Sports editor Mark Lea’s match verdict: Emirates FA Cup preliminary round - Deeping Rangers 1 Dereham Town 0
The talent show at Deeping Rangers produced more magic in the FA Cup.
Scott Mooney’s clinical strike seven minutes before half-time proved enough to knock out Ryman League Division One North side Dereham Town.
On the same day that ITV’s singing contest The X Factor returned, it was fitting to see someone called Flack taking centre stage for Deeping as well.
Dan Flack will probably never get the level of publicity which his namesake Caroline receives as the programme’s new joint host.
But he certainly deserves plenty of credit for another excellent performance which proved instrumental in this victory.
Alongside skipper David Burton-Jones in front of the Deeping defence, Flack made sure there was no way through for Dereham.
The experienced pair gave so much protection that goalkeeper Daniel Bircham had only a couple of saves to claim a clean sheet.
Burton-Jones took the man-of-the-match award but it was a tough choice to give him the edge over Flack – and these honours should not be shared!
Flack’s range of passing kept possession, switched play and put Deeping on the attack.
In the second half, though, he also had to make a series of challenges as the Magpies pushed forward in search of an equaliser.
Burton-Jones was equally happy to get stuck in and do what you might call the dirty work.
On his return to the side, Deeping have not conceded in two wins. That can’t be just a coincidence.
Burton-Jones and Flack had key roles in front of the back four, allowing others to support Mooney.
Jason Kilbride, Fraser Sturgess and Mooney failed to hit the target with chances before the deadlock was broken.
Sturgess played a clever pass which found Mooney with time and space to pick his spot with a crisp drive into the far corner of the net.
Mooney’s sixth goal for Deeping came soon after Bircham brilliantly tipped over Sam Borrer’s lob.
Bircham was only called into action again in stoppage-time during a scramble as Dereham keeper Will Viner came up for three corners.
On the counter-attack Scott Coupland missed an open goal under pressure from Lewis Wallace.
Jack Cotton nodded the ball off the line towards the end but Deeping deserved to hold onto their advantage. It was a hard-fought victory on another magical day.
4-2-3-1: Bircham 7; Tinkler 7, Hunnings 7, Cotton 7, Smith 7; Flack 8, Burton-Jones 8; Kilbride 7, Coupland 7, Sturgess 7; Mooney 7. Subs not used: Porter, Carter, Goldson-Williams, Marsden.
4-1-3-2: Viner; Swatman, Anema, Morphew, Wallace; Sturman (sub Butcher 66 mins); Frary (sub Bialasik 70 mins), Borrer, Blake-Tracy; Logan (sub Cook 70 mins), Crisp. Sub not used: Linford.
Mooney (38 mins, 1-0).
Kilbride, Anema, Tinkler, Crisp (fouls); Sturgess (kicking ball away); Swatman (dissent); Borrer (handball).
David Burton-Jones – the skipper was excellent alongside Dan Flack to provide plenty of protection in front of Deeping’s defence. After missing the start of the season, Burton-Jones has helped Rangers to keep two successive clean sheets.
Wisbech Town (A) – UCL Premier Division, Tuesday.