Manager Dan Marshall called for his players to show more application today following their horror show against Wyke Wanderers last Saturday, and they responded.
There may have been no goals in the game, but Deighton showed determination and guts in every department, and there was controversy at the end of the game when the referee dismissed multiple shouts for a handball as Joe Wilks's shot struck a defender on the goalline.
With several players ruled out, Marshall shuffled his pack bringing Luke Dubery and Wilks back into the defence and midfield and starting Rob Holliday and George Widdows. There was also a place for 16-year-old Kieran Arnett on the bench.
Following an immaculately observed minute's silence for HRH Prince Philip, the match began, and it was the home side who made the early running and won a brace of corners. However, Josh Buckley and Luke Dubery cleared.
Rangers defended well as Otley came forward again, but they sprung a quick counter-attack of their own which caused panic in Town's area. As the ball fell to Widdows, he had to shoot on the volley, and it went over.
Harvey Ribbons was next to try and create something, but no blue shirts had broken into the area as he crossed and Otley cleared. Minutes later, a deep free-kick by the hosts needed Jonty Smith to jump high and punch clear.
Widdows showed intelligent play to catch the two centre-backs out as he darted onto a long ball. Shooting past the keeper, the custodian was relieved to look backwards and see it roll the wrong side of the post.
Smith was forced into action to produce a double save with his feet as Otley turned up the pressure. Breaking down the right, Josh Buckley tracked his man and delivered a perfectly timed sliding tackle to clear the danger.
The referee awarded Otley a free-kick on the edge of Deighton's area when Smith was adjudged to have handled outside his area. Hitting the free-kick goalwards, Smith atoned with a great tip-over.
Deighton came back up the pitch, and Otley's defender blocked Ribbon's shot. A Trent Alexander-Arnold right to left pass by Dubery released Ribbons down the flank, but as he cut the ball back to Barden, a defender nicked the ball off him.
Dubery was called into defensive action when he slid in to block an Otley shot. As the rebound fell to an orange shirt, Smith dived low to make the save.
A flicked ball over Otley's defence by Barden allowed Widdows to try and win the header, but out-jumping him was the keeper, who showed some great handling skill to win the challenge.
The hosts squandered a great chance to take the lead as half-time loomed. A break down the left saw the ball crossed into the back post. Controlling well, the Otley player shot straight at Smith from close range.
Half-Time: Otley Town 0 v 0 Kirk Deighton Rangers
Otley started the second half on the front foot again, and Rangers needed Josh Buckley's long legs to intervene as he slid in to tackle the Otley player.
Smith produced the first of two superb diving saves as Otley worked the ball along the outside of the area. Finally finding a gap to shoot, Smith saw the danger and dived to his right to parry the shot.
Otley thought they had scored in the 52nd minute, but the referee had blown his whistle for offside, and despite protests, the goal didn't stand.
Going back up through the gears, Rangers started to pile on the pressure. Jake Little played in Conor Buckley, but the keeper spread himself well to deflect his low shot and then saved with his feet as Buckley went for the rebound.
Rangers knocked on the door again minutes later when Widdows picked out Ribbons. Crossing low, Barden was about a foot away from connecting, but the keeper managed to smother the danger. Deighton attacked again straight away, but Little was called offside as he broke into the area.
The first substitution saw the injured Dominic Walton replaced by Mike McCartney.
A foul on the edge of Deighton's area gave Otley a shooting chance, and Smith produced his second superb save of the game as he was at full stretch to divert the ball wide.
Following another change that saw Jake Bollon replace Little, Rangers had a superb chance when Barden found himself one-on-one with the keeper. Placing his shot low, the keeper spread himself well and stopped the ball with his foot.
A suicidal pass across the area saw Barden intercept. Passing to Ribbons the full-back lifted his shot over both keeper and bar.
Rangers were turning the screw and looked the more likely to score. A good throw by Joe Wilks found Widdows, but his shot found the side-netting.
Confusion in the Rangers penalty area nearly cost Deighton, but at the last second Smith got across his line and cleared from under his crossbar.
With 81 minutes on the clock, Otley survived a massive shout for handball after a good turn by Barden had seen his shot rebound off the post and into Wilks' path. Shooting hard, the ball struck the Otley defender on the hand just before the goal line, but the referee wasn't moved by Deighton's claims and allowed play to continue.
With a last throw of the dice to try and snatch a winner, Marshall threw on Arnett for Ribbons in the 89th minute, but it wasn't to be a dream debut, and both teams had to settle for a point.
Full-Time: Otley Town 0 v 0 Kirk Deighton Rangers
Verdict: A superb response from last week's performance. The lads delivered what the Manager wanted against a very tough opponent. Although there were no goals, chances were created, and it won't be long before they are hitting the back of the net. What was also very pleasing to see was the whole team defended well and never really let Otley have a clear chance. On the rare occasion the home side found a way through, Jonty Smith was there and put in a great shift.
Team: Smith, Ribbons (Arnett, 89), Buckley.J, Dubery, Buckley.C, Holliday.R, Walton (McCartney, 56), Wilks (c), Little (Bollon, 68), Barden, Widdows
Subs: All used.
Yellow Cards: Otley - None.
Rangers - None.
Red Card: Otley - None
Rangers - None
Bennett & Fountain Electrical Wholesalers Man Of The Match: Jonty Smith.
Results: Saturday 17th April 2021
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