DEEPING RANGERS 2 HUNTINGDON TOWN 1: Spencer Tinkler’s first goal in two years earned Rangers a deserved victory in the first-ever UCL Premier Division meeting between the two sides.
The defender capped a man-of-the-match display with a scrambled 75th-minute strike, keeping Deeping’s slim UCL Premier Division title hopes alive.
Ash Stevens had earlier fired the hosts into a fourth-minute lead at Outgang Road, only for Jamie Graham to level from the penalty spot at the end of the first period.
Deeping player/boss Tuncay Korkmaz felt his side were full value for their win – and reserved special praise for match-winner Tinkler.
He said: “Overall I felt we had enough chances to win the game a little more comfortably than we did.
“Huntingdon are a very good side, one of the best we’ve faced, so I’m very pleased with the showing.
“Spencer’s winner was a scrappy one, but he was still chuffed with it. He deserved the man-of-the-match award.
“He’s one of those players that will play anywhere for me and he’s been superb for the club for a long time.
“It was important to bounce back from the Spalding loss on Tuesday. Our aim from here is to try and better last season, but we’re not playing for the title.”
Rangers made a rapid start, with Alex Beck firing a left-footed effort off the bar in the opening seconds.
They didn’t have to wait much longer to break the deadlock as Stevens turned his man on the edge of the box before hitting a deflected shot into the corner.
At the other end, James Doughty tipped a Ben Sawyer strike over the bar, while Jack Warwick fired another effort straight at the keeper.
Tinkler then saw a fierce 35-yard drive tipped over, but the Huntingdon pressure continued and Doughty did superbly to stop a Graham effort from six yards.
The visitors eventually levelled when Nick Jackson brought down Ben Sawyer, allowing Graham to level from the penalty spot.
Deeping got back on top in the second period, with Lewis Stone thwarted by a cracking Erol Ordenez stop.
Huntingdon’s keeper could do nothing about the winner though, as Tinkler got on the end of Stone’s in-swinging cross and forced the ball over the line from close range.
It proved enough to seal the points for Rangers, who stay ten points behind leaders Holbeach United in fifth.
Korkmaz’s men visit Harborough Town on Saturday (3pm), before hosting Irchester United on December 22.
Rangers: Doughty, Lambley, Jackson, Tinkler, Julian (Evans), C Holt, Ginty, Burton-Jones, Beck (Stebbing), Stevens, Stone. Not used: Waumsley, Hands, Simpson.