Benji grabs Cup glory
CAMBS INVITATION CUP FINAL Abbey Sadium, Cambridge Soham Town Rangers 1 Great Shelford 0 SOHAM manager Ian Benjamin secured the first silverware of his second reign at the club thanks to a second-half penalty on Tuesday night. Andy Furnell made no mistake
CAMBS INVITATION CUP FINAL
Abbey Sadium, Cambridge
Soham Town Rangers 1 Great Shelford 0
SOHAM manager Ian Benjamin secured the first silverware of his second reign at the club thanks to a second-half penalty on Tuesday night.
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Andy Furnell made no mistake with the spot-kick, awarded on 65 minutes for handball after Steve Bugg's ball into the box.
Furnell's cool drive into the bottom left-hand corner was the least Soham deserved from a match they controlled comfortably, although Kershaw Premier outfit Shelford gave a good account of themselves and tested Dean Greygoose in the Soham goal with a few shots, particularly in the first half.
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"We made hard work of it," admitted Benjamin, standing on the ground he once graced as a player. "I thought we just got a little bit sloppy for a 10-minute spell in the first half. They got a lot of men behind the ball and defended deep."
Shelford certainly set their stall out to frustrate during a first half in which Soham created plenty of openings but just could not find the final pass.
Bugg was at the heart of most of Soham's attacking moves, having one shot saved and blasting another over the bar, while at the other end Shelford had a goal disallowed on the stroke of half-time for a clear offside.
"The story of the first half was that we had more possession in the first half but they had more shots," added Benjamin. "I wanted the lads to put things right in the second half and they did that."
The key moment came when Bugg played the ball into a crowded box and it struck a Shelford defender on the hand. Assistant referee Gary Lewis gave the decision, after referee John Steel did not blow up immediately.
Furnell slotted the ball home with the minimum of fuss, and Soham had the lead their efforts merited.
Aron Rutter, who had come on as substitute in the moments leading up to the penalty, had a shot saved shortly afterwards and Michael Simpson, who brought his usual energy to proceedings, scored have scored when clean through but he shot over.
Bugg had two more efforts come to nothing and Greygoose had to make a sprawling stop, but even at 1-0, the result was never in any real doubt.
Man of the match was Stuart Williams, who was vigilant in defence all evening.
Benjamin said finally: "Sometimes, one shot is enough and it doesn't matter how the goal comes. We expected a tough game because they weren't going to come here and lie down, but I felt we thoroughly deserved to win."
Tuesday night's victory was the fourth time Soham have won the Invitation Cup, their last win coming in 1999.
Soham: Greygoose, Bromwich, Johnson, Hill, Williams, Simpson, Flanz, Hinde, Furnell, Bugg, Benjamin T (Rutter 64). Subs not used: Dean, Bell.