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Rugby Town

Rugby Town
Francis 23'
Seal 55'
Parker 85'
Hunnings og 90'+5

Rugby Town

Deeping Rangers
Johnson 12' (p)
Garrick 45'
Mooney 52'

Celebrate -  Rugby Town 4-3 Deeping Rangers - January 2020
Lee Thomas (right) jumps for joy as Rugby celebrate the stoppage time winner against Deeping Rangers at Butlin Road

Saturday 11 January 2020

United Counties League Premier Division
Butlin Road, Rugby
Attendance 198
Valley Star Man

Rugby Town came from behind to complete a sensational late comeback against rivals Deeping Rangers at Butlin Road.

Deeping sub Luke Hunnings' stoppage-time own goal settled a pulsating encounter to give Valley a deserved win, after Liam Francis, Ryan Seal and Dylan Parker had earlier found the net for the hosts.

Rugby were unchanged for this top of the table affair, and the two teams traded early chances, with Rangers' Cameron Johnson missing the target after rounding keeper Matt Hill and then Hill's opposite number Lewis Elsom denying Lee Thomas with his legs.

However the visitors took the lead from the penalty spot on twelve minutes, when Johnson stroked home after Jamal Clarke was adjudged to have impeded him in the area.

Town responded well to this setback though, and were straight on the front foot in the search of an equaliser.

A looping header from Francis was deflected onto the top of the net, but Rugby's centre-half was soon levelling things up when he rammed the ball in from close range after Clarke's initial header to a Seal corner had come back off the crossbar.

Lee Thomas had another shot saved by Elsom, and Clarke almost converted Seal's free-kick to the back-post, as the home side pushed for a second.

The busy Elsom then pulled off a fine stop to keep out a hooked effort from Francis, before he produced an even better one to deny Clarke at point blank range.

Deeping rallied a little ahead of the interval, with Tom Garrick's powerfully struck shot taken by Hill at the second attempt and Michael Simpson also putting one wide.

Garrick's header on the stroke of half-time meant the visitors retired to their dressing room with a lead though, after he rose highest to meet Jack Gurney's corner.

Rugby twice went close in the opening stages of the new period, with Dan Flack heading Parker's clever chip off the line and Lee Thomas flashing a ball across the face of the goal.

It was therefore against the run of play that Rangers further extended their advantage, when Scott Mooney looped the ball beyond Hill's reach after Johnson had done well out wide.

Valley pulled one back within a few minutes, when Seal's low strike to Parker's lay-back found the net - with Parker and then Seal almost adding another in the subsequent home attacking plays.

Rangers continued to create opportunities of their own too, as their generally direct tactics threatened to pay dividends, with David Burton-Jones blazing over from a decent position and Johnson's effort was deflected just over.

Sub Caine Elliott struck the post and then Parker found the crossbar with the rebound, as it appeared not to be Valley's day.

However with five minutes of normal time remaining, Parker did hit the target after Deeping were unable to clear a Seal free-kick into the box to make it three apiece.

Parker and Elliott saw their shots blocked as the end of the game approached, but there was still time for that 95th minute twist when the previously adept Elsom somehow completely misjudged James Hancocks' swerving ball into the box with Hunnings applying the final touch before the ball crossed the line.

Valley Line-up: Hill; Clarke, Francis, Recci; Evans (Revan), L.Thomas, Hancocks, C.Thomas (Elliott), Seal; Parker, Johnson. Subs not used: Marsden, Padmore, Rosser. Booked: None.

Deeping line-up: Elsom, Flack, Carter, Murphy, Anderson, Davies, Gurney, Simpson, Mooney, Johnson, Garrick. Subs: Coulson, Hunnings, Jones-Burton, Bannister, Shackleton.

Valley Line-up -  Rugby Town 4-3 Deeping Rangers - January 2020
Photos: Martin Pulley
Dylan Parker -  Rugby Town 4-3 Deeping Rangers - January 2020
Dylan Parker scored his tenth league goal of the season with five minutes remaining to equalise

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