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Deeping Rangers defeat Sleaford Town in a United Counties League Premier Division clash

Deeping Rangers made a rapid return to winning ways with a 2-0 home success over Sleaford Town on Tuesday night.

The Clarets had fallen to a heavy 5-0 away defeat at Rugby in Saturday’s United Counties League Premier Division clash.

But goals from Dan Banister and joint player-manager Lee Clarke saw Rangers rise up to sixth spot ahead of this weekend’s home match with Leicester Nirvana.

Dan Banister gave Deeping the lead on Tuesday night.
Dan Banister gave Deeping the lead on Tuesday night.

Clarke was pleased with the performance from his side who responded to Saturday’s setback with a controlled display.

He said: “We were pleased overall but the three points was the most important thing.

“We could have scored more if we had taken our chances, but it was just important to get the three points following a result like Saturdays.

“We controlled the possession and dominated most of the game. They had a couple of moments but overall I don’t think they could have any complaints about the result.

“Jake Showler tore them to shreds in the first half and put some great balls into the box, but we just didn’t get on the end of them.

“We didn’t play as good football in the second half but created more clear-cut chances and it could have been more on another day.

“The performance was good all in all. We passed the ball really well and looked confident. It was a nice bounce-back performance.”

Rangers were quickly on the front foot against a visiting Sleaford side who are still seeking their first points of the campaign.

Banister came close with early effort which was well saved by Garry Doran in the Sleaford goal while Jake Showler just failed to connect with an inviting centre.

Full-backs Dan Flack and Matt Carter both went close with shots from distance before Tai Williams had an effort disallowed for offside midway through the first half.

Sleaford started to grow into the contest as the half wore on and Wes Greenwood had their best chance as he burst clear only to be thwarted by Dan Swan’s solid block.

Banister drilled a low shot wide for the hosts before they finally found the breakthrough which their possession deserved on the stroke of half-time.

Clarke brought the ball under control in the box and calmly slipped an astute pass into the path of Banister who slotted home.

Rangers remained on the offensive after the break with Carter curling an early shot wide before Deeping doubled their lead after 51 minutes.

Banister was this time the provider as his near post corner was headed home past Doran by Clarke.

The Sleaford goalkeeper then kept the Clarets at bay with good saves to deny Banister and Jake Sansby before his opposite number Swan got a vital touch with an unstretched leg to keep out the visitors’ best opening from Sam Jackson.

Deeping continued to look the more likely team to add to their tally but, despite Clarke going close a couple of times late on, they were unable to increase the margin of their victory.

Ben Cowles in action for Blackstones last season. (42504070)
Ben Cowles in action for Blackstones last season. (42504070)

The Clarets are now setting their sights on the rest of the season after a promising start to the campaign.

Clarke added: “Nirvana will be quite difficult on Saturday and they will have all the hard-working attributes so we will have to match that.

“If we play anywhere like we did on Tuesday night, in terms of use of the ball and confidence by moving it around, then I’m confident we can get three points.

“We need to take Tuesday’s performance into every game because we don’t want to be doing it in fits and starts.

“We need to have that bravery about us when we play all the teams. You have to take into account the opposition and what they’re doing, but it would be nice for us to step it up a little bit against the top sides.”

Rangers have also boosted their ranks by signing winger Ben Cowles from Division One side Whittlesey.

Cowles played under Clarke and co-boss Daniel French last season at Blackstones and they are expecting him to make an impact at the Haydon Whitham Stadium.

Clarke commented: “Ben has started the season well at Whittlesey and will give us more competition and strength in depth.

“We’ve worked with him for last couple of seasons so we know his strengths and weaknesses.

“He’s comfortable in the formation which we play and he’s got a lot going for him. He’s grown as a player massively over the last two years and we think he has got the ability to step up again.”

Rangers: Swan, Flack (Walton), Carter, Bloodworth, Hunnings, Rhiney (Coulson), Banister, Clarke, Sansby, Showler (Cowles), Williams. Sub not used: De Sousa.

Attendance: 101.

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