Bowdens Park has been a happy hunting ground for Rangers in the past, with 4 victories from 5 visits and most have been hard fought, so it was no surprise that another close tussle ensued although the spectators were not offered a lot of entertainment in a poor match.
Early exchanges showed both sides being tentative as they got to grips with the cross wind, the Bees Tony Bartlett was first to try the target – a 30 yard effort hitting the side netting.
Deeping’s Jonny Clay sent a ball over the Harborough defence to free Jason Kilbride his low cross evading arriving team mates in the Town box.
Town full back Dino Tuksar advanced, his pass inside found Dan Forbes who saw his shot inches wide of the post although Deeping keeper Richard Stainsby’s dive had it covered, at the other end Tom Smith carried forward, he supplied Scott Mooney, a good touch allowed Dan Schiavi’s cross field ball gave Kilbride a shooting opportunity that clipped Tuksar and diverted away from goal.
Goal threat chances were rare as both teams kept their opponents at bay, Bees Bartlett sent in a good cross, Forbes challenge saw the ball fall for Harry Henbury to strike for goal where Dan Flack was on hand to clear from the line.
Flack was on the end of a Mooney flick to free down the right, a good low corss was well defended by Bartlett as Scott Coupland looked to pounce, Coupland was close to controlling Schiavi’s pass on the run but his touch ran away and through to home keeper Glen Giles.
Harborough were nearly gifted a goal, Flack slipped as he went to clear, the ball fell for Henbury whose cross was touched wide of the goal by Forbes, however the Bees did find the net on 33 mins – Rangers’ Kilbride was inadvertently hit by Smith’s clearance, Henbury collected and sent a low drive beyond the dive of Stainsby and inside the post.
Only a great tackle from Flack thwarted Henbury as he prepared to shoot from inside the box as he bore down on goal.
Rangers best chance of the half came as Schiavi’s threaded ball allowed Kilbride to shoot from 20 yards for Giles to tip away for a corner.
Half Time – Harborough Town 1 Deeping Rangers 0
Deeping looked more purposeful for the second period as they looked to salvage the points, Clay’s free kick into the home box saw Luke Hunning’s head back for Mooney to raid on goal where the combined efforts of Ben Williams and Callum Milne nicked the ball away.
Schiavi beat Bartlett, his pull back from the goal line saw Mooney’s side foot attempt narrowly wide.
The visitors were seeing the better opportunitiues, Kilbride’s pass beat the offside, Micahel Simpson retrieved to lay into the box but behind his supporting teammates, Schiavi sent a ball over the Town back line, Mooney held off Milne to shoot where the advancing Giles pushed away with a good save.
Rangers levelled on 79 mins, Flack was in an advanced position, he exchanged passes with Kilbride, and then Mooney, before driving a low shot through the crowd inside the far post from a narrow angle.
Town responded, Barnes Gladman pounced on a loose ball in the visitors box to blast towards goal for Clay to make a good block and clear.
The winner came on 85 mins, Mooney chased a long ball into the corner, he won the ball to send the pass to Schiavi whose volley was well saved by Giles, the ball falling for Simpson to slide past Giles from 6 six yards.
Deep into additional time Mooney sent in a low cross from near the corner flag, Schiavi’s touch in the goal area was smothered by Giles on the line.
Not a good performance by Rangers but they ground out a win with a better second half and this time they benefitted from a late goal.
Full Time – Harborough Town 1 Deeping Rangers 2
Harborough TOWN: 1. Glen Giles, 2. Tony Bartlett, 3. Dino Tuksar, 4. Pete Taylor (16. James Mee - 64, 5. Ben Williams (Capt.), 6. Callum Milne, 7. Greg Usher, 8. Callum Steer, 9. Aaron Preston (12. Barnes Gladman – 75), 10. Dan Forbes, 11. Harry Henbury
Sub not used: 14. Alfie Harris, 15. Harry May, 17. Callam Traynor
Deeping: 1. Richard Stainsby, 2. Dan Flack, 3.Tom Smith, 4. David Burton-Jones (Capt.), 5. Luke Hunnings, 6. Jonny Clay, 7. Jason Kilbride, 8 Henry Dunn, 9. Scott Mooney, 10. Scott Coupland (14. Michael Simpson – 63), 11. Dan Schiavi