Deeping Rangers defeat Boston Town in a United Counties League Premier Division North clash
Deeping Rangers completed a hat-trick haul of successive United Counties League victories by beating Boston Town at the Haydon Whitham Stadium on Saturday.
Will Bird's late winner secured victory for the Clarets against their fourth-placed visitors who had found themselves trailing by two goals after just five minutes of the Premier Division North contest.
Goals from Marcus Pancho and Luke Steele had given the Clarets a dream start before Boston bounced back to level the contest through Harry Limb and Aboubacar Sylla.
Deeping then had to use their defensive resolve to keep Boston at bay before Bird swooped with an 80th minute winner that ensured the Clarets followed up recent wins against Pinchbeck and Sleaford with another victory over Lincolnshire rivals.
Manager Daniel French said: "It was a superb win and I will always say that three wins in a row at any level is a good achievement.
"It was a performance where we raised our levels from the previous two wins. We have improved our quality from the Pinchbeck win to the Sleaford game and now this one where we were asked more questions.
"The pleasing thing for me was the mental side of things after going 2-0 up. We didn't get complacent but, when they got it back to 2-2, we made sure that we stayed in the game and then came with some quality in the final third to win it.
"It's now about getting the consistency in the players to believe because we can compete physically and stand up to sides.
"The thing which is in our favour is that we're fitter and our squad depth shows in the late stages of games.
"We have come on in leaps and bounds over the last four or five weeks which is really pleasing. The lads deserve it because they have worked so hard."
Rangers made a flying start as they broke the deadlock after just three minutes when Pancho was picked out on the left by a fine pass from Jack Bloodworth.
The winger then left two players trailing in his wake before slotting home a tidy finish past Boston goalkeeper Ross Woolley.
Deeping's lead was then doubled two minutes later with Pancho this time the provider as his cross was met by the towering Steele who guided his header past Woolley for his second goal in as many games following his match-winner against Sleaford.
The double setback sparked a response from Boston with Limb flashing one shot wide before the former Stamford striker halved the deficit after 19 minutes.
A free-kick was swung into the Deeping box where Richard Ford guided his header into Limb's path for him to steer home Boston's opening goal.
Jones De Sousa had a good opening to restore Deeping's two-goal advantage from another fine Bloodworth pass only to shoot over while Ford went close with a header at the other end.
Boston goalkeeper Woolley needed two attempts to gather a Bird free-kick before the Poachers had appeals for a penalty turned down in first half injury time after a posse of Deeeping bodies blocked a shot.
Boston, clearly aggrieved at the decision to miss out on the spot kick, used their frustration to pile on the pressure at the start of the second half.
It needed a fine last-ditch tackle from David Burton-Jones to prevent Limb from breaking clear before the Poachers' top scorer blazed a decent chance over from Lee Beeson's cross.
Fraser Bayliss hooked another good chance over the crossbar before his low shot brought a smart reaction save from home goalkeeper Dan Swan.
The equaliser that Boston had been threatening arrived as the game entered the final 15 minutes as Sylla was sent racing clear from Limb's pass and he drilled home his finish past Swan.
Deeping responded well to being pegged back and Luke Hunnings saw a header from a corner cleared off the line by Ryley Thompson before they regained the lead with 10 minutes remaining.
Substitutes Jake Showler and Ta'i Williams linked well down the left before the latter's cross was converted from close range by Bird.
Boston's protests about the goalscorer being offside were rejected and they piled on the pressure in the latter stages of the contest.
But Deeping stood firm as they defended well throughout and, when breached, Boston found goalkeeper Swan in top form.
He made a superb save to block Limb's fierce close range before palming away another dangerous effort from Sylla as Rangers held out to avenge their opening day defeat against the Poachers.
Boss French added: "Our last three 90 minutes have been really physically demanding, as well as being split between Christmas and New Year, but we have stood up to it really well.
"It was team effort all over. The back five were outstanding, Robbie Ellis and Sam Wilson covered so much ground for us while three out of the front four scored goals and the substitutes all made an impact when they came on.
"It was a massive result against a top four side and shows that we can compete against the teams up there but it's about our consistency."
Clarets: Swan, Flack, Bloodworth, Burton-Jones, Hunnings, Ellis, De Sousa (Showler), Steele (Williams), Bird, Wilson, Pancho (Carter). Subs not used: Walton, Brown.