MATCH VERDICT: First home league defeat for Deeping Rangers
An average display made it a disappointing day for Deeping Rangers.
The second-placed Clarets suffered their first home league defeat of the season.
A seven-match unbeaten run in all competitions was ended by Luke Emery’s two close-range goals at the start of the second half.
Until then, Newport Pagnell Town had offered no threat.
But there was no way back for Deeping who were left to reflect on missed chances in the opening period.
They never got anywhere close to top form – but you would expect Rangers to put away at least one of those opportunities to take control before the break.
Skipper David Burton-Jones’ shot was cleared off the line by Ollie Wilkinson following a corner by Dan Schiavi.
Left-back Tom Smith’s long-range pass over the Swans’ defence released Scott Mooney but his lob lacked power and goalkeeper Mark Osborn got back to grab the ball on the line.
Charlie Coulson’s angled drive flashed over the bar and Osborn was alert to deny top scorer Scott Coupland.
Without being brilliant or dominant, Deeping had still managed to create chances.
The passing wasn’t quite as crisp as they often produce but there had been no sign of what came in the first six minutes of the second half.
Suddenly, Rangers were 2-0 down.
Emery smashed home the opener after Remy Forrester and Sam O’Neill both struck the woodwork.
Forrester’s left-wing cross was converted by Emery for his second goal of the day, following successive hat-tricks in the previous two games.
Mooney had a swing and a miss before another low effort was gathered by Osborn.
Schiavi also had a shot comfortably saved but at the end it could have been even worse for Deeping.
Swans substitute Dominic Lawless rolled the ball wide twice in stoppage-time when he should have scored.
Firstly, he failed to take full advantage of a mistake by keeper Richard Stainsby.
Then, in the final action, Lawless held off Dan Flack with a run from the halfway line but again he failed to find the target.
That didn’t really matter as Newport Pagnell had never looked likely to throw away the lead anyway.
Deeping were not too bad but they certainly weren’t particularly good either.
Unusually, they appeared average all over the pitch. The first-half missed chances proved to be costly.
The response was not good enough after conceding at home in the league for the first time in 322 minutes.
Now they need to bounce back at home next weekend.
4-1-3-2: Stainsby 6; Flack 6, Hunnings 6, Cotton 6, Smith 6; Burton-Jones 7; Coulson 6 (sub Waumsley 77 mins), Dunn 6 (sub Kilbride 57 mins, 6), Schiavi 7; Mooney 6, Coupland 6. Subs not used: N Zalejski, Bircham.
NEWPORT PAGNELL TOWN
4-4-2: Osborn; Wilkinson, Pryke, Baker, Williams; O’Neill, Smeathers, D Smith, Forrester (sub L Smith 75 mins); Sandy (sub Lawless 62 mins), Emery.
Emery (47 mins, 0-1); Emery (51 mins, 0-2).
Hunnings, Cotton, Emery (fouls); Pryke, O’Neill (dissent).
Dan Schiavi – deserves credit for trying to be creative.
Eynesbury Rovers (H) – Saturday.