Rangers squeeze past Star in Extra Prelim tie
Having looked comfortable at half time, Rangers left the Branch Brothers Stadium with a victory having been pushed all the way by the home side’s strong second half response.
Deeping settled early and soon had Star on the back foot but too often their approach play was not enough to penetrate the home defence.
Rangers skipper David Burton-Jones burst forward into the home box where his run looked to ended ‘illegally’ – no decision came, the ball fell for Scott Coupland whose two efforts only hit the blocking defenders, Jason Kilbride twisted space on the goalline to cross where the arriving Henry Dunn saw his touch too high.
It was the visitors who made the breakthrough on 32 mins, Burton-Jones was free wide, his cross was met at the back of the box by Tom Smith whose shot rebounded to Dan Schiavi, a touch to set up the strike that hit the underside of the bar beating the helpless keeper Simon Dalton.
Dalton was in action again, Dunn won on half way, he fed Kilbride to drive towards the far corner where Dalton’s full length save tipped the ball away. From the Schiavi corner, Burton-Jones’ close range header was cleared off the line where Jonny Clay was on hand to head the ball past the defenders on the line to increase Rangers lead on 36 mins.
Half Time – Peterborough Northern Star 0 Deeping Rangers 2
Deeping were close to adding to the tally early in the second period, Dunn’s pull back was hit by Coupland where Dalton saved with his leg.
Star had a good opportunity when Zak Munton released Matt Barber to run at Deeping defence where his attempt was well blocked, at the other end Coupland’ pass split the home back line for Schiavi to see his effort clip a defender and loop over the bar.
Play was becoming end to end, Rangers were close again, Coupland found Kilbride, he twisted and shot to ping the post and away, Craig Rook sent Munton into the vistors box where Richard Stainsby tipped around the post.
The resulting Stewart Lambie corner saw Star reduce the arrears, Munton reacting quickest to nudge the rebound past the dive of Stainsby.
This gave the home side some impetus and they had their strongest period of the game, Dan Wilson wriggled some space to pull back for Barber but the touch was wide, Barber then crossed from wide into Deeping’s box, Dan Flack’s attempted clearance fell to Munton but the Rangers defenders quickly blocked the attempt.
Rangers looked to have sealed the game on 84 mins, the advanced Clay crossed for Brad Hockin to collect and see his half volley clip a home defender and loop into the far corner.
Deeping sub Luke Avis released Flack in behind the home defence but no one could get a touch on his cross.
With 3 minutes on the clock Star reduced the arrears again, Jezz Goldson-Williams collected on the edge of the box, his shot on the turn squirmed through the attempt of Stainsby to keep it out
In the end Rangers had done just enough to book a Preliminary Round tie away at Barton Rovers on 19th Aug.
Full Time – Peterborough Northern Star 2 Deeping Rangers 3