Rangers were forced to play almost an hour of their quarter-final tie against Boston Town with only 10 men on Tuesday night following the dismissal of Jack Cotton and they eventually ran out of steam, losing 2-1.
Cotton was sent off in a 32nd-minute incident which also led to Boston being awarded a penalty, only for Aaron Eyett to blaze his spot kick over.
And two minutes later David Burton-Jones gave the 10 men of Rangers the lead.
The turning point of the match came when a second Poachers’ penalty was awarded on 56 minutes.
This time Jack Wightwick converted and his side made their extra man count with a winner four minutes from time, courtesy of Ryan Parnell.
Boston’s victory avenged an early season FA Cup drubbing at the Hayden Whitham Stadium and earned them a semi-final clash with Blackstones.
l The next five games for Deeping Rangers will be pivotal in deciding the club’s fortunes this season, according to skipper Spencer Tinkler.
The crucial run of fixtures begins with Saturday’s home league game with second-placed Newport Pagnell Town before Rangers host local rivals and fellow high-fliers Holbeach United on Tuesday night.
They then travel to fourth-placed Kempston followed by the visits to Outgang Road of lowly Harrowby and then leaders Leicester Nirvana.
Tinkler, who was on target in Saturday’s impressive 4-1 win at Rothwell Corinthians, said: “The next five games will shape our season.
“We’re kicking ourselves, to be honest, because we should be at
least nine points better off at this stage.”