webb, Jordan Macleod (Dan Buccierro – 79 mins ), Dan Lawlor, Avelino Vieira, Mark Jones (tuart Eason – 21 mins), Josh Moreman.
Sub not used: 17. Lance Potter.
Deeping Rangers: Richard Stainsby, Dan Flack, Tom Smith, David Burton- Jones (C), Luke Hunnings, Jonny Clay, Jason Kilbride (Will Bird – 63 mins), Henry Dunn, Scott Mooney, Scott Coupland, Tom Waulmsley.
Subs not used: Jack Cotton, Charlie Coulson, Jack Marsden, Danny Bircham.
Referee – Shaun Barry