NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Soham Town Rangers’ revival is halted by an AFC Sudbury setback as assistant boss sees red

PUBLISHED: 11:31 12 December 2018 | UPDATED: 11:31 12 December 2018

Soham Town Rangers player/assistant boss Erkan Okay was sent off in the closing stages of their defeat to AFC Sudbury. Picture: JAMES RICHARDSON

Soham Town Rangers player/assistant boss Erkan Okay was sent off in the closing stages of their defeat to AFC Sudbury. Picture: JAMES RICHARDSON

James Richardson

Soham Town Rangers won’t dwell on a bad day at the office.

The Greens’ recent revival was halted by a 2-0 defeat at the hands of an impressive AFC Sudbury side at Julius Martin Lane.

Rangers were unable to recover after being undone by two Sudbury goals in the space of five minutes during the first half.

The first of them was scored by striker Paul Hayes - a man with an extensive Football League background - after 15 minutes and was soon followed by a second from Liam Bennett.

Soham’s misery was compounded by the dismissal of player/assistant manager Erkan Okay for a high challenge late on.

Okay admitted: “We were beaten by the better side on the day.

“We went into the game high on confidence, but we didn’t perform to the levels we have done lately.

“Sudbury are one of the strongest teams we’ve faced this season and all we can do is draw a line under it.

“It was poor on my part to get sent off. Unfortunately frustration got the better of me and I apologise for that.

“A three-game suspension is something we can do without when working with a small squad.”

Soham remain out of the relegation zone by virtue of a superior goal difference ahead of a trip to table-topping Bowers & Pitsea this Saturday, 3pm.

They don’t then return to action until hosting Bury Town on Boxing Day before ending 2018 with a crunch clash against fellow relegation battlers Dereham on December 29.

Soham’s first outing of the new year on January 5 is also likely to be a six-pointer at home to a Romford side currently one place and one point above them.

Okay added: “We know we’re in for a very tough game on Saturday but there is no pressure on us.

“No-one will expect us to get anything there, but the challenge is prove people wrong and try to pick up a result.

“We were playing very well ahead of the Sudbury game and hopefully we can bounce back from that.

“We’ve got some important games coming up over the Christmas and New Year period, and we’re looking at ways we can boost our squad.

“We’re almost halfway through the season now and it can be physically and mentally draining when operating with such a small squad.

“It would be good to be able to bring a couple of new faces in, but that’s obviously very tough with out budgetary constraints.”

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