Deeping Rangers condemned Holbeach United to a first United Counties League Premier Division defeat of the campaign in the big local fixture last night (September 5).
Title favourites Rangers triumphed 4-3 on a rain-lashed night at the Haydon Whitham Stadium - a victory more conclusive than the final scoreline might suggest.
They boasted a four-goal advantage until Holbeach produced a late rally to hit back three times in the final eight minutes.
Defender Charlie Ward headed the hosts ahead six minutes before the break and the classy Dan Schiavi doubled their advantage with a fine free-kick nine minutes into the second period.
Another Schiavi set-piece was headed into his own net by Joe Braithwaite (one of several former Deeping men in the Holbeach side) and the same man then delivered the cross for Scott Mooney to cap a clinical counter-attack with a diving header past Holbeach keeper Ricky Drury.
When well beaten, the Tigers suddenly began to relax and trouble the home side, but three goals in the closing minutes is probably more than even they expected to gain.
Substitute Jordan Keeble provided the first of them when with a deflected shot before Charley Sanders pounced after a Mitch Griffiths shot was saved.
Spencer Tinkler then headed in against his old club, but that proved to be the final action as any thoughts of an incredible comeback were dashed.
On this evidence - the final few minutes aside - Deeping’s standing as title favourites looks entirely deserved.
Peterborough Northern Star were beaten by another team tipped to challenge for the crown last night.
They lost 3-0 at home to an Eynesbury Rovers side who still boast a 100 per-cent record after five league matches.
Yaxley’s slow start to the league season continued with a 1-1 draw at rain-lashed Cogenhoe last night, while Wisbech Town fell foul of a much improved Boston Town team who triumphed 3-1 at the Fenland Stadium.
March Town United fought back from 2-0 down to beat Needham Market Reserves on penalties in a Thurlow Nunn Eastern Counties Division One League Cup tie.
Toby Allen and Max Matless hauled the Hares level before goalkeeper Dave Beeny saved two penalties in the shoot out.
CHROMASPORT & TROPHIES
UNITED COUNTIES LEAGUE
Premier Division: Cogenhoe United 1 Yaxley 1 (Hook); Deeping Rangers 4 (Ward, Schiavi, Mooney, og), Holbeach United 3 (Keeble, Tinkler, Sanders); Peterborough Northern Star 0, Eynesbury Rovers 3; Wisbech Town 1 (Ford), Boston Town 3.
Division One: Burton Park Wanderers 3, Huntingdon Town 3.
THURLOW NUNN EASTERN LEAGUE
Division One League Cup: March Town United 2 (Allen, Matless), Needham Market Res 2.
(March won 5-3 on penalties).