Deeping Rangers defeated by Oadby Town in United Counties League Premier Division clash
Deeping Rangers paid the price for failing to seize the initiatives after falling to their third home United Counties League loss of the season following a 3-2 reversal against Oadby Town on Saturday.
The Clarets were left to rue a saved penalty inside the opening 10 minutes and an inability to hold onto a 2-1 first half lead in the Premier Division clash at the Haydon Whitham Stadium.
An Oadby side - who are 15th in the table - had benefited from some generous Deeping defending to score their opening two goals.
They then grabbed the winner with 13 minutes of the contest remaining as third-placed Rangers ran out of ideas in a second half performance which manager Michael Goode described as 'woeful.'
Goode said: "These are the sort of the games we have to be dominating.
"I thought we did alright in the first 10 minutes. We got a penalty and, if we had scored it, we're 1-0 up early on, playing at home, and can settle the game down.
"We were on top at that point and, if we had scored the first goal, we would probably have gone on and got another couple in that half.
"We then conceded an absolutely horrendous goal. It was really poor defending, but we then got back in it at 1-1 and went and got ourselves 2-1 up.
"But we've conceded another goal which was pretty easy for them to score when we should have just hung on at 2-1. We just can't defend like that - it was rubbish.
"We were then woeful in the second half. We just needed to stay in the game at 2-2 and, then every time you come into their half, you've got a chance.
"Even if it's still 2-2 with five minutes to go then everything you chuck into the box will give you the chance of a winning goal.
"For players that have got pedigree, in a good changing room with a strong squad, we should have been dominating that game and we didn't.
"We didn't tackle, we didn't head, we lost our shape and didn't pass the ball properly but, if you're 1-0 up and you get that first goal or go in 2-1 up at half-time, you come out second half and control the game.
"We were never up and it's like that every game we're in."
An entertaining opening period saw both sides trade chances in the early exchanges as Lamar Parkes headed a decent opportunity over from a Nyle Patel cross.
Parkes then blazed over after a rapid run at the Deeping defence before on-loan Clarets defender Jack Keeble fizzed a shot over after a promising home attack.
Deeping were starting to get into their stride and a slick interchange of passes saw Scott Mooney latch onto Matt Sparrow's low cross but, as he attempted to round Brandon Pickard, the Oadby goalkeeper sent the home frontman tumbling.
Pickard though immediately redeemed himself by flinging himself high to his right to palm away Dan Flack's spot kick.
And, within seven minutes of Deeping seeing the penalty saved, Oadby had hit the front as a long clearance wasn't dealt with by an indecisive Rangers back-line and Ben Osei took full advantage to power home a low drive into the Clarets net.
Rangers' response was rapid though and within three minutes they had levelled as Mooney turned a defender on the edge of the box before drilling home a fine finish into the bottom corner.
They then took the lead for the first time six minutes later as Sparrow picked out Dan Jarvis who engineered himself some space before slotting home beyond the diving Pickard.
Pickard then produced a superb save to deny Jarvis with his fingertips, but Rangers could only hold onto the lead for six minutes before Oadby levelled just past the half-hour mark.
Chris Anastasi rounded off a searing run by delivering a dangerous cross which bisected the Deeping defence and, as the ball broke free when Osei went in with goalkeeper Lewis Elsom, the Oadby frontman recovered first to tee up Parkes for a simple tap-in.
Patel and Anastasi then both sent efforts narrowly wide of the Deeping goal as the visitors looked to assert their authority on proceedings going into the half-time break.
Both sides struggled to create clear-cut chances in the second half as Deeping ditched their usual passing game in their desperation for a third goal.
Oadby dealt well with everything hit at them while also looking strong on the break through their pacy attackers.
It needed a superb last-ditch tackle from Keeble to prevent Patel having a free run at goal before Oadby made the all-important breakthrough after 77 minutes.
Parkes' cross picked out substitute Sam Burton who created space for himself and then rifled a shot into the far corner beyond the diving Elsom.
The setback rocked Rangers and they never looked like getting back on level terms again with the closest being a speculative cross-come-shot from substitute Tom Garrick that was brilliantly clawed away by Pickard.
With league leaders Shepshed falling to their first defeat of the season against second-placed Quorn on Saturday, Deeping's failure to make up ground at the top has left them nine points adrift of pole position having played two games more than the sides above them.
Deeping: Elsom, Keeble, Flack, Burton-Jones, Hunnings, Davies (Banister), Gurney (Garrick), Murphy (Simpson), Mooney, Jarvis, Sparrow. Subs notused: Kilbride, Carter.
More by this authorJames Bedford