Deeping Rangers fought back from two down to beat Kempston 4-2 with the winning goals late in the game at Outgang Road.
Rangers’ defence seemed to be suffering from too much Christmas turkey during the early stages, and few Rangers players had even touched the ball when Andrew Phillips nipped through a static defence to give the visitors a 1-0 lead in the opening minutes.
As the half progressed, little improved for the sluggish home side.
Rangers’ full back Nick Jackson received a yellow card for hand ball on 19 minutes and just 60 seconds later Phillips doubled Kempston doubled the lead with his second goal, blasting the ball high into the top corner of the net.
Rangers’ first real attempt on goal came after half an hour when wide man Lewis Stone put in a powerful shot from distance that Kempston keeper Dale Hamilton did well to hold onto.
Alex Beck forced another save from Hamilton but there really was little for the home supporters to cheer in the first half and manager Tuncay Korkmaz began to ring the changes before the break, replacing Scott Ginty with Simon Ashton.
As the teams disappeared into the changing rooms at half time, one could only wonder what the atmosphere would be like for the home team. But whatever was said at half time had the desired effect as Rangers started in determined fashion.
Doughty, however, was still required to make an excellent save before the hard working Ashley Stevens finally pulled a goal back on the hour mark, looping the ball past a stranded keeper.
The visitors pulled every player back for corners and free kicks around the penalty area and this may well have contributed to their demise.
On 75 minutes, Doughty booted a long ball down the field and found Stevens who had time to steady himself before scoring his and Rangers’ second goal.
Rangers and their supporters could sense that Kempston were on the back foot and an unlikely victory was on the cards.
Korkmaz continued to shuffle the pack, taking off Lewis Stone and replacing him with Phil Stebbings, and the substitute grabbed the third and crucial goal for Rangers shortly after the visitors had had an effort cleared off the line.
In time added on, Alex Beck worked the ball through on his own to beat the keeper as he advanced off his line to seal an excellent 4-2 win
On a day when Holbeach lost at Cogenhoe, and Quorn were beaten at Spalding, Deepings’ first win in 2013 firmly establishes them in the race for honours.
Rangers’ next match is at home to seventh-placed Newport Pagnell on Saturday. Kick off at 3pm.
Deeping Rangers: James Doughty, Lawrence Lambley, Nick Jackson, Spencer Tinkler, Steve Julian, Chris Holt, Scott Ginty (Simon Ashton), David Burton-Jones, Alex Beck, Ash Stevens, Lewis Stone (Phil Stebbing).
M-o-M: Ash Stevens.