NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: The winning feeling is back for Soham Town Rangers . . . but lots of hard work still lies ahead
PUBLISHED: 11:27 14 November 2018 | UPDATED: 11:27 14 November 2018
It has been a fantastic few days for Soham Town Rangers.
The Greens jumped off the bottom of the Bostik North Division table by seeing off Witham Town 3-0 in a Julius Martin Lane basement battle last Saturday.
Will Gardner gave Soham the perfect start with a fourth-minute opener and Ryan Auger doubled the lead early in the second period. A stoppage-time effort from Sam Mulready made a precious victory even more emphatic for Rangers.
And they followed up that 3-0 triumph by claiming an impressive 2-1 success against Cambridge City last night (Tuesday) to reach the semi-finals of the Cambs Invitation Cup.
Soham again made an early breakthrough courtesy of Alfie Connor but Rangers were reliant on goalkeeper Josh Pope to retain their lead as he saved a harshly-awarded Cambridge City penalty after half-an-hour.
But even their number one was powerless to prevent the visitors from levelling through a header from former Soham man Jordan Gent just before half-time.
City were then reduced to 10 men after nine minutes of the second half when Josh Oyinsan kicked out at the face of Lee Chaffey and Soham made their numerical advantage count as Mulready settled the contest with a 73rd minute winner from a Prince Mutswunguma cross.
But player/assistant boss Erkan Okay insists the process of turning around their season is only just beginning.
“It was a very good team performance on Saturday,” said Okay. “There is no doubt we deserved the win.
“It couldn’t have gone much better than scoring early on and then getting another goal in the first few minutes of the second half.
“It was nice to get the result our performance deserved for once as that hasn’t happened often enough this season.
“It feels great to be off the bottom of the table, but we’re only in 18th still and we have a lot of climbing still to do to reach the sort of position that I feel reflects the quality we have in our squad.
“And to follow it up with another good win last night – when the attitude and application were superb again – was really pleasing.
“It’s great to have a semi-final to look forward to and it was important for some of our younger players to experience a game like that. Both clubs put strong teams out and we’re delighted to go through.
“We need to use the Saturday and Tuesday results as a platform to kick on. The two wins will do wonders for confidence of the lads individually and for us collectively as a group.
“And I must say a big ‘thank you’ to the fans. They really got behind us and gave us great support in both games.”
Soham return to league action this Saturday, 3pm, with a trip to a Barking side who can also be found in the bottom half of the Bostik North Division standings.
It’s a fixture which provides a reunion with the popular Gary Cohen, who played for Soham last season.
Rangers are set to be without wideman Joe Carden for the next two months due to an ongoing knee problem.