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Deeping United return to winning ways in the Peterborough Minor Cup

Deeping United bounced back at the double on Saturday with both of their sides returning to winning ways after suffering their first defeats of the Peterborough Minor Cup campaign.

The first team had fallen to their first competitive defeat for a year when they tumbled to a 4-1 midweek away reversal at Sawtry while the reserves had been edged out by Thurlby Tigers last weekend.

However, they hit back with five-star displays as the first team defeated previously unbeaten Thorpe Wood Reserves while the second string also ran out 5-0 home winners in their clash with Warboys Reserves.

Josh Raven was named Deeping United's first team player of the month with Liam Reeve taking the reserve accolade. (46606598)
Josh Raven was named Deeping United's first team player of the month with Liam Reeve taking the reserve accolade. (46606598)

Joint first team boss Ian Abbott said: "The pressure was on us at the weekend because, if we had lost against Thorpe Wood, then qualifying from the group would have been against us.

"Sawtry had deserved their win against us because they worked harder than we did. They didn't give us time and space on the ball and showed more desire. They wanted it more so we needed a response.

"We were a lot better on Saturday. We went back to basics and worked on what we do when we haven't got the ball because that had been the big difference in midweek.

"The atmosphere was a lot better on Saturday and I just had a good feeling about it. It was a good dominant performance."

The setback at Sawtry had seen United fade after a promising early start with the hosts taking a first half lead.

They were back on level terms when Adam Richardson was allowed some rare time on the ball and he picked out Ryan Ellwood whose cross-shot was clipped home by Steve Jucikas.

Deeping then had a couple of good opportunities to take the lead with Nathan Smith going close with an effort that rattled the post.

The crucial second goal continued to prove elusive for the visitors and United conceded three times in the second period to fall to a rare defeat.

It then took them 35 minutes to find their scoring boots in Saturday's success over a Thorpe Wood Rangers Reserves side who were bolstered by the inclusion of Deeping Rangers first teamer Joe Papworth.

Smith broke the deadlock with a super strike from outside the area to give United a lead that they held until half-time.

That advantage was doubled within six minutes of the start of the second period as Richardson teed up Ellwood to score.

Ellwood then turned provider seven minutes later for Jucikas to make it three as United's attacking trio continued to pose problems for the visitors on the new artificial playing surface at Elsea Park in Bourne.

Jucikas scored his second and United's fourth from Ellwood's assist midway through the second half before Smith sealed the win in the final minute with a fine solo effort.

Four goals in 14 first half minutes laid the foundations for the reserve side to continue to set the pace in Group C.

They promoted Lewis Anthony and Vinni Ball from the club's Under 18s to bolster their squad which was missing several players from the previous week.

David Howe was moved into attack to support Lewis Challis in a change in formation which paid dividends as Howe scored once and supplied a further three of United's goals.

They went on the offensive from kick-off and created some early chances before breaking the deadlock after 27 minutes.

Markus Turunen won possession on the right-hand side and beat a couple of players before slotting home the opening goal.

The lead was doubled two minutes later with Howe unleashing a fierce strike after winning the ball 35 yards out and letting fly with a shot that rocketed past the goalkeeper.

Howe teed up strike partner Challis for United's third 10 minutes before the break and then provided Turunen with the chance to score his second as the four-goal blitz was completed in the 41st minute.

Howe then completed his hat-trick of assists midway through the second half when his cross picked out Challis to score his second and United's fifth of the match.

They then suffered a setback with 18 minutes remaining when substitute Jordan Rumble was sent off for retaliation.

But they regrouped and saw out the remainder of the match with Jamie and Liam Reeve both in fine form at the heart of the United defence.

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