Deeping Rangers and Blackstones get their FA Vase campaigns underway
Deeping Rangers and Blackstones get their FA Vase campaigns underway this weekend with first qualifying round clashes.
The Clarets host Holwell Sports at the Haydon Whitham Stadium on Saturday while Blackstones make the trip to face United Counties League Division One rivals Ingles.
Deeping will be strong favourites in their tie against Melton Mowbray-based Holwell who play a level below the Clarets.
Rangers have already beaten Sports 3-0 in a pre-season friendly this term and boss Daniel French is keen to build on last weekend's Premier Division North success over Melton Town in the second of three home games for the Clarets.
French said: "We have been treating these matches as a mini period of three games so it was good to get the first one ticked off on Saturday.
"It's also been quite nice to not have a midweek game this week because it's allowed us to train, especially as some lads have missed games.
"We will go into the game on Saturday full of confidence but it's a no-lose situation for them as they will be coming wanting to take a scalp of a higher league team.
"We need to work as hard as Saturday and then our quality should be enough because we can't afford just to expect to turn up and win the game.
"We have to make sure that we do the right things and then we will have a really good chance of reaching the next round."
Blackstones go into their tie after some much-improved performances in their last two outings.
Following the 8-1 humbling at Kimberley Miners Welfare a fortnight ago, Stones have been beaten 2-0 in their last two matches against Dunkirk and Holwell Sports.
The midweek trip to Holwell left Stones hoping to have turned a corner for the rest of the campaign.
They dominated the play for much of the first half and, in the first 45 minutes, had more attempts on goal than in all the preceding matches but they were either too wide or high.
After a positive start to the second half, Stones saw new signing Nathan Smith – recruited from Deeping United - react quickest to a goalkeeping fumble only to see his effort flash wide.
A lapse in concentration then saw a quick break up the right wing by the home team and the cross into the box was converted past goalkeeper Jordan Packi by former Cottesmore frontman Tom Pope.
With 10 minutes remaining, Holwell took advantage of Stones' failure to clear their lines to secure all three points with a second goal.
Stones will also be in action on Wednesday night when they return to league action with a home match against Harrowby United.
Stones (v Holwell): Packi, Briggs, Ellison (Edwards), Warrington, Benton (Smith), Gilbert, Gargan, Taylor, Smith, Oxford, Wilde (Kavanagh). Sub not used: Cox.