NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Soham Town Rangers dramatically beat the drop on the final day thanks to seven-goal thriller
PUBLISHED: 11:40 24 April 2017 | UPDATED: 13:21 25 April 2017
Saturday April 22, 2017 is a date that will be etched into the memories of many Soham Town Rangers supporters for years to come after the Greens pulled off a Ryman Division One North great escape in the most dramatic of styles on Saturday afternoon.
Heading into the last fixture of a topsy-turvy campaign, Robbie Mason’s men knew they had to match or better Heybridge Swifts’ result to ensure Step Four football for another season.
And, for all the pre-match hype, it seemed as though Soham were to secure their safety relatively easily at half-time of their clash with Maldon & Tiptree, with Sam Mulready’s strike taking them into the break at 1-1 and Heybridge two down to Pheonix Sports.
But, a hectic opening 20 minutes in the second half saw Maldon take a 3-2 lead and, in Essex, saw Heybridge net three unanswered goals, dropping Soham into the relegation places.
This meant that Ware, who were 2-0 down to VCD Athletic, were now the side that Soham had to chase down, with just one goal needed to mathematically secure safety.
And that goal arrived five minutes from time through Mulready, whose volley proved too hot to handle and crept over the line.
But Soham were not finished there and rounded off a remarkable afternoon thanks to player-manage Lloyd Groves, who powered in a late header – his second of the afternoon - to give his side their fourth win in seven matches – a run of form that no-one at the club would have envisaged at the start of March following a torrid run of 16 games without a win.