FOOTBALL: Coupland goal earns fifth successive win for Deeping Rangers
Deeping Rangers completed a clean sweep of league victories in December with this Boxing Day success - played on a sticky, bobbly pitch this was not a game for the purists.
The Clarets had the better of the first half and dominated for large spells.
Jack Marsden fed David Burton-Jones to drive forward into the heart of Harrowby United’s defence, his pass found Scott Coupland who progressed into the box with his shot being saved by Joe Christopher.
Coupland then collected a loose ball, beat the defender and lobbed Christopher but the ball was wide of the post.
The Arrows were swift on the break which kept the Rangers defence alert.
Full-back Sam Weatherstone tried a long-range effort but did not trouble keeper Richard Stainsby.
Rangers saw a chance not taken as Burton-Jones rose above the throng to meet Dan Schiavi’s corner, the ball falling for Scott Mooney to stab goalwards where Jack Stafford cleared from the line.
Stafford saw his snap volley wide at the other end following a scramble in the Deeping box.
An attempted clearance from Stafford saw the ball fall to Rangers’ Henry Dunn whose shot hit home skipper John Currall and deflect over.
A good Deeping move involving Schiavi and Coupland set up Mooney on the edge of the box but having found space slipped as he went to shoot, Dunn’s clever play saw him cross into the home goal area where Weatherstone nicked the ball away before Mooney could pounce.
Rangers made the decisive breakthrough on 30 minutes. Jason Kilbride won the ball out wide, his deep cross found Coupland in behind Stafford and his header flew past the dive of Christopher into the corner of the net.
It was almost 2-0 as Dunn’s persistence allowed him to release Schiavi, his cross was whipped into the Harrowby goal area where Stafford’s touch took the ball from Mooney.
The home side’s best chance came from the lively Scott Floyd when his run down the left allowed sight of goal with his shot well saved by the feet of Stainsby – the follow-up from Liam Jaques being well blocked by Jonny Clay.
The second half had fewer chances as the home side had more of the possession and play.
Stafford rose to head Kemal Yembertiz’s corner over the bar while Matt Clarke pounced on a loose ball to drive at the Deeping goal where Stainby made a good save at the foot of the post to tip away.
For Rangers, Schiavi’s free-kick from 22 yards clipped the top of the bar and following good work by Mooney, substitute Will Bird saw his header rebound from the post.
Dunn and Burton-Jones combined to send Bird down the right but his progress was thwarted by the recovering Luke Johnson.
With additional time being played the Arrows were reduced to 10 players as Weatherstone collected a quick pair of yellow cards.
Deeping: Stainsby, Marsden, Smith, Burton-Jones, Hunnings, Clay, Kilbride (sub Bird 65 mins), Dunn, Mooney, Coupland, Schiavi. Sub not used: McSkelly, Ford, Bircham.