“IT was a winnable game,” said Deeping Rangers boss Tuncay Korkmaz following his side’s exit from the FA Cup at Derbyshire side Holbrook Sports on Saturday.
Rangers lost the Extra Preliminary Round tie 3-1 Holbrook Sports and Korkmaz complained: “We did not get going.”
“It was a difficult first game of the season but, no excuses, we should have done better. We had enough chances to at least get a draw.
“Two of their goals were wonder strikes, which was the difference. It would have been nice to have had a run in the cup and this one was winnable.”
Holbrook Sports from the East Midlands Counties Premier League may play at a level below Rangers but they proved more than a match for Rangers, taking an early lead when a direct free kick by Cory Bowler from about 30 yards eluded James Doughty in the Rangers goal to dip just under the bar.
Rangers had a lucky escape five minutes later when the bar denied the hosts a second goal.
Scott Whittingham in the Holbrook goal was a constant threat to the Rangers defence with his long kicks up field, and the travelling Rangers fans had to wait until stoppage time in the first half to see their team equalise. Rangers were awarded three corners in succession, which Holbrook failed to deal with, allowing Alex Beck to score at the far post.
Holbrook did not take long after the restart to restore their lead with Phil Cranvill rifling the ball past the fingers of the diving Doughty.
Deeping continued to pass the ball around but could not break down the wall of blue shirts, and at times Deeping seemed to lack ideas in front of goal.
The result was put beyond doubt late in the second half, when the Rangers defence was undone by Curtis Williamson, who had come on as a substitute only a few minutes earlier.
Deeping Rangers: James Doughty, Lawrence Lambley, Nick Jackson (Spencer Tinkler), Chris Logan, Steve Julian, Ciaran Holt, Harry Deane, David Burton-Jones (Matt Evans), Michael Byrne, Alex Beck, Kevin Brader (Kevin Gilbert)
Subs not used: Simon Ashton, Glenn Ihama.
ON Saturday, Rangers travel to Quorn, who have come down from Stamford’s Evo-Stik First Division South at the end of last season.
Deeping then face Shepshed Dynamo, who were also relegated to the UCL and both games will present stiff early season tests for Korkmaz’ side.