Deeping Rangers 1 Long Buckby 1
Saturday, 11 August 2007
Champions Rangers were held by a determined Buckby side in their Outgang Road opener.
Clear openings were rare in the first half as two competent defences had the better of things.
The champs looked the more likely to make the breakthrough with Mark Kingston's mazy run ended by alert goalkeeing from Rushden & Diamonds loanee Martyn Margason while Michael Stevenson headed over and David Cobb's effort from distance found Margason well placed to save.
Stevenson again went close before Buckby began to threaten, Kevin Slinn's snap shot well saved by Danny Bircham, and Stuart Smeathers heading over from a Darren Harmon free kick.
Deeping took the lead after 52 minutes, Scott Woods crossing from the left, Danny Matson flicking a header goalward and Stevenson stabbing home from close range.
Margason kept the Bucks in the game with a good save from the lively Kingston and an even better stop to turn away Sam Bettinson's goalbound header.
Buckby gradually took the initiative and after Smeathers again stole in to head over, they equalised after 82 minutes, substitute Carl Holmes heading in after the home defence failed to deal with a Ben Foster cross from the left.
In stoppage time Buckby sweeper Darren Harmon was red carded after an off the ball incident, but the ten men were closest to a winner with Foster's dipping volley narrowly off target.
Deeping: Danny Bircham, John-Paul Duncliffe, Scott Woods, Michael Stevenso, Lee Howarth, Michael Goode, Mark Kingston (Andy Ellis), Ben Daly, Sam Bettinson, Danny Matson, David Cobb.
Long Buckby: Martyn Margason, Ryan Nash (Dan Burke), Stuart Smeathers, Mark Njotsa, Andreas Kattos, Darren Harmon, Richard Bunting, Jon Crockett, Kevin Slinn (Carl Holmes), Ben Foster, Richard Bailey.