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First half goal blitz sinks Clarets who now trail league leaders by 11 points

Deeping Rangers tasted defeat for the first time this season on their United Counties League Premier Division travels after a 4-1 away loss at table-topping Daventry on Saturday.

Michael Goode's side had gone into Saturday's match at the leaders having won 11 and drawn three of their 14 away league matches this season.

But a three-goal blitz in the opening period rocked Rangers who suffered back-to-back league losses for the first time this season after last week's home reversal to Rugby Town.

It leaves the third-placed Clarets 11 points adrift of the league leaders and Goode was left to rue a disappointing display on Saturday which strengthened Daventry's grip on the title chase.

Michael Goode (7524252)
Michael Goode (7524252)

Goode said: "They were the better team and were better in every department than us.

"We conceded a few silly free-kicks around the penalty area early on and they reacted first from one to take the lead.

"It deflated us a little bit after what happened last week, but we then rallied for next 15 or 20 minutes.

"Dan Jarvis had a good shot well saved and Michael Simpson's had an effort cleared off the line.

"We then started to build up a little bit of momentum without really troubling them again. We looked like we had settled into the game.

"They had the wind behind them in the first half and I thought that if we could go in half-time just a goal down then we could shake the lads up again and come out and have a go at it.

"But we conceded a disastrous second goal on the half-hour and you could really see the heads drop after that.

"They then got a penalty which I felt was a poor call and, going in at 3-0 down, it was game over.

"We rallied a bit in the second half and had some spells of pressure, but it was a poor day for us.

"It was a game where we had to have every player on a nine-out-of-ten, but unfortunately we didn't have more than a six-and-a-half or a seven.

"They were stronger and more physical than us and we need to have a bit re-grouping this week."

Deeping goalkeeper Lewis Elsom. (7524249)
Deeping goalkeeper Lewis Elsom. (7524249)

Rangers were again missing suspended full-back Luke Andersen and, with recent recruit Josh Pike unavailable, player assistant manager Jack Marsden came into the starting line-up for the first time since the win over Holbeach at the end of December.

The gamble on the fitness of Cameron Johnson, who had been forced off with a knee injury last weekend, also didn't work out as he had to be substituted after 20 minutes.

Midfielder Henry Dunn was back in the squad, but he had returned from a skiing trip with neck and shoulder injuries which restricted him to a substitutes role.

Daventry - who had lost just once in the league this season - broke the deadlock after 13 minutes when Joe Merrill's free-kick into the Deeping box was turned home by Luke Emery.

The lead was then doubled just before the half-hour mark as Merrill's through ball was collected by Clarets custodian Lewis Elsom but, instead of clearing first time, he had a touch and was forced to try and take on the incoming Adam Creaney and was dispossessed by the Daventry marksman who had an easy tap-in.

A third home goal followed nine minutes before the break as Dan Flack was adjudged to have fouled Kieran Fitzgerald in the box and Creaney converted the resultant spot kick.

The match was effectively ended eight minutes into the second period when Fitzgerald's cross to the back post was finished wirh aplomb by Orosz.

The Clarets then claimed their consolation with eight minutes remaining as Dan Schavi slotted home after Scott Mooney's initial effort had been saved by Lustin Cerga.

Rangers: Elsom, Flack (Moyo), Marsden, Burton-Jones, Hunnings, Jarvis, Simpson, Coulson (Carter), Mooney, Schiavi, Johnson (Walker). Subs not used: Dunn, Bircham.

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