NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Soham make first new signing, but see leading scorer depart

New Soham Town Rangers signing Ryan Auger pictured while playing for St Neots Town in the past. Pict

New Soham Town Rangers signing Ryan Auger pictured while playing for St Neots Town in the past. Picture: ANDY WILSON - Credit: Archant

Soham Town Rangers have completed their first signing of the summer.

Midfielder Ryan Auger has joined the club – more than six years after representing Rangers on loan.

The 24 year-old, who arrives from Bedford Town, had a couple of brief stints in green and white back in the 2011/12 campaign when part of the Southend United youth system.

He went on to make one Football League appearance for Southend and has since played for a host of non-league clubs.

“We’re very pleased to get Ryan on board,” said assistant boss Erkan Okay. “He will be an asset for us.

“He is an excellent footballer who is a dead-ball specialist and possesses great technical ability.

“We’ve lost Lewis Clayton who has moved to Wales and Ryan will certainly help to fill that void in the middle of the park.”

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Existing players Alfie Connor, Ally Conway, Will Gardner, Marcus Hall, Jack Mochalski and Harry Norman have joined Sam Mulready in putting pen to paper for another season at Julius Martin Lane. A number of other players are expected to follow suit in the coming days.

But Soham have been dealt a blow by the departure of their leading scorer.

Craig Gillies, who found the net 14 times while spent much of last term on loan from King’s Lynn Town, won’t be returning.

He has now chosen to drop two levels down the non-league ladder to join Thurlow Nunn League First Division North side March Town.

Midfielder Lewis Clayton has also departed after moving to Wales.

Okay added: “We’re obviously disappointed to lose a player we wanted to keep at the club, but Craig feels he can’t commit properly to playing at our level.

“He is a very good player, but he has other priorities in life away from football at the moment and we wish him all the best.”

Soham made a successful start to pre-season when triumphing in their first friendly on Tuesday night.

Goals from Lee Chaffey (against his former club) and Hall earned a 2-1 victory at higher-level St Ives Town.

Rangers head to Lowestoft Town this Saturday and then go to Chatteris on Tuesday.

Soham have been handed a home tie against AFC Mansfield in the opening round of the FA Trophy.

The fixture is scheduled for October 13 and the Greens will pocket £3,000 if successful.