DERBY DAY: Honours even for a fair result
Joe Braithwaite’s second-half free-kick cancelled out the opener by Scott Coupland as honours ended even.
Third-placed Deeping Rangers extended their unbeaten league run to 14 games but Sleaford Town’s display was worthy of a point.
Ex-Greens captain Coupland’s cool finish brought up a half-century of goals for the Clarets during that spell.
Yet it was a rare moment of quality with the composure to beat keeper Carl Stubbs following link-up play involving Jason Kilbride and Scott Mooney.
Coupland’s 24th goal of the season was typical of the free-flowing style delivered so often by Deeping.
However, they were forced to show a different side in a hard-working performance which had plenty of effort without too much enterprise.
Charlie Coulson’s early effort was pushed away, Mooney twice missed the target and Dan Schiavi fired over the bar.
Rangers almost snatched victory at the end as skipper David Burton-Jones was denied by Stubbs.
But there was no doubt that Sleaford deserved some reward which came courtesy of former Deeping defender Braithwaite’s 20-yard drive following a foul by Jonny Clay on Thomas Siddons.
They were unfortunate to be behind anyway as Richard Stainsby superbly tipped out Siddons’ header and Ryan Rushen nodded against the crossbar.
Eight minutes of stoppage-time brought controversy when Stainsby was booked for a foul on George Asplin 20 yards outside the penalty box, although the keeper appeared to head the ball away.
Rangers’ assistant-manager Jack Marsden was shown two yellow cards for dissent but overall it was a fair result.
4-4-2: Stainsby; Flack, Hunnings, Clay, Smith; Kilbride, Coulson, Burton-Jones, Schiavi; Mooney, Coupland. Subs not used: Marsden, Bird, Madigan, McSkelly, Bircham.
4-4-2: Stubbs; Worthington, Ward, Warman, Braithwaite; Siddons, Pemberton, Greenwood, Asplin; McMenemy (sub Hockin 68 mins), Rushen (sub Dongo 63 mins). Subs not used: Lynch, Andersen, Hollingworth.
Coupland (23 mins, 1-0); Braithwaite (66 mins, 1-1).
Marsden (second bookable offence).
Coulson, Stainsby (fouls); Greenwood, Marsden (dissent).