Deeping boss Goode admits his side were 'outbattled' by Rothwell Corinthians in cup semi-final defeat
Manager Michael Goode had "few complaints" after watching his Deeping Rangers side miss out on a cup final against Holbeach United.
The Clarets were in trouble after falling 2-0 behind at Sergeants Lawn inside the first half-hour of the tie, with Rothwell's goals coming from by Andy White and Kalon Penisako.
In-between the goals, Jordan Macleod hit the post before the Deeping striker gave his side hope by scoring a penalty before half-time after a cross was adjudged to have hit a Rothwell defender's hand.
But after a double save by Danny Bircham, the Corinthians were awarded a penalty of their own which Merson Styles converted to book his side's place in the KitmanUK Knockout Cup Final for the first time in the club's history.
Goode said: "I have few complaints because Rothwell are a good side and they could be around the top six in the league if they win their games in hand.
"They are a totally different outfit on their own pitch which was wet and sticky.
"So when you go away to a place like Rothwell, you have to keep a clean sheet and stay in the game for as long as you can.
"We were 1-0 down in three minutes against a side who are robust, full of strong, physical players who get the ball from back to front quickly.
"Then we hit the post and were unlucky not to equalise before half-time.
"We gave a free kick away on the far side that was never a free kick because the referee has given it for a high foot up by Luke Andersen when it wasn't even dangerous.
"But we didn't pick up from the resulting free kick and the lad has got a free header to score.
"2-0 at Rothwell is a tough ask to come back from, but then we got a penalty which gave us a lifeline and for 20 minutes in the second half, we were a little bit more dominant.
"But then halfway through the half, the referee gave a penalty to Rothwell when there wasn't even a Deeping player in the box.
"It was one of the worst refereeing decisions I've seen in ten years of UCL management.
"With the game at 2-1, in a semi-final with two UCL Premier Division clubs, it was a massive decision, one of two or three big decisions that the referee got totally wrong.
"Even the penalty we got when Jordan Macleod crossed it in and it's hit their lad's arm was harsh.
"It was just a day when we got outbattled and we didn't stay in the game for as long as we wanted to.
"But in a cup game it's 50-50 and they were better than us on the day.
"They had a game plan which they stuck to and we helped them with that."
Rangers had seen a first minute raid on the home goal halted when Jack Gurney’s surge was stopped by a solid tackle from Corinthians defender Ben Johnson.
From the resultant goal kick, Jordan Henson’s glancing header found Andy White who got the better of Luke Hunnings to force his way into the penalty area.
Onrushing Rangers keeper Dan Bircham did force White wide but, having got into a more difficult shooting position, he squeezed the ball past the custodian and two defenders on the line to give Rothwell an early lead.
Rangers responded and Macleod’s fine run took him past three Rothwell defenders but, from a tight angle, his low drive rattled the far post with Corinthians clearing the follow-up.
The hosts then doubled their lead when Marcio Concalves’ free-kick into the box found Kalon Penisako who judged the flight of the ball perfectly and simply nodded home.
Deeping were determined to try and get a goal back before half-time and Macleod attempted to get a cross in which was adjudged to have come off a Rothwell defender’s hand with the referee pointing to the penalty spot.
Macleod sent Ash Bodycote the wrong way from the penalty spot which prompted Deeping to push for an equaliser after the break.
Gurney sent in some dangerous free-kicks which were dealt with by the home defence who then rallied with White being denied by a super save from Bircham who showed rapid reactions to thwart Dodzi Agbenu’s follow-up.
Rothwell wrapped up the win with the second penalty of the game when Andersen was adjudged to have clipped Nathan Bobowicz in the box and Merson Styles struck home the spot kick.
The game really petered out after Rothwell’s third goal with Deeping unable to penetrate the Corinthians defence.
Deeping: Bircham, Flack, Anderson, Burton-Jones, Hunnings, Curtis (Simpson), Gurney (Carter), Coulson, Mooney, Macleod, Garrick. Subs not used: Shackleton, Horner.
More by this authorWinston Brown