NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Eynesbury Rovers look set to spend another season in the upper reaches of the United Counties League Premier Division
- Credit: Archant
Eynesbury Rovers are on a roll.
Mark Ducket’s side climbed up to fifth place in the United Counties League Premier Division courtesy of a third successive league victory yesterday.
And while their 1-0 success against Deeping Rangers at Hall Road lacked the ruthlessness of a 7-1 rout of bottom side Cogenhoe and the dominance of a 3-0 midweek drubbing of Peterborough Northern Star, it was just as important.
In fact it was probably more impressive as well when taking into account the standard of the opposition (Deeping are the only team to have beaten red-hot title favourites Peterborough Sports this season) and the injury headaches suffered by Rovers (they lost two members of their starting back-four during this game).
The decisive moment arrived six minutes into the second half as livewire Rovers striker Allan Owen, a player on loan from St Ives Town, gave a slick passing move the finishing touch it deserved.
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Owen, who presumably has rocket launchers fitted inside his boots, was a constant nuisance to the visiting Rangers defence which was better equipped to deal with aerial balls than searing pace.
He should have broken the deadlock much earlier when bursting into the box and stabbing a shot wide of the near post with only Deeping goalkeeper Danny Bircham to beat.
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Owen also ignored a simple pass to fellow frontman Craig Smith when preferring to shoot himself – the first of several occasions that the dangerous attackers appeared to be on different wavelengths.
There was nothing wrong with Owen’s decision-making later in the first half when he was denied by a fine Bircham save before Smith’s follow-up was blocked by a defender.
Eynesbury then lost centre-back Darren Woodend to a suspected rib injury before receiving a let-off on the stroke of half-time when Deeping winger Jason Kilbride’s shot from a glorious position lacked pace and direction.
The same couldn’t be said of Owen’s precise finish six minutes into the second period after a move involving Smith and substitute Rhys Thorpe.
Another Rovers reshuffle was required when Ben Hickling, who had already been shifted from right back to left back, succumbed to a knee problem.
His departure meant Eynesbury completed the final 25 minutes with only one member of their defence in his recognised position – and that man James Ducket was nothing short of colossal as they preserved their advantage.
The uncertainty didn’t stop them chasing a second goal and only a smart Bircham stop denied Owen.
But the save of the match – and probably of the season at this level – came at the other end from Rovers number one Jamie Greygoose.
He flung himself to his right in the style of Gordon Banks to preserve Eynesbury’s advantage by keeping out a header from the Pele of this situation, Rangers substitute Will Bird.
It came shortly after Hayden Bream had hooked another Deeping headed effort off the line following a corner and was a moment of class worthy of securing victory.
It did exactly that for an Eynesbury side who already look capable of establishing themselves inside the Premier Division top six for the second successive season.
Godmanchester Rovers remain third-bottom of the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division after slipping to a home defeat yesterday.
Rovers were beaten 3-1 by Great Yarmouth at the David Wilson Homes Ground.
Recent signing Jordan Brockett hit the locals’ goal when halving their arrears in the second half, but they couldn’t claw their way onto level terms before conceding again.