Defeat spells the end for Soham’s play-off push

15:19 15 April 2014

Soham players hold a minute

Soham players hold a minute's silence on Saturday

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Soham Town Rangers 2

Thurrock 3

Luke Stanley scores for SohamLuke Stanley scores for Soham

Soham’s play-off hopes were crushed for a second season in succession as they went down to Thurrock at Julius Martin Lane on Saturday.

A late charge brought the Greens within a whisker of the Ryman Division One North play-offs last year but it was a late collapse which cost them this time around as a run of results in March, including seven defeats in eight league outings, left them adrift of the top teams.

And, defeat to rivals Thurrock at the weekend meant they slipped 10 points behind Needham Market, who occupy fifth place, with just three games remaining.

Soham’s best chance early on came via Antonio Murray, whose shot clattered off the woodwork from a tight angle.

Thurrock were twice denied the lead thanks to some alert work from Enol Ordonez before, with just a minute of the half remaining, Chris Lindsay put in a superb cross from top-scorer Luke Stanley to nod home from close range.

But Thurrock were not behind for long, earning a penalty less than 10 minutes into the second half as Buster Harradine fouled inside the box. Kurt Smith dispatched the resulting spot-kick.

And it was the visitors who took the lead short of the 70th minute mark when Smith was on target again, slipping his marker and finding enough space to fire past Ordonez from inside the box.

To their credit, Soham levelled the scores once more as Lindsay’s header, which thundered off the bar, fell into the path of Stanley, who was able to force his rebounded effort over the line.

Soham went in search of a much-needed winning goal but left themselves open to the counter-attack, something which was exploited by the visitors to devastating effect.

With less than 10 minutes to go, the lively Smith, raced to the by-line and squared to the middle of the box for Ross Wood to mop up from close range.

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