Newport Pagnell Town 2 Deeping Rangers 2
Deeping Rangers visited the league leaders and came away with a much-deserved point - and could have taken all three.
The previous fixture at the Haydon Whitham Stadium in October was one of the best games seen there this season, but for the majority of the first half the game was a tentative affair, as neither side threatened the opposing goal in the first 30 mins.
The home side had a couple of half chances as Harry Stratton’s pass allowed Fazal Koriya to whip in a low cross that the sliding Jordan Spruce could only touch wide.
Koriya pounced on a ball on the edge of the box, his shot on the turn causing no trouble to the Rangers goal.
It was Pagnell who made the breakthrough on 34 mins, a long ball was flicked on by Tom Liversedge, Koriya collected and seeing the Deeping keeper slightly off his line, chipped the ball from 25 yards to loop over Richard Stainsby and dip under the bar.
That was what the game needed and the Clarets stepped it up and levelled on 44 mins with a Scott Mooney beauty - Dan Schiavi’s pass split the home defence to find Mooney, who took the ball on the run before blasting his drive beyond the dive of Town keeper Mark Osbourne from 20 yards.
Rangers took the lead within 25 seconds of the restart, Henry Dunn cut inside along the home box, found Schiavi, whose cross picked out Scott Coupland. His original effort hit a defender, rebounding to Coupland who fed Dunn, a side step, then he drove it into the far corner past the helpless Osbourne.
Wounded by this, Pagnell set about getting the equaliser and they levelled on 52 minutes - Ollie Wilkinson sent a low cross into the Deeping box, with the ball falling for Liversedge, who saw his shot crash against the bar. He collected the rebound and Dan Flack’s attempt to get the ball was deemed a foul. Koriya stepped up to send the spot-kick into the opposite corner to Stainsby’s dive.
Although the game was competitive, chances were rare for both teams, but it was the visitors who had better opportunities.
A draw was possibly the fair result, but it leaves Rangers 11 points behind the Swans with two games in hand.