Rangers need refreshing as Deeping are dumped out after semi-final shock
Deeping Rangers were dumped out of the Hinchingbrooke Cup after a semi-final defeat to lower level Huntingdon Town on Tuesday night.
The United Counties League Division One visitors netted a goal in each half through Richard Baines and Jamie Waterworth to secure their place in the final despite playing the last 20 minutes of the contest with 10 men following the dismissal of Chris Jones.
Rangers skipper David Burton-Jones did pull a goal back for the Premier Division high-flyers in injury-time but it too little too late to save Deeping from crashing out.
Manager Michael Goode had admitted after Saturday’s league victory over ON Chenecks that his squad would need refreshing during the summer and Tuesday’s display only reaffirmed his thoughts.
He said: “As a management team, we need to be more ruthless this summer by making changes to the squad.
“We need to refresh the squad. We know where we must improve.
“There will be a different pool of players available with Yaxley and Wisbech Town at a higher level, although we have lost a couple of derbies with those clubs going up.”
Rangers made the most of the early running on Tuesday night against a visiting side who finished 12th in Division One.
Henry Dunn saw an early effort blocked by Jake Waterworth after a swift Rangers move while Callum Walters did well to get in the way of a shot from Scott Coupland.
Rangers were then rocked by Huntingdon’s 11th opener as a cross from the right was met by Richard Baines whose downward header took a wicked bounce off the surface to deceive home goalkeeper Danny Bircham who could only fumble the ball into the net.
Rangers responded with Sam Hollis bursting clear only to be denied by a smart block from the advancing Quincy Shorunmu.
Former Oakham goalkeeper Shorunmu continued to thwart Deeping as the home side sought to find an equaliser.
He made an excellent save to palm away a Charlie Coulson shot befoure turning a free-kick from the Deeping play-maker over the bar.
Scott Mooney also had a ‘goal’ ruled out for offside as Deeping were unable to find a way to get back on level terms before the break.
Huntingdon introduced Jamie Waterworth to their attack at half-time and he made an instant impact within minutes of ther restart as he broke the offside trap before beating the advancing Bircham to double the visitors’ lead.
This sparked an intense period of pressure from Deeping but, despite dominating possession, they struggled to breach a determined Huntingdon defence.
The visitors produced a string of brilliant blocks to deny Deeping a way to goal while also looking dangerous on the break with Jonny Clay having to make a crucial goal-saving tackle to thwart Jon Hall.
Huntingdon were then reduced to 10 men for the final 20 minutes when Chris Jones was dismissed after collecting a second caution for a foul.
However, this seemed to strengthen Huntingdon’s resolve as Deeping became more desperate to find a goal.
Mooney put a free header when well placed while Burton-Jones saw an effort cleared off the line by a posse of Huntingdon defenders.
Deeping finally found a way through in injury-time as Burton-Jones rose highest to head home a cross.
But there wasn’t enough time left for Deeping to mount another meaningful attack as Huntingdon held out to secure a cup final spot against either Yaxley or Eynesbury.
Deeping: Bircham Flack, Hollist, Simpson (Kilbride), Burton-Jones, Clay, Dunn, Coulson, Mooney, Coupland, Hollis. Not used: Marsden.