MATCH VERDICT: Deeping Rangers are class act on opening night
The promotion bid is off to a dream start.
On this form, it would take something special to stop Deeping Rangers reaching their target.
If they respond in the right way to manager Michael Goode’s call for consistency, the Clarets can turn those ambitions into reality.
Last season, they came runners-up three times. So they won’t be in any mood to be second best yet again.
After only 90 minutes of the league campaign, it looks to be a familiar story at the Haydon Whitham Stadium.
There is no reason why we should not continue to use phrases such as ‘the great entertainers’ and ‘the pass masters’. At this level, you won’t see much better.
Deeping’s creativity from sharp passing and one-touch play will always give them plenty of chances.
In the final third, they can be clinical – as Scott Coupland and Dan Schiavi showed on Tuesday night.
All over the pitch, Deeping were much better than one of the teams who would also be backed as championship contenders.
In their second league game of the season, Wisbech Town were well beaten.
Of course, it’s too early to get carried away – but the Clarets are clearly a class act when they perform like this.
It took until midway in the first half for Deeping to take control and they never looked back.
Coupland slotted home the opener, Schiavi doubled the advantage and it should have been more emphatic.
Deeping were denied by the crossbar twice before the break from Schiavi’s corner kicks.
Skipper David Burton-Jones’ header bounced over and Charlie Ward watched his effort pushed onto the woodwork by Sam Vince.
In between, Rangers got a warning as Richard Stainsby was forced to claw away Alex Beck’s header.
But the only other save for the home keeper came in the closing stages to push out Kieran Hamilton’s low drive.
Stainsby was protected by his team-mates and Wisbech had no answers.
It was no surprise when the deadlock was broken as last season’s 47-goal leading marksman Coupland got off the mark for this campaign.
Jonny Clay fed the pass, Scott Mooney played a dummy and Coupland raced clear to coolly beat Vince.
Schiavi went close with a 30-yard free-kick and soon afterwards, he made it 2-0.
Stainsby’s free-kick on the right touchline inside his own half was flicked on by Mooney to Coupland who fed Schiavi for a low finish inside the near post.
‘Keep passing it’ was the message from the Clarets’ management – and that’s the style which makes them so good to watch.
Coupland missed a golden chance on a counter-attack but Deeping didn’t need to do any more at the end of a very impressive performance.
4-2-3-1: Stainsby 7; Flack 8, Ward 8, Clay 8, Smith 8; Coulson 8, Burton-Jones 8; Dunn 8, Coupland 8 (sub Marsden 87 mins), Schiavi 8; Mooney 8. Subs not used: Hunnings, Hockin, Avis, Bircham.
4-3-3: Vince; Emmington (sub Hamilton 79 mins), Wilson (sub Cousins 65 mins), Connor, Yong; Millson, Murphy, Buzas (sub Knight h-t); Beck, Ford, Frew. Sub not used: Baldry.
Coupland (35 mins, 1-0); Schiavi (57 mins, 2-0).
Burton-Jones, Ford (fouls); Clay (persistent fouling).
Dan Schiavi – created openings and scored the second goal.
Whitworth (A) – Saturday.