Rangers share the spoils as leaders maintain advantage
Deeping Rangers were unable to close the gap on table-topping Newport Pagnell after the sides shared the spoils in Saturday’s United Counties League Premier Division clash.
The 2-2 draw leaves Rangers 11 points behind the league leaders, although they do have two games in hand - one of which is on Tuesday night when Desborough are the visitors to the Haydon Whitham Stadium.
Deeping had clipped the Swans’ wings in a cracking contest back in October but, for the majority of the first half, Saturday’sgame was a tentative affair.
Neither side threatened the opposing goal in the first 30 minutes before the Swans had a couple of half chances as Harry Stratton’s pass allowed Fazal Koriya to whip in a low cross that the arriving Jordan Spruce could only touch wide.
Koriya then pounced on a ball on the edge of the box, but his shot on the turn caused no trouble to the Rangers goal.
It was Pagnell who made the breakthrough on 34 minutes as a long ball was flicked on by Tom Liversedge.
Koriya collected and, seeing the Deeping keeper slightly off his line, chipped the ball from 25 yards to see it loop over Richard Stainsby and dip under the bar.
That was what the game needed and the Clarets stepped it up and levelled on 44 minutes with a superb strike from Scott Mooney.
Dan Schiavi’s pass split the home defence to find Mooney who took the ball on the run before blasting his drive beyond the dive of Town keeper Mark Osbourne from 20 yards.
Rangers then made a flying start to the second half as they took the lead within 25 seconds of the restart.
Henry Dunn cut inside along the home box and found Schiavi whose cross picked out Scott Coupland.
His original effort hit a defender before rebounding to Coupland to feed Dunn who side-stepped a challenge and then drove home into the far corner past the helpless Osbourne.
Wounded by this Pagnell set about getting the equaliser and they did level on 52 minutes.
Ollie Wilkinson sent in a low cross into the Deeping box and the ball fell for Liversedge who saw his shot crash against the bar.
The rebound was fed back to him in the box where Dan Flack’s attempt to get the ball was deemed a foul and Koriya stepped up to send the ball into the opposite corner to Stainsby’s dive from the spot kick.
Although the game was more competitive chances were rare for both teams and it was the visitors who had the two better opportunities.
Schiavi’s corner was headed clear where Charlie Coulson returned it for Luke Hunnings to beat Osbourne to the ball but his flicked header was wide of the target. Hunnings then met Schiavi’s corner in the goal area only to head over.
In the final analysis a draw was possibly the fair result but Pagnell will be the happier as other teams did not capitalise on them dropping points.
Rangers: Stainsby, Flack, Smith, Burton-Jones, Hunnings, Clay, Dunn (Kilbride ), Coulson (Simpson), Mooney, Coupland (Hamilton), Schiavi. Subs not used: Hollist, Bircham.