Enniskillen Rangers 1 Dergview Reserves 2

Neil Coulter’s first game as Enniskillen Rangers Manager ended in defeat but the new boss was happy with his side’s performance against the league leaders.

The visitors scored from two well-struck efforts before player-Manager Coulter pulled a goal back for the Ball Range outfit ten minutes from time.

And they were close to taking a share of the spoils at the death when Stuart Rainey’s cross was met by Mark Cutler, but his close-range header was at the goalkeeper who saved to deny the ’Gers a point.

“It was a disappointing result but I felt the performance was very encouraging, especially as we haven’t played for five weeks.

“It was an even contest and I was happy with the work- rate and effort, but there is still lots for us to work on,” said Coulter.

The win keeps Dergview top of the table, although they are level on points with title favourites Tummery, who have played two games less.

Rangers are now 14 points adrift of the top but they have played four games fewer than Dergview.

The first half of the contest saw little between the sides in terms on possession, although it was the visitors who had the better of the chances and Rangers goalkeeper Joel Pedan was forced to pull off a couple of good stops.

A thunderous strike

There was little he could do though to deny Dergview the lead in the 25th minute as Ashley Lowry crashed home a thunderous 25-yard strike to make it 1-0.

The home side’s best chance of the half fell to Rainey after good work by Jason Keenan and Cutler, but his effort was turned around the post by the goalkeeper.

Rangers started the second half on the front foot with Keenan firing a snap shot over the bar, but on the hour mark Dergview doubled their advantage.

The away side were awarded a disputed free kick and Stuart Mortland stepped up to clip it home to make it 2-0.

Rangers then had a shout for a penalty waved away when Cutler went down in the box while Keenan got himself into a good position, only to slip at a crucial time.

With ten minutes to go though the home side pulled a goal back as Coulter volleyed home from a Nathan Khan corner and the ’Gers then pressed for an equaliser.

Cutler had that chance then to grab a point for his side, but his attempt was right at the goalkeeper as Dergview held on to claim all three points.

The league takes a back seat this week due to Junior Cup action with Dergview hosting Caw FC while Rangers are at home to Drumaness Mills.

“The target for us is to progress to the next round and it doesn’t matter how we do it,” commented ’Gers boss Coulter.