Deeping Rangers host Stanway Rovers in FA Vase second round clash at the Haydon Whitham Stadium
Deeping Rangers manager Michael Goode wants his side fully focused on a tough start to their FA Vase campaign before they have any thoughts about matching last season’s record-breaking run.
The Clarets created club history last season when they reached the last 16 of the national competition for the first time ever before they were eventually beaten by Willand Rovers after a mammoth trip to Devon.
Last season’s exploits earned Rangers an exemption until Saturday’s second round clashes where they will host Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division side Stanway Rovers at the Haydon Whitham Stadium (kick-off 3pm).
The Essex side are currently third in their division, which is at the same level as Deeping, having lost just two of their 11 league games this season and Goode is predicting a stern test for his side whose game last weekend at home to Loughborough University was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.
He said: “I don’t know anything about Stanway, but sides in the Thurlow Nunn League tend to like to get the ball down and play good football which will suit the way we play.
“If they’re third in their division then they will be a half-decent side so we will need to be at our best.
“We’ve done well recently with a good performance at Wellingborough while we could have scored more goals against Pinchbeck last midweek.
“But we’re just going to take every game as it comes. At our level where there aren’t contracts or anything it can be vastly different from one year to the next.
“I’m not going to say that we’re aiming to better last season when we reached the last 16 because we’re just getting started in what will be a very tough game on Saturday.
“The aim is to get a good result on Saturday and then see what happens next.
“All of the games in the FA Vase are 50/50 matches. If both teams play well, we have a good chance of still winning; if only we play well then we should win the game but, if we don’t play well, then we’re going to be struggling.”
Goode was pleased how his side overcame a tricky test to progress into the last eight of the Kitman UK League Cup with a 4-1 victory at Division One side Irchester United on Tuesday night.
Despite an own goal giving the Romans the lead, David Burton-Jones levelled for the Clarets after goalkeeper Lewis Elsom had made a couple of crucial saves.
Dan Jarvis put Rangers ahead just before half-time and goals from Jack Gurney and the fit-again Jason Kilbride after the break secured a quarter-final tie away at Premier Division leaders Shepshed Dynamo.
Goode commented: “It was a very tricky fixture. We had a couple of players – Dan Banister and Tom Garrick – missing through injury so we went there a little bit light.
“Irchester are doing alright in their league and are very pacy going forward. We needed Lewis to make a couple of good saves after going behind.
“We got in front just before half-time and, although we didn’t play particularly well in the second half, the result never really looked in any doubt.
“The boys got the job done and I was pleased to see that Jason got a goal after a long time out with a bad injury.
“It’s unfortunate that we’ve been drawn away for the third time.
“There were a lot more favourable ties than being away at Shepshed, but we played well against them in the league recently so we’ll regroup and go again.”
More by this authorJames Bedford