Deeping crash back to earth after FA Vase romp with hiding at Rugby
Deeping Rangers joint manager Daniel French admitted his side had been given a "reality check" by five-goal Rugby Town on Saturday.
Just a week after the Clarets had run riot in the Buildbase FA Vase, putting ten goals past GNG Oadby Town at the Haydon Witham Stadium, French and joint manager Clarke saw the other side of football's fortunes in south Warwickshire.
Deeping were forced into two changes from the side that demolished the Poachers, with Jack Bloodworth replacing the suspended David Burton-Jones and Jake Showler coming in for the injured Charlie Coulson.
But Rugby showed the kind of ruthlessness in front of goal that saw them put six past Pinchbeck United on the opening day of the season as James Hancocks curled in a 25-yard screamer after just three minutes.
Danico Johnson made it 2-0 just before half time before a double for Charlie Evans and a low finish from Dylan Parker saw the Valley score three times without reply in the second half.
French said: "We got everything we deserved because we were totally off it from the start.
"Rugby are a good side and they had two or three strong individuals.
"But we allowed them to play like that, we didn't close them down and when they scored after three minutes, it set the tone for the rest of the match.
"We missed a really good chance at 1-0 down and had it got to 1-1, it might have been different.
"But we gave Rugby far too much freedom, far too much respect and we allowed them to pretty much do what they wanted."
French pointed to the injury of Coulson, who failed a fitness test before the game, and the less than fully fit Dan Flack as factors that hindered Deeping on Saturday.
"When you go to places like Rugby, you need to be at full strength as much as you can," French said.
"But there was no adverse hangover from the FA Vase game, we were just not at it and we just didn't start well.
"Then it's an uphill battle and when it went to 3-0 down, the players looked lost.
"But it wasn't a case of us looking at the players and thinking: 'We weren't good enough'.
"It's more of a reality check and we're glad to have a game on Tuesday night (at home to Sleaford Town), so we've got a chance to put it right."