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Rampant Rovers rack up flurry of late goals against Clarets

Deeping Rangers boss Michael Goode wants his side to replicate the intensity of their performance against the professionals of Doncaster Rovers on Wednesday night when their new United Counties League season starts this weekend.

A strong League One side eventually overcame their UCL Premier Division hosts with a flurry of goals in the second period after Deeping had acquited themselves well in the opening half.

And Goode is urging his side to build on the positives of their performance when they travel to Sleaford Town on Saturday night (7.45pm kick-off) in their first match of the Premier Division campaign which is part of the annual Groundhop weekend.

Goode said: "Wednesday was a tough night for us. It wasn't as if we were up against a few trialists or a sprinkling of fringe players - that was a full-blown first team.

"I was disappointed with the three goals we conceded in the first half with the shots coming from outside the box which weren't closed down, but you're not going to come across that sort of quality at our level.

"I thought we had a real go for the last 15 minutes of the first half. We got a goal back and should have had a penalty.

"We showed that we can play properly and create opportunities and that's what we've got to take into the league campaign.

"The second half was just an onslaught of pace, but I'm not really worried about the overall result because this sort of match wasn't really planned into our pre-season.

"In terms of preparation, it would have better for us to have played the youth team as planned, but it was a good night for the club overall.

"It was a great opportunity for the lads to play against a professional team and we can take a lot of positives from our performance.

"We will work on the intensity of our play and, if we can repeat that on Saturday night, then we will be alright."

Lee Hellwing (3283508)
Lee Hellwing (3283508)

League One Rovers - managed by ex-Peterborough boss Grant McCann - brought a strong side to the Haydon Whitham Stadium as promised.

And they signalled their intentions in the early forays with Deeping goalkeeper Josh Carpenter making a superb early save to tip over Danny Amos' fierce strike.

It did only take Rangers eight minutes to break the deadlock though as the pacy Alex Kiwomya unleashed a fierce strike that gave Carpenter no chance.

The ex-Corby keeper then did well to deny Alfie May who had burst clear before Doncaster doubled their lead after 16 minutes with the goal of the night.

Carpenter cleared his lines to the halfway mark where the ball was picked up by James Coppinger who returned it first time with interest as his 45-yard effort flew into the home goal which, even at this even stage, is unlikely to be bettered this season.

The visitors added their third goal midway through the opening period when trialist Paul Taylor collected the ball on the edge of the 18-yard box before the ex-Peterborough and Ipswich play-maker rifled home a sweet strike into the bottom corner.

That goal riled Rangers into their best spell of the game as David Burton-Jones flashed a well-struck shot narrowly wide.

Their enterprise was then rewarded as a fine flowing move involving Burton-Jones and Schiavi saw the latter cross for Rangers' new recruit Billy Stubbs to sweep home at the far post.

Schiavi then brought a decent save out of Doncaster goalkeeper Marko Marosi before flashing the rebound across the face of the goal as Deeping finished the half on top.

However, any hopes of a stirring fightback were quickly extinguished within the first five minutes of the second period.

May broke the offside trap to slot home within three minutes of the restart and then added his second and Rovers fifth two minutes later.

Jason Kilbride headed just wide from a Schiavi free-kick as Rangers rallied before Doncaster regained their dominance in the latter stages.

Cody Prior converted a May cross to make it 6-1 before Matty Blair headed home at the far post.

May's torment of the Deeping defence in the second half then saw him complete his hat-trick in the final minute of a contest which was of mutual benefit to both clubs.

Lee Hellwing (3283480)
Lee Hellwing (3283480)

It enabled Doncaster boss McCann to get useful minutes into his charges ahead of their League One campaign while Rangers raised their profile with a tidy crowd of more than 300 coming through the gates.

Attention now turns though to the more pressing matter of their opening United Counties League game at Sleaford.

The early timing of the fixture means Deeping will be without the prolific Scott Mooney and midfielder Henry Dunn, but recent recruits Harry Allcock and Carlton Beardmore will return after missing the Doncaster duel.

Goode commented: "It's not ideal having the first game so early in terms of where we are at, but we have had the benefit of being part of the Groundhop before so it's only right to be in it again.

"The main problem is that we have a lot of players who work in education who want to take a holiday as soon as they break up."

Rangers also have a pre-season friendly on Tuesday night - three days after the start of their league campaign - when Evo-Stik League Division One East side Spalding United visit the Haydon Whitham Stadium.

Deeping: Carpenter, Briers, Andersen, Burton-Jones, Hunnings, Stubbs, Coulson, Simpson, Kilbride, Schiavi, Flack. Subs: Couzens, Munton, Fryett, Swales (GK), Dee, Carter, Ilsley, Silva, Southern.

Doncaster: Marosi, Lund, Amos, McCullough, Wright, Garratt, Blair, Coppinger, May, Kiwomya, Taylor. Subs: Jones, Fletcher, Prior, Ben-Khemis, Gibbons, Watters, Trialist.

Attendance: 308.

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