FOOTBALL: Coupland brings up century for Deeping Rangers
Deeping Rangers took points against Eynesbury Rovers for the first time in five meetings – despite giving a less than fluent performance – and scored their 100th league goal of the season in the process.
Play was evenly contested, although quality was often lacking.
Early on, Eynesbury’s Rob Ducket sent full-back Dan Buddle free down the right – his cross picking out Craig Smith who could only head at Rangers keeper Richard Stainsby.
A smart Deeping move saw Jason Kilbride feed Scott Mooney whose delicate lay-off found Scott Coupland in the box but his shot hit the side netting.
Charlie Coulson’s pass split the visitors’ defence to almost find Coupland but Rovers keeper Jamie Greygoose was smartly off his line to nick it away.
The tireless Mooney, often leading the line on his own, chased down to the corner flag and got the better of James Ducket to send in a cross that was just too high for the arriving Coupland.
Rangers made the breakthrough on 36 minutes. Jonny Clay’s long crossfield pass released Dan Schiavi wide right, he laid off to Coulson to strike on target where Jason Kilbride applied the finishing touch ahead of Greygoose.
Rovers found themselves 2-0 down immediately as Rangers’ midfield driving force David Burton-Jones strove forward, his pass allowed Mooney a shot that Greygoose could only parry for Coupland to slot into the unguarded net.
Eynesbury started the second period brightly as Haydon Bream’s corner was flicked on where Smith hit a snap shot that had Dan Flack into action to clear off the line.
Schiavi collected on halfway andran at the visiting backline to progress into the Eynesbury box to force Greygoose into a save from an acute angle.
Michael Mackrell slung in a dangerous cross from the touchline and Smith rose above Flack to see the header over the bar.
Allan Owen had been well controlled by Luke Hunnings and Clay but he broke through into the Deeping box, his cross picked out Smith but the touch went wide of the target for the visitors’ best chance.
Jack Uttridge sent in a cross that Stainby collected despite the effort of Smith who then collected his second yellow card on 80 minutes and reduced Rovers to 10 men.
Clarets substitute Henry Dunn pounced on a loose ball in the box but scuffed his shot that still brought a fine low save from Greygoose.
Deeping completed the scoring on 86 minutes and brought up the century.
Schiavi’s deep cross was taken by Coupland, a side step gave the shooting chance that he took without hesitation for his 33rd league goal of this season.
Rangers bounced back well from the loss to Newport Pagnell Town last time out – notably strong display from Mooney and Burton-Jones – to keep the push for second place in their hand.
Deeping: Stainsby, Flack, Smith, Burton-Jones, Hunnings, Clay, Kilbride (sub N Zalejski 89 mins), Coulson (sub Dunn 58 mins), Mooney (sub D Zalejski 89 mins), Coupland, Schiavi. Subs not used: Marsden, Waumsley.