FOOTBALL: Deeping Rangers held at home for first time
Third-placed Deeping Rangers welcomed top-of-the-table Leicester Nirvana to the Haydon Whitham Stadium for the game of the day – and it did not disappoint.
Without three suspended regulars, the Clarets looked to maintain their 100 per cent home league record.
But following a good tussle, the spoils were shared as both teams limited their opponents to very few goal threats.
Early Rangers pressure saw Dan Schiavi’s corner hit back to him by Jahdatin Harper. His second delivery was also dealt with by Harper who got the better of the combined efforts of David Burton-Jones and Luke Hunnings.
The visitors broke the deadlock on 25 minutes when Shaquille Master collected wide and cut inside to find Danny Durkin. His shot on the turn clipped a defender but crept inside the far post.
The lead was short-lived as the Clarets levelled only three minutes later.
Jonny Clay sent in a free-kick into the heart of Nirvana’s box where Burton-Jones beat keeper Philip McCann to the ball to head into an empty net.
Nirvana came close to retaking the lead when Nickesh Javjani’s pass found Durkin who laid off for Master to drive through the massed box and narrowly wide of the target.
At the start of the second period, Durkin twisted away from Clay’s close attention to send in an inviting cross where Jason Kilbride was able to clear.
Clay was close to giving Rangers the lead when he rose to power his header towards the bottom corner but McCann was down smartly to push away.
Durkin did well to create a low shot that fizzed by the foot of the post.
At the other end, Henry Dunn’s delightful pass split the Nirvana defence to allow Scott Coupland into the box. He evaded the challenge to drive across the area marginally in front of the arriving Louis Hamilton.
Nirvana’s cause was made worse on 67 minutes as skipper Richard Gerald picked up his second yellow card of the game to be dismissed.
Both sides continued to push for the decisive goal but their efforts were dealt with by well organised defences.