Deeping Rangers 1 Stotfold 1
Saturday, 22 December 2007
The top two played out a scrappy stalemate at Outgang Road, an outcome of more benefit to the Eagles who have four games in hand over the reigning champions.
Lee Ellison and Richard Thompson failed to hit the target for Deeping early on while Lee Allinson volleyed narrowly wide for Stotfold.
Visiting keeper Brad Gillham distinguished himself with two fine saves, first turning away Tawhid Juneja's misplaced clearance from a John-Paul Duncliffe free kick and then spreading himself well to thwart David Cobb after the winger cut inside.
Deeping made the breakthrough after 34 minutes when Ellison played the ball in behind the visiting defence for Cobb to run clear and cut inside before slotting home.
On resumption Cobb threatened to increase the home advantage with a solo run, but Paul Donnelly's vital block kept Stotfold in the game.
The visitors improved as the game progressed and Allinson's volley from a Louis Lee knock down was narrowly too high.
A fingertip save from Gillham kept out a Michael Stevenson free kick curled around the defensive wall, and the Eagles levelled after 74 minutes.
Joel Mason raced past his marker on the right and his cross picked out Paul Garrett who squeezed a shot just inside Danny Bircham's right hand post.
Three minutes later Mason had the chance to win the contest for the Eagles after collecting a Garrett pass, but Bircham blocked his first effort and the striker fired over from the rebound.
Deeping: Danny Bircham, John-Paul Duncliffe, Matt Porter, Michael Stevenson (Richard Challinor), Dave Cornell, Michael Goode, David Cobb, Lee Ellison, Richard Thompson (Mark Kingston), Adam Weston, Andy Ellis.
Stofold: Brad Gillham, Tommy Hull, Paul Donnelly (Mark Bryant), Colin Shambrook, Tawhid Juneja, Louis Lee, Ricky Case, Luke Donnelly, Joel Mason, Lee Allinson, Paul Garrett.