Skipper in fight to be fit

PUBLISHED: 10:26 19 April 2007 | UPDATED: 13:56 04 May 2010

FEELING THE HEAT: Ian Benjamin laments his side’s poor defending on Saturday.

FEELING THE HEAT: Ian Benjamin laments his side’s poor defending on Saturday.

SOHAM manager Ian Benjamin will be sweating on the fitness of his captain and key player Michael Simpson ahead of Tuesday night s Cambs Invitation Cup Final with Cambridge City. The 26-year-old central midfielder has a swollen ankle from last Wednesday s

RACE AGAINST TIME: Michael Simpson could miss Tuesday’s cup final.
Photos: HELEN DRAKE

SOHAM manager Ian Benjamin will be sweating on the fitness of his captain and key player Michael Simpson ahead of Tuesday night's Cambs Invitation Cup Final with Cambridge City.

The 26-year-old central midfielder has a swollen ankle from last Wednesday's 1-0 victory over Histon Reserves, and is one of several concerns for Benjamin, whose side drew 3-3 with rock-bottom Halstead on Saturday.

Benjamin said: "Michael couldn't walk for a couple of days and there's a bit of bruising. I'm pretty sure that he won't be able to train before the match but I'm hopeful that he'll be fit to play. He's a top class player and would be a big loss."

The versatile Matt Robinson would be likely to take Simpson's role as the key playmaker, for the match at Cambridge United's Abbey Stadium, joining the in-form Scott Carter in the centre of the park.

Benjamin said: "I have absolutely no problem with Matt taking up the role.

"He's a great passer of the ball and getting fitter all the time, after coming back from long-term injury about two months ago."

Benjamin said of Saturday's performance: "If we play like that we will get beaten easily - it's that simple.

"We always drop our level of performance against the lesser sides and it's becoming unacceptable. But we usually raise our game for the big matches and I'm hoping we can do it again."

Rangers are looking lightweight in midfield, with wide man Keke St Hilaire recently ending his loan spell with the club, Michael Bisong leaving for work commitments and Aaron Turner missing Saturday's match because of illness. Club captain Peter Hinde is a long-term injury victim.

Benjamin said: "Paul Jones has come into the midfield from the reserves and done a fantastic job, and I believe we still have the quality to be able to pull off an upset."

n For a full cup preview turn to page 55. For a report of Saturday's 3-3 draw with Halstead, turn to page 54.

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