UCL Premier Division - Deeping Rangers 1 Newport Pagnell Town 2
Lessons will be learned from Deeping Rangers’ first league defeat in two-and-a-half months.
There is plenty of talent within this mixture of youth and experience - but this time they failed to find top form.
Despite taking a first-half lead - and deservedly so - Deeping didn’t get going after the break.
Mistakes were made, notably when Newport Pagnell Town took full advantage with the equaliser just seven minutes into the second period.
Those errors will happen but on days like this, you have to dig in for a draw and settle for that.
Instead, Deeping got caught out for the end of a seven-match unbeaten league run.
For the second successive Saturday they lost 2-1 at home but this was a very different tale to the FA Vase extra-time exit against Heanor Town.
Deeping should have done more as they missed out on an opportunity to climb above Newport Pagnell.
For half an hour it was a big battle without much quality.
Then the home side wasted the first clear-cut chance as Jamie Graham’s chested lay-off led to Charlie Coulson being challenged before Jordan Avis fired over from 15 yards.
Moments later Adam Scotcher - on his return after being cup-tied - appeared to be brought down inside the penalty box by Rob Tapp’s tackle.
A spot-kick was not awarded then but Deeping did get a chance from 12 yards on the stroke of half-time.
Scotcher was clearly fouled by Newport Pagnell skipper John Thorpe and the penalty was slotted in by Spencer Tinkler.
The lead was wiped out when Josh Crawley found space behind Deeping’s defence and knocked a cool finish past Daniel Bircham.
Graham got past Newport Pagnell number one Martin McIntyre but shot wide of the near post from a tight angle while Crawley went close to doubling his tally.
The winner came with 11 minutes to go as Jared Cunniff’s run ended with a left-foot drive into the bottom corner of the net.
Deeping didn’t look likely to rescue a point on a disappointing day when they were nowhere near their best.
Now they need to learn from what happened and use the experience to bounce back in two more home games to round off 2014.
4-2-2-2: Bircham 6; Carter 6, Tinkler 6, Braithwaite 6, Smith 6; Flack 6, Burton-Jones 6; Coulson 6, Avis 6 (sub Lewis 71 mins); Graham 7, Scotcher 6 (sub Goldson-Williams 77 mins). Subs not used: Palmer, Ginty.
NEWPORT PAGNELL TOWN
4-4-2: McIntyre; Tapp, Pryke, Thorpe, Williams; Brady (sub McDonald 82 mins), Smyth, Parrish, Cunniff; Lawless, Crawley (sub Shepherd 82 mins). Subs not used: Kotby, Mulkern.
Tinkler pen (44 mins, 1-0); Crawley (52 mins, 1-1); Cunniff (79 mins, 1-2).
Flack, Graham, Cunniff, Parrish (fouls).
Jamie Graham - always a threat with the skill to go past defenders and create space.