DEEPING RANGERS 9 SLEAFORD TOWN 0: Ruthless Rangers got themselves back on track in the most emphatic way possible as Sleaford were mauled at Outgang Road on Saturday.
After the disappointment of Tuesday night’s 1-0 home loss to Peterborough Northern Star, Deeping were at their irresistible best to keep themselves in touch with the UCL Premier Division’s top four.
Matt Heron slotted home the only goal of a drab first period that visitors Town perhaps shaded, but it was total one-way traffic after the break.
Sub Ash Stevens weighed in with an 11-minute hat-trick, while Dave Burton-Jones, Alex Beck, Scott Ginty (2) and Harry Deane all got themselves on the scoresheet as Tuncay Korkmaz’s men fired eight goals in just over half an hour.
Before the goal glut, Sleaford were left feeling very aggrieved at their half-time deficit. The visitors felt that a Pete Sutton strike was wrongly chalked off for offside in the early exchanges – and, with skipper Ryan Oliver leading the line well, the away side looked a real threat.
But, after Beck and Loz Lambley both fired cracking chances off target, Heron got the ball rolling on 24 minutes. The tall striker somehow found a pocket of space on the left-hand side of the box and calmly placed an effort past Andy Hewitt.
Ciaran Holt then headed a Heron cross over from close range, as Rangers slowly took command of proceedings.
That followed on into the second period – and the hosts soon put the game to bed. Burton-Jones fired their second after the interval, showing good strength before blasting a clinical left-footed effort home.
Leading scorer Beck added a bizarre third four minutes later, as he twice rounded keeper Hewitt before rolling the ball into an empty net.
Number four was a clever toe poke from Ginty, which proved to be the catalyst for a complete Sleaford collapse.
With heads dropping all over the field, Stevens prodded home a scrappy fifth with his weaker left foot, then Ginty waltzed through and non-existent defence and then Hewitt to make it 6-0 from close range.
Seconds later Stevens dispatched a trademark seventh from inside the six yard box, as the hosts celebrated three goals in four minutes.
The pick of the bunch was number eight. Deane, who also started from the bench, rifled a superb effort in off the far post from 20 yards. There was still time for the lethal Stevens to complete his treble with another emphatic finish – and Dan Evans almost made it 10-0 with a volley that clipped the bar in the closing stages.
On this showing, Deeping are bona-fide contenders for a top three finish...at least.
Deeping: Doughty, Tinkler, Jackson (Deane 42), Julian, Logan, Holt, Ginty, Burton-Jones (Evans 78), Beck (Stevens 60), Heron, Lambley. Not used: Waumsley.
Deeping player/boss Tuncay Korkmaz
“This was very much like our 8-2 win at Newport Pagnell – you never plan for this kind of result, but when you get it you have to enjoy the moment.
“For teams like Sleaford that are struggling, it’s all about confidence. They were more than a match for us in the first half and we had to work hard for our lead. But the early goals in the second half killed them and it was easy for us from then on.
“I felt for their manager, but it was clear that we were the better side. We had a stronger squad than in recent weeks and it told. We had a strong bench with Ash Stevens and Harry Deane coming on to score and I felt Scott Ginty added an extra dimension to our play.
“Sadly, dropped points against PNS, Wellingborough and Kempston have cost us. But if we can finish in the top six and have a Vase run, I’ll be happy.”
Sleaford skipper Ryan Oliver
“I thought we were unfortunate to go in 1-0 down at half time, we had an unlucky goal disallowed and it cost us. “But we didn’t get out of the blocks in the second half and Deeping really took the game to us and finished their chances well.
“We couldn’t deal with them down the middle and that’s where they hurt us. I think 9-0 flattered them, but there’s no doubting they were the better side.
“They got the ball forward to Heron quickly and it was very effective. At the end of the day their class told. ‘Tunch’ has a great bunch of lads there and I’m glad to see the back of them.”