Deeping beat Harborough on an opening day for full backs
Joint manager Lee Clarke thinks that Deeping Rangers have "still got a little bit of work to do" after their opening Uhlsport United Counties League Premier Division game of the season.
It was a tale of two full backs at the Haydon Witham Stadium on Saturday when Matt Carter and Dan Flack were on target for the Clarets in their win over Harborough Town.
Against a Bees' side that included former Deeping striker Scott Mooney, Clarke and fellow manager Dan French were handed a bonus after just three minutes when James Ireland was shown a straight red card for bringing down Joe Papworth.
On the quarter-hour mark, Carter gave the Deeping the lead with a 20-yard strike before Harborough's Ben Williams hit the bar before Harry Wakefield had two efforts cleared off the line.
After Clarke brought himself on for the injured Jack Smith, Dan Flack doubled the Clarets' lead with nearly ten minutes played in the second half, finishing off a pass from Charlie Coulson.
Dan Swan was called upon soon afterwards to palm away a Callum Steer volley, but the Bees did halve the deficit when Williams headed in a Josh Walsh cross 19 minutes into the second half.
Before the goal, Clarke himself had chances to extend the Clarets' lead, including a header that was cleared off the line.
"It was a pleasing first league game against a tough Harborough side," Clarke said.
"Both full backs got forward and scored good goals after they had a player sent off, which went in our favour.
"We were comfortable at 1-0, but then Harborough started to come into it more and they hit the bar before half-time.
"After the break, we made a little bit of a tweak here and there, then we started the second half really well and Dan scored from a good pass by Charlie Coulson.
"But in the last 20 minutes, we sat deep and it allowed Harborough to put the ball in our box too many times.
"We've still got a little bit of work to do before we get to where we want to be and performance levels need to be raised individually, something we've put to the players."
A boost for Deeping is the return of ex-Spalding United and Peterborough Sports midfielder Dan Banister who came on for the last 15 minutes of Saturday's win.
Clarke said: "Dan's had a but of a stop-start pre-season, but I think he's going to be a big player for us.
"He's got good energy and is getting closer and closer to full fitness."
Next up for Deeping Rangers is a south Lincolnshire derby at Holbeach United on Wednesday night (kick off at Carter's Park is 7.45pm).
DEEPING RANGERS: Swan; Flack, Bloodworth, Hunnings, Carter; Papworth; Showler, Coulson, Walton (sub Banister), Sansby (sub Simpson); Smith (sub Clarke).Subs not used: Peasgood, Shackleton.