It’s all to play for at the top of the United Counties Premier Division thanks to a thrilling victory for Deeping Rangers over leaders Leicester Nirvana yesterday (December 19).
A last-gasp goal direct from a free-kick from Luke Avis sealed a 3-2 win for Deeping at Outgang Road. It was just a third defeat of the season for Nirvana who now lead by just four points from unbeaten Kempston Rovers, who were held to a draw at Peterborough Northern Star, and Holbeach United, who thumped Sileby Rangers 4-0 at Carter’s Park.
Deeping are themselves just six points off the top in fifth place, but they’ve played more games than all the teams around them. They conceded a first-minute goal to Nirvana, but top scorer Scott Coupland fired them level in the 11th minute.
And it stayed level until a dramatic last few minutes. David Burton-Jones shot Deeping ahead in the 85th minute, Nirvana promptly equalised, but then lost a man to a red card before Avis produced his own special Christmas delivery.
It was a great day for Holbeach, particularly for their new management team of Tom Roberts and Andrew Tidswell. The pair were appointed full-time to their posts on the day they celebrated a handsome home success.
Tidswell even managed to get on the scoresheet. Josh Ford bagged a brace and Jake Clitheroe completed the scoring. The Tigers have a game in hand on Nirvana as they put the stormy end to the reign of previous manager Darren Jarvis to the back of their minds.
Kempston are unbeaten in 20 Premier Division matches, but are only above third-placed Holbeach on goal differene following their 1-1 draw at Northern Star. Kempston took the lead 12 minutes after the break, but Callum Madigan equalised within three minutes from the penalty spot following a foul on Craig Smith. Two fine late saves from Dan George preserved Star’s well-earned point.
Mid-table Wisbech conceded an equalising goal seven minutes from time to 10-man Harrowby United. One-time Posh striker Michael Frew had given the Fenmen the lead.
And Yaxley’s poor run of home form continued as they went down 2-1 to Cogenhoe despite a 77th-minute equaliser from former Cogenhoe player Matt Gearing.
Oadby had lost their six previous Premier Division matches so the visit of whipping boys Huntingdon was just what the doctor ordered. Oadby won 4-0.
Peterborough Sports came within a couple of minutes of losing their perfect winning record in Division One. But up popped full-back Olly Medwynter to net his second goal of the the game to complete a come-from-behind 2-1 win at Raunds and make it 17 straight wins and a 10-point lead at the top at Christmas.
Teenager Zak Munton grabbed a hat-trick as Bourne drew 3-3 at home to Wellingborough Whitworth, but Blackstones lost for the third game in a row, 2-0 at home to Long Buckby.
Stamford AFC remain rooted in the Evo Stik Northern Premier Division relegation zone after a 1-1 draw at bottom club Ramsbottom. Elliott Hodge equalised for ‘The Daniels’ two minutes after the home side had taken the lead. Stamford remain next-to-bottom, seven points from safety.
And there was a blow to Spalding United’s promotion hopes in Division One South as they were beaten 3-2 at home by fellow high-fliers Basford United in somehwat controversial fashion.
The Tulips were twice in front through Jamie Graham and Nathan Stainfield, but a disputed penalty and a winning goal when the home side claimed the ball hadn’t crossed the line delivered victory to the visitors.
Spalding remain in fourth place, one of the four play-off positions.
March Town United are stuck in mid-table in Division One of the Thurlow Nunn League after a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Sudbury.
Northern Premier Division
Ramsbottom United 1
Stamford 1 (Hodge)
Division One South
Spalding 2 (Graham, Stainfield)
Basford United 3
THURLOW NUNN EASTERN LEAGUE
March Town United 0
AFC Sudbury Res 1
CHROMASPORT & TROPHIES UNITED COUNTIES LEAGUE
Deeping Rangers 3 (Coupland, Burton-JOnes, Avis)
Leicester Nirvana 2
Harrowby United 1
Wisbech Town 1 (Frew)
Holbeach United 4 (Ford 2, Clitheroe, Tidswell)
Northampton Sileby Rangers 0
Oadby Town 4
Huntingdon Town 0
Peterborough Northern Star 1 (Madigan)
AFC Kempston Rovers 1
Yaxley 1 (Gearing)
Cogenhoe United 2
Long Buckby AFC 2
Bourne Town 3 (Munton 3)
Wellingborough Whitworth 3
Raunds Town 1
Peterborough Sports 2 (Medwynter 2)