Attendance boost is just reward for Deeping’s efforts

Deeping Rangers FC - second-half action v Daventry Town'Shorter range pics
Deeping Rangers FC - second-half action v Daventry Town'Shorter range pics

Deeping Rangers boss Michael Goode believes an increase in attendances this season is just reward for his side’s exploits at the Haydon Whitham Stadium.

A crowd of 122 watched Rangers on Saturday as they maintained their unbeaten home record in the United Counties League Premier Division.

Despite being held to a frustrating goalless draw by ninth-placed Daventry Town, Deeping have won eight and been held just twice in their 10 home league matches this season.

This form means that they are well-placed for a challenge for honours in the second half of the season as they have three games in hand on table-topping Newport Pagnell who hold an 11-point advantage over Goode’s charges.

Goode said: “It’s great to see more supporters coming through the turnstiles and the number of our junior teams wanting to get involved on match days.

“We look at the crowd increase and see it as a just reward for the quality brand of football that we’re playing.

“It would be great to be getting closer to 150 by the season’s end and to be able to take that number forward to next season.”

Goode’s thoughts were echoed by first-team coach Dan Bircham who is now back in the Rangers dug-out after a playing return while regular goalkeeper Richard Stainsby was out injured.

Bircham added: “Our supporters are always fantastic. They always provide a good backing to the team and it is nice to see attendances rising.

“As a team, we are always grateful to the 15 or so regular supporters who come to support us away from home, no matter where we are playing.

“The league looks to be wide open this season with many teams vying with us for the title and the automatic promotion to Step Four that goes with it.

“Despite Newport Pagnell having a relatively healthy advantage over the chasing pack, anyone in the league can beat anyone on their day.”

Rangers were left frustrated on Saturday – despite taking their unbeaten home league record into the new year.

The Clarets failed to score at the Haydon Whitham Stadium for the first time since March when Newport Pagnell Town inflicted the only home defeat of the 2016-17 season.

Saturday’s deadlock meant 2017 ended with a total of 99 goals scored at the ground.

Scott Mooney was close to completing the century but Daventry Town held on for a point.

The striker fired over the bar, narrowly failed to meet Dan Schiavi’s cross and then saw a diving header pushed away.

Before kick-off, a minute’s applause was held in memory of former player, committee member and secretary Vinnie Garmory who died last week.

Deeping travel to face Wellingborough Town on Saturday.

Rangers: Stainsby, Flack, Smith, Hunnings, Burton-Jones, Dunn, Hamilton (Coulson), Kilbride, Mooney, Coupland, Schiavi. Not used: Hollist, Marsden, Simpson, Bircham.