Deeping Rangers learned the lesson of taking chances with a five-goal rout of Wellingborough Town to reach their first-ever UCL League Knock-Out Cup Final.
Just three days after missing a hatful of openings in a 2-1 league defeat at Huntingdon Town, Rangers ran riot as a Ryan Oliver hat-trick and a brace from Matt Heron swept the Doughboys aside on their home ground at the Dog and Duck.
Rangers started positively and mounted several attacks before taking the lead on four minutes when Oliver intercepted a Jamie Brassington goal kick and released Jamie Graham down the left.
Graham then beat his man and found Oliver inside the box where his deft header was glided inside the net
The Doughboys were finding it hard to cope with the movement of Rangers and they almost made it 2-0 when Dan Flack got into the box and crossed for Matt Heron who beat Brassington to the ball, only to see Ryan Watkin clear his effort off the goal line.
But dominant Deeping did double their lead on ten minutes as Stacy Cartwright’s ball released Oliver who advanced to the edge of the box and shot, only for Brassington to parry the ball into the path of Matt Heron who smashed home from eight yards.
This shook the home side into action as Wes Emery and Harry Beckley combined to release Joe Wenham down the left to put in a teasing cross that was just cleared by Cartwright, with Kieran Westbury ready to pounce,
Beckley himself then tried his luck from 25 yards out, a shot which Rangers keeper James Doughty was relieved to see go the wrong side of the post.
The game was effectively ended as a contest on 34 minutes when Mitchell Griffiths put Flack into space and his cross was met by Matt Heron who gave the home keeper no chance to make it 3-0 before half time.
Deeping continued in the same vain in the second half and increased their lead on 54 minutes when Griffiths and Flack combined down the right before a deep cross from Flack was met by Ryan Oliver to smash home from six yards.
But Wellingborough kept going and substitute Jack Plummer saw his efforts saved by Doughty before Rangers made it 5-0 on 58 minutes.
Craig Parker’s through-ball split the home side’s defence and Ryan Oliver slipped the ball past the advancing Brassington to claim his hat-trick.
The night got worse for the Doughboys when young defender Toby Robinson picked up two cautions, although the second yellow card looked a little harsh in an otherwise good refereeing performance from Daniel Hanna.
Wellingborough continued to show admirable spirit but in the end, Deeping had too much and Tuncay Korkmaz’s comfortably earned their place in the final against either Huntingdon Town or Boston Town next month.
Korkmaz said: “Our intention from day one was to get to a cup final and win it, but we were up against a side that has been going quite well recently.
“It was a fairly routine match and it will be good to rest before we play Wisbech on Tuesday.”
Deeping Rangers: Doughty, Flack, Parker, Tinkler, Cartwright, Burton-Jones, Griffiths (Holt), Ginty, Oliver (Stone), Heron, Graham (Simpson).