Blackstones 1 Deeping Rangers 1
BLACKSTONES held an impressive Deeping Rangers side to a Boxing Day draw at Lincoln Road on Saturday.
Rangers dominated most of the first half but failed to build on an eighth minute Matt Heron strike.
Instead they gifted Stones a 25th minute leveller, scored by Adam Scotcher. It was pretty much Blackstones’ only attempt on target in the first half.
As early as the first minute Rangers skipper Adam Weston burst through forcing a corner and that set the tone for the first 45 minutes.
Rangers pushed forward with wave after wave of attack. Kevin Gilbert and Matt Heron had both gone close before Heron scored, picking up a superb pass from Josh Moreman and firing past former Rangers keeper, Lee Crockett. He drove his shot from the edge of the box hard and low to the keeper’s left.
Stones first attempt on goal came on 11 minutes with Danny Barker’s long range attempt drifting wide of the goal.
On the quarter hour mark tempers began to boil over but the referee resisted any temptation to book either side’s player.
Scotcher levelled for Stones against the run of play. Lee Crockett and Chris Logan both went for a ball behind the Deeping defence with centre back Logan taking the ball towards the touchline. But as Crockett scrambled back towards his goal, Logan’s miss-hit pass was gratefully received by Scotcher who drilled the ball low past the retreating goalkeeper.
Rangers continued to threaten with Moreman, Mark Jones and even right back Matt Evans adding to the tally of spurned chances before Weston’s effort squirted up and onto the bar in the final minute of the first half.
The referee spoke to Barker and Weston following another case of handbags before finally showing a yellow to Andy Ellis for bringing down Kev Gilbert towards the end of the half.
The second half was increasingly scrappy with few chances created at either end but a scattering of cards to players on both sides.
Stones came out stronger after the break and put more pressure on the Deeping backline. Ben Easson came on and added pace alongside the tireless Michael Nelson who was allowed few opportunities by the Rangers rearguard.
Stones’ best chance of the half fell to Nelson when James Doughty’s weak punch didn’t clear the area but the penalty box was too crowded for the striker to capitalise.
At the other end, Doughty pulled off a couple of terrific saves, one turning a curling strike from Moreman round the post.
Deeping looked more threatening but Stones had worked to hold onto a share of the spoils.
Blackstones: Lee Crockett, Tim Quy, Andy Ellis, Matt Porter, Luke Hunnings, Steve Burns, Aaron Greene (Ben Easson), Jacob Smitheringale, Adam Scotcher (Liam Buttery), Michael Nelson, Danny Barker.
Deeping Rangers: James Doughty, Matt Evans, Nick Jackson, Chris Logan, Spencer Tinkler, Adam Weston, Mark Jones, David Burton-Jones, Kev Gilbert (Scott Ginty), Matt Heron, Josh Moreman.
l RANGERS play St Ives at home this evening (7.45pm) and Stewarts and Lloyds Corby at home on Tuesday (7.45pm).
Blackstones face Northampton Spencer at home tomorrow afternoon and travel to Yaxley on Wednesday evening.