Rangers take derby honours

PUBLISHED: 16:53 03 August 2006 | UPDATED: 11:56 04 May 2010

SOHAM Town Rangers won the first local derby of the season in a friendly against rivals Ely City last Thursday. Despite the freak storms that have hit the Ely area, the game went ahead at the Unwin Ground with both teams fielding strong sides. Soham mana

SOHAM Town Rangers won the first local derby of the season in a friendly against rivals Ely City last Thursday.

Despite the freak storms that have hit the Ely area, the game went ahead at the Unwin Ground with both teams fielding strong sides.

Soham manager Ian Benjamin gave new signing Mark Atkins his first start since rejoining the club, and also started Brett Claydon and Ryan Semple, who have both recently been training at Soham. Ely also fielded a few new faces, with Dave Smith and former Cambridge City defender Brady Stone adding strength to the team.

In a highly competitive and evenly-matched game, both sides failed to convert their first half chances. The deadlock was eventually broken late in the second half when Paul Jones latched on to a Tommy Crawford pass to lob the keeper and bag the win for the visitors.

Despite losing, Ely performed well, with Brady Stone looking solid at the back. Robbie Mason gave a good performance up front and Martin Wescott was exceptionally hard-working.

Soham Town manager Ian Benjamin praised both sides' performances after the game: "We probably just deserved it in the end, but it was a tough game for both teams. Ely were very strong and they challenged us to the end."

Benjamin added: "I would be surprised if Ely weren't challenging for promotion this season."

The Soham manager praised the performances of his new players: "Mark (Atkins) played the first half well, but he's trying to get his fitness up really. Scott Carter had a tough game but he gave 110 per cent throughout."

Soham continued a hectic pre-season schedule by winning 2-0 at Deeping Rangers on Friday. The game left manager Benjamin in an optimistic mood. He said: "I am very happy with the performance against Deeping. There were a lot of positives to take out of the game and the players did exceptionally well considering it was their second game in as many days."

Soham Town Rangers play their last friendly on Saturday against Sleaford Town. Ely City also play their final friendly on Saturday versus CRC. Both games kick off at 3pm.

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