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Deeping Rangers defeated by Quorn in their first home match of the Uhlsport United Counties League Premier Division season at the Haydon Whitham Stadium

Deeping Rangers failed to make the most of their home comforts as they went down to a 1-0 defeat against Quorn in their first match of the campaign at the Haydon Whitham Stadium on Saturday.

After grinding out two tough away wins at Lutterworth Town and Harborough Town in their previous outings, Rangers had been looking to secure a treble of triumphs to start the new campaign.

However, a subdued showing against well-organised Uhlsport United Counties League Premier Division newcomers Quorn ended their hat-trick hopes.

Jordan Macleod (15371817)
Jordan Macleod (15371817)

Kieran Fenton's second half header was the difference between two well-matched sides which left Clarets chief Michael Goode urging his charges to take more control of their own destiny in future close contests.

He said: "It's not a disaster because we have probably created enough half-chances during the game.

"It's just those fine margins - can we control things better, can we pass it better, can we get tighter to our men, can we defend the setpiece better for their goal?

"We didn't do anything about the things that were in our control.

"Things that are out of your control, like hitting the post, they run for you sometimes and sometimes they don't.

"We have got to control the things that we can a little bit more which is working harder, getting tighter in the box, not giving the ball away in areas where we should be keeping it and then we've got to take our chances.

"It's up to us to try and find that because we knew this first month was going to be a transitional period.

"We certainly could have done better in the last two games, but we got the results that we wanted and, if we had got a draw on Saturday, we would have said 'ok, we move onto the next one and see where we go.'

"A number of players have got to be quicker, better and want the ball a little bit more though.

"We're not a million miles away. We've got the players to be able to play, we just need to do it better."

Jeremiah Adams. (15371796)
Jeremiah Adams. (15371796)

Rangers had the strong wind in their favour in the opening period and, although they enjoyed the lions share of possession, their best efforts came from distance as Quorn proved difficult to break down.

Scott Mooney charged down an early clearance from Quorn goalkeeper Taylor McMillan, but the visitors regrouped to scramble clear while a teasing cross from Jeremiah Adams was well defended with Charlie Coulson firing the follow-up narrowly over the bar.

Rakeem Reid sent over a couple of inviting crosses for the visitors with Jack Jepson just failing to connect with one at the back post.

Jepson was then unable to convert a Leavi Oshungbure centre before Nathan Dale curled another effort over.

Jordan Macleod provided Rangers' greatest attacking threat and he fizzed a well-struck effort just over before being denied by a tidy save from McMillan after bursting into the Quorn box.

Fenton made a crucial block to divert Coulson's goalbound strike over the bar while at the other end Luke Andersen had to be alert with a vital interception to thwart the visitors in a three-on-one break as the opening period finished goalless.

The visitors, with the elements in their favour after the break, then broke the deadlock just ahead of the hour mark as Fenton rose highest to head home a corner from the left.

This sparked a strong Rangers response and they should have got back on level terms when Macleod's majestic surge down the left took him clear of the Quorn defence.

Unselfishly the former Peterborough Sports marksman squared the ball to the better-placed Adams who briefly lost his footing which allowed McMillan to narrow the angle and make a smart stop from close range.

Goalkeeper Lewis Elsom with first team coach Dan Bircham. (15371781)
Goalkeeper Lewis Elsom with first team coach Dan Bircham. (15371781)

Rangers pushed more men forward in search of an equaliser which left them exposed to the slick Quorn counter-attacks.

Jepson turned a Stephen Hart cross over the bar when well-placed before home goalkeeper Lewis Elsom kept his side in the game with two stunning saves.

He showed rapid reactions to divert away a Jepson shot from close range before denying Reid with Andersen producing a brilliant block to keep out the follow-up.

Scott Mooney thought he had equalised for Deeping with five minutes remaining only for his shot on the turn to rattle the Quorn post.

Dan Jarvis teed up substitute Michael Simpson for a late chance which was fired over as Quorn saw out the remaining injury-time to register their first win of the campaign.

Deeping will now be looking to bounce back on Wednesday night when they make the Premier Division trip to derby rivals Holbeach United.

First team coach Dan Bircham added: "We'll be looking for a reaction.

"We've got to pick ourselves up. We've got good players - we just need them to play better.

"You have to give Quorn credit on Saturday though as they defended very well. They made it very difficult for us and were well organised."

Deeping: Elsom, Flack, Andersen, Burton-Jones, Hunnings, Davies, Adams (Simpson), Coulson (Banister), Mooney, Macleod, Jarvis. Subs not used: Carter, Sturgess, Murphy.

Attendance: 84.

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