NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Terrific togetherness has helped Soham Town Rangers get out of trouble
PUBLISHED: 10:18 27 March 2019 | UPDATED: 10:18 27 March 2019
Assistant boss Erkan Okay saluted the togetherness of the Soham Town Rangers squad after they took a huge step towards securing Bostik North Division survival.
Leading scorer Sam Mulready tucked away his 20th goal of the season from the penalty spot to earn a 1-0 victory against Canvey Island.
The triumph at Julius Martin Lane left Soham 12 points clear of the drop-zone with only six games to go, but Okay won’t celebrate until it is mathematically certain the Greens have avoided the drop.
“The way everyone has stuck together is brilliant,” said Okay, who was part of the Greens’ side against Canvey Island.
“We were bottom of the league in November, but the lads have responded with results in some really important games when the pressure has been on.
“They all put in a huge shift on Saturday and it was a pleasure to be part of a performance full of so much desire and such a great work-rate.
“We’ve put ourselves into a great position to stay up, but we’re not safe yet. You only have to look at the great escape that Soham had themselves a couple of years ago to realise that.
“We certainly don’t want the boot to be on the other foot this season and find ourselves slipping back into trouble.
“There is no way we’re going to rest on our laurels and allow the season to fizzle out.”
The triumph against Canvey Island came complete with a clean sheet for commanding goalkeeper Craig Foxall, while the performances of central defensive duo Lee Chaffey and Lloyd Groves were described as ‘immense’ by Okay.
Rangers are back on home turf this Saturday when they entertain runaway leaders Bowers & Pitsea, 3pm.
The Essex side have lost just twice all season and are almost certain to be crowned champions after pulling 12 points clear at the summit.
Okay added: “It’s going to be a huge challenge on Saturday but it is also the sort of game we should enjoy playing in.
“Bowers & Pitsea have absolutely smashed the league this season and I’m sure they’ll do well at a higher level as well.
“The fact they won 9-0 against Barking – who are in mid-table and not a bad side at all – at the weekend shows how strong they are.”
Michael Baulk, Callum Russell and Josh Dawkin scored the goals as Soham won 3-0 at higher-level Royston in a friendly on Tuesday night.