DCK Maidenbower 1-2 Eastbourne Rangers I

The Rangers first team put in arguably their best performance of the season against DCK from Crawley.

Rangers should have been ahead after just 60 seconds but Kent Meier dragged his shot wide when through one on one. Rangers shaded the early exchanges but found themselves a goal down after 10 minutes when a long punt from the home keeper was flicked on (unchallenged) in midfield, which saw the DCK striker latch on to the ball and slot past keeper Martin Bell.

Rangers continued to shade the game though with Steve Jackson on the Rangers wing and debutant Karl Funnell in the middle of the park particularly influential. But it was a familiar face that drew Rangers level 2 minutes before the break, Jamie Strong had his initial shot blocked in the box, but some neat footwork with his back to goal saw him open up some space which allowed Strong to finish from 10 yards out to draw Rangers level.

The second half saw the game become more stretched but it was Rangers who created numerous good chances to take the lead through Kent Meier and Steve Jackson with a combination of good goalkeeping and poor finishing ensuring the scores stayed level.

With 20 minutes to go, a double change for the away side saw Dan Wilkes and Luke Regan replace Jamie Strong and Conor Middleton. Within three minutes, the changes were justified when Jackson played a neat one-two with Wilkes which saw Regan head home a sumptuous Jackson cross to give Rangers a well deserved lead.

DCK then had to committ more men forward and this saw Rangers create more numerous chances with Wilkes, Regan and substitute Kieran Manning finding the home keeper in inspired form while Jackson failed to hit the target when through one on one.

The home side continued to push forward but Bell in the Rangers goal had nothing to do all game due to a solid defensive performance from the back four in front of him, along with the midfield also playing their part in a well organised display.

With excellent performances from Tony Derese and Karl Funnell, they can consider themselves unlucky not to receive the Old Dave’s Gourmet Burgers MOM award which was deservedly given to Steve Jackson who was an absolute handful all afternoon, showing superb workrate for the full 90 minutes. Top work Jacko. 👍

This win sees Rangers climb to the top of the table.