FOOTBALL: 'We gave them lots to think about'
Deeping Rangers manager Michael Goode praised the players' efforts after their Emirates FA Cup exit.
They lost 3-0 at Southern League club AFC Rushden & Diamonds in Tuesday night's preliminary round replay at Hayden Road.
Goode said: "Obviously we're disappointed - but when we go away to reflect on it, I thought we competed really well all the way through to the 90th minute.
"We must remember they are two steps above us. We gave them lots to think about.
"Yes, we could have done some things better in terms of sensible and incisive passing, keeping the ball and creating opportunities around the box.
"Two goals came from giving the ball away.
"Dan Flack tried a crossfield ball and they hit us on the counter-attack. We tried to stay compact but suddenly we were caught out again when Charlie Coulson couldn't find Dan Schiavi.
"All they did until then was play square passes and try to bang it behind us. We dealt with them really well.
"We had to take responsibility and, once we realised that we could get at them, we were the better side at the end of the first half.
"Scott Mooney forced a couple of saves and David Burton-Jones' header was disallowed for offside from a free-kick.
"The referee must have had a doubt because he went over to his assistant. He said that he just wanted to check from his position.
"We needed to keep our shape at the start of the second half but they scored again from distance.
"Against a Step Three side, if you make mistakes then you are more likely to get punished.
"Even at 3-0 down in the last 10 minutes, I was really pleased with how we responded. We had chances at 1-0, 2-0 and 3-0.
"If the game had finished 5-0 or 6-0, it would have been harder to recover for the next game. But we kept working hard and creating chances."