There was plenty of late drama for Deeping Rangers on Saturday in a high-scoring 4-4 draw away at Northampton Sileby Rangers in the UCL Premier Division.
Scott Mooney scored in the 89th minute to gave Deeping the lead on their travels but Troy Johnston struck an equaliser in the fifth minute of added time to deny Rangers all three points from their trip to Fernie Fields.
Deeping went on the offensive from kick-off, Mooney was played into the home box to round keeper Aaron Higgs only to see Ryan Cottingham clear off his shot off the line. From the resultant corner Mooney’s shot hit the post to rebound to Scott Coupland who side stepped and shot through the throng to find the back of the net – all inside the first minute.
Sileby’s Brian Farrell burst into the visitors box only to be thwarted by a good challenge from Luke Hunnings on the penalty spot
The Claret’s Henry Dunn combined with Dan Flack for the midfielder to send in a dangerous cross but Mooney’s touch was high of the target. Dunn then had an effort saved by the legs of Higgs.
Sileby were hanging on, Deeping’s Will Bird was in the box, went round Higgs but saw his shot cleared off the line by Cottingham.
Higgs then saved Spencer Tinkler’s low drive with his legs following a Deeping corner.
The home side’s Merdi Maki then broke down-field but he was halted by a last gasp tackle from Flack. However Maki he did level on 18 minutes, Bruno Lafond’s pass split the Deeping defence where Maki collected and slid past the advancing Danny Bircham.
Maki was involved when Sileby took the lead as well, he ran at the Deeping defence and shot with the ball falling for Joe Merrill to smash the rebound, skimming along the turf and inside the post on 26 minutes.
Sileby’s Stuart MacMichael got the better of Hunnings to drive a shot that Bircham did well to parry away while the half finished with the visitors seeing Mooney thwarted by a block from Dominic Okanu and another save with his legs to deny Higgs.
Deeping made a rapid start to the second half and were level on 46 minutes, Luke Avis’ corner was flicked on by Hunnings where Tinkler headed goalwards for Scott Mooney to flick the ball into the net from two yards.
This spurred the visitors, Mooney crossed from wide, Dunn dummied to allow Coupland a free shot but, surprisingly, he was off target, however he did give Deeping the lead on 51 minutes. Mooney’s deft flick sent Scott Coupland in behind the home defence and his shot flew past the stranded Higgs.
After more chances for both sides Sileby levelled on 76 minutes; Ife Ogunbayo collected the ball on the edge of the box, turned and curled his shot into the far corner.
The Claret’s looked to have claimed the points when they retook the lead on 89 minutes, sub Olly Humphrey’s pass found Mooney, his touch set up a shooting chance that he despcthed past the helpless Higgs.
But after missing a chance to extend their lead Deeping were made to pay for their misses when home skipper Leon Simpson sent in a cross into the Deeping box for Johnson to steer his header past Bircham.
Deeping Rangers: Danny Bircham, Dan Flack, Tom Smith, Chris Hibbitt, Spencer Tinkler, Luke Hunnings, Henry Dunn (Jezz Goldson-Williams), Luke Avis, Scott Mooney, Scott Coupland, Will Bird (Ollie Humphrey).
Northampton Sileby Rangers: Aaron Higgs, Dominic Okanu, Lewis Burgess Leon Simpson (C), Bruno Lafond (Taiwo Odutolo ), Ryan Cottingham Joe Merrill, Merdi Maki (Troy Johnson), Stuart MacMichael, Ife Ogunbayo, Brian Farrell
Substitutes not used: Zacob Olliver, Tommy Ayodele, Nigel Marman
Referee: Darren Lander