Bad week for Greens in relegation battle
PUBLISHED: 10:32 02 March 2011
SOHAM Town Rangers battle for survival took a turn for the worst this week after they suffered two damaging losses inside four days.
A 2-0 reverse against fellow strugglers Burnham on Saturday saw their momentum checked and their woes were further compounded on Tuesday night when they were thumped 3-0 by promotion-chasers Biggleswade.
The loss, couple with key wins for fellow relegation strugglers Hayes, Burnham and Barton, has seen the Greens slip to second from bottom of the Zameretto Division One Central with bottom side Beaconsfield four-points adrift.
Tuesday night’s game against Biggleswade was an abject affair for Benjamin’s youngsters with former Cambridge City striker Steve Gentle netting a 53-minute hat-trick.
Gentle’s first came with just 11 minutes on the clock as he danced past the Greens defence to slot past Dan Bircham in the Soham goal.
The frontman added a second in the 23rd minute and all-but sealed the points early in the second half after sloppy passing saw Soham cede control deep in their own half. The Green’s woes were rounded off 15 minutes from time when Rogan McGeorge blasted a penalty kick high and wide after Declan Rogers had been hauled down.
Saturday’s match against Burnham saw a far better performance from the Greens but their lack of a hard-nosed finisher brought a similar result as Burnham collected a vital three points.
Early efforts from Michael Simpson and McGeorge promised great things for the Greens in a game they started well and Deakan Napier should really have opened the scoring when through one-on-one in the 11th minute.
Unfortunately for Benjamin’s men, Napier squandered the chance and saw a good save deny his ferocious volley minutes later, leaving Soham with little to show for their early efforts.
To make matters worse, Burnham took the lead with their first effort of the half, Ryan Bird working a yard of space on the edge of the box before curling past Bircham.
Captain Simpson came within a whisker of restoring parity six minutes later but his low shot was turned away by the visiting keeper.
The Greens continued to run the show in the second half and were denied level terms on at least three occasions by sprawling defenders, blocking goalbound shots with desperate dives.
The remainder of the half saw both sides trading half-chances but the points were finally decided in injury time when Bird was sent clear of the stretched Soham defence to smash past Bircham from outside the box.