Deeping Rangers collected their first home win in five games with a 2-1 victory of Northampton Sileby Rangers at the Haydon Witham Stadium on Saturday.
But Rangers boss Tuncay Korkmaz won’t be fooled by the hard work his side made of achieving their success, relying on an inspired substitution in the shape of Ian Ward to score the winner with his first touch of the game.
Deeping should have been out of sight by that stage having carved out eight clear-cut chances from open play, five of them falling to attackers Jezz Goldson-Williams, Liam Tunstall and Jordan Avis.
On another day, against another team, Deeping would have been embarrassed by wasting so many opportunities in a league where a top-eight finish and Hinchingbrooke cup success are both possibilities.
After Sileby fired an early warning shot across the bows, or should that be crossbar after striker Will Muzvimbiri’s effort rebounded off Dan Bircham’s goal on three minutes, Deeping won a penalty when the same Sileby striker clumsily brought down Charlie Coulson in the box.
Spencer Tinkler stepped up to drive a low, hard shot down the centre of the goal to give his side a fifth minute lead.
Then came the wastefulness on front of the Sileby goal as Tinkler poked an effort wide from a Coulson free kick after seven minutes before Goldson-Williams spurned two chances, in as many minutes, to hit the target.
On the quarter-hour mark, it was Jordan Avis’ turn to catch a cold in front of goal, shooting straight at Sileby keeper Jamie McAlindon when set up by the enterprising Dan Flack.
Deeping were made to pay for firing blanks on 20 minutes after a breakdown in communication between Bircham and central defender Joe Braithwaite forced the latter into pulling back Muzvimbiri when bearing down on goal.
Stuart McMichael slotted home the penalty to equalise but even then, new signing from Sleaford Town Liam Tunstall and Tom Smith could have put the home side back in front.
In the second half, Tinkler headed straight at McAlindon from a Mohammed Hamid cross on 54 minutes but by then, Korkmaz had seen enough and brought on Ian Ward to replace Tunstall.
On 60 minutes, Ward was on the scoresheet with what proved to be the winner when he headed a cross from Carter past McAlindon into the Sileby net.
Coulson should have settled the game with 16 minutes to go but went wide from a Goldson-Williams rebounded shot, while Sileby substitute Okanu missed three chances to grab a point at the end.
4-3-3: Bircham 6; Carter 8, Tinkler 7, Braithwaite 6, Smith 6; Flack 7, Avis 7, Coulson 7; Hamid 6 (sub Scotcher 66 mins, 5), Tunstall 6 (sub Ward 58 mins, 6) , Goldson-Williams 6. Subs not used: Sparrow, Pilbeam, Thompson.
4-5-1: McAlindon; Cottingham, Logan, Pownall, Bandjanga; McMichael, Forbes, Allen, Pineen, Bukasa; Muzvimbiri (sub Okanu 63 mins). Subs not used: Moore, Dean.