CUP FINAL VERDICT: Future looks bright for Deeping Rangers
Top scorer James Pam’s 20th goal of the season secured another trophy for Deeping Rangers.
The substitute headed home the second-half winner in Sunday’s final at Sincil Bank.
Pam has been added to the Clarets’ under-15 squad which lost a penalty shoot-out after extra-time against Birchwood Colts in the final last April.
Nathan Pickering was on target for the second time – but his opener was cancelled out just three minutes later by Lincoln United’s Kian Keeley.
Alfie Ferguson, who also scored for Deeping in last season’s final, suffered a leg injury in the last minute of stoppage-time as defender Lewis Marsh was sent off.
A lengthy delay allowed Ferguson to receive medical help and he was carried off on a stretcher amid fears of a broken leg. However, there was no fracture.
Ferguson missed out on the celebrations – led by captain Cameron Baldock-Smith – as Deeping deservedly took the honours with a dominant display.
A positive start failed to test keeper Jack Gibson as Pickering, Stewart Barrand and Alex Moroz all missed the target with early chances.
The opening goal came as Pickering found the bottom corner from 15 yards.
However, Daniel Conway couldn’t collect the ball at his near post and Keeley pounced for the equaliser.
Pam’s pace and direct approach posed problems – earning the player-of-the-match award as well as the winning goal.
He flicked a header from a long throw into the far corner and Deeping held on, despite a couple of opportunities for Lincoln before Ferguson was injured.
With the under-12s set to face Cleethorpes Town in the county final next month, Deeping have a bright future.
Having appointed head of youth Richard Knighton as part of the club’s ambitious plans, the signs look good.
4-2-3-1: Conway 7; Burutsa 7, Baldock-Smith 7, Barrand 7, Carver 7; Brady 7, Dee 7; Ferguson 7, Moroz 7, Lane 7; Pickering 7. Subs: Crowson 7, Pam 8, Haggett-King 7.
4-1-4-1: Gibson; Kirk, Barnsdale, Marsh, Golten; Dalzell; Grimes, Keeley, Wilkinson, Cook; Dennis. Subs: Nicholson, Tansley, Thornton, Dandy.
Pickering (34 mins, 1-0); Keeley (37 mins, 1-1); Pam (63 mins, 2-1).
Marsh (serious foul play).
Kirk (dissent); Brady (foul); Dennis, Pickering (unsporting behaviour).