Furnell’s fab four
TWO wins in four days – and four goals from Andy Furnell – put Soham s season back on track. A Boxing Day present for the Julius Martin Lane fans was provided when Ian Benjamin s side picked up an impressive 3-1 win over Histon Reserves. That came swiftly
TWO wins in four days - and four goals from Andy Furnell - put Soham's season back on track.
A Boxing Day present for the Julius Martin Lane fans was provided when Ian Benjamin's side picked up an impressive 3-1 win over Histon Reserves. That came swiftly on the heels of a dramatic 4-3 win at Harwich & Parkeston on Saturday.
The six points moves Town up to third in the Ridgeons Premier Division and it was Furnell's 87th-minute hat-trick strike on Saturday that ended Rangers' run of three without a win.
Furnell put the visitors in front in the 10th minute when he drilled a shot across the goalkeeper from just outside the penalty area, but Harwich hit back minutes later.
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Rangers then raced into a comfortable lead with two goals in a six-minute period, the first when Nick Reason's corner curled straight into the net in the 31st minute, before Michael Simpson set Furnell up for his second goal, a low shot into the bottom corner, struck from the edge of the penalty area.
The defensive nightmares that have haunted Soham in recent weeks then reappeared as they came close to throwing away two points when they conceded two sloppy goals from set pieces in the 56th and 70th minutes. But the in-form Furnell rescued his teammates in the dying minutes when the tireless Simpson lashed the ball across the penalty area for the Soham marksman to notch his 20th goal of the season with a finish from close range.
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Then a highly entertaining game against Histon Reserves saw Furnell's fourth goal in as many days give Soham the lead in the 30th minute. After some good build-up play the Histon goalkeeper failed to hold Keke St Hilaire's shot and the Soham striker pounced to head in the rebound.
Histon created pressure at the other end and Dean Greygoose had to be in top form, especially in the 35th minute when he pulled off a fine full-stretch save to his right to prevent a well-struck shot going into the bottom corner.
The visitors did manage to pull level just before the break after a mix-up between Greygoose and his defence allowed a Histon striker to sneak in and lob the ball over the veteran goalkeeper.
Soham were far more lively in the second half. Furnell was involved in giving them the lead in the 65th minute when he gathered the ball after a poor goal kick, advanced into the penalty area and, just as everyone expected him to shoot, back-heeled to Simpson, who fired the ball in off a defender.
Reason almost increased the hosts' lead when he smashed a 30-yard free kick against a post, before Charles Libam wrapped up the win when he latched on to Aaron Turner's defence-splitting pass and rounded the keeper.
Soham manager Ian Benjamin was delighted with the marked improvement in his team's defending: "We've defended very well up until the last few weeks and some of the goals we conceded in Saturday's game were very poor; you wouldn't expect to see it from a Sunday league side, so we were very lucky Furns [Andy Furnell] was finishing so well. But against Histon our defence was excellent in the second half and it matched the quality of our attacking play.
"We've shown great spirit and character to come through a tough spell and it's given us a platform for our big game on Saturday."
* Soham will look to take points off second-placed Needham Market at home on Saturday, 3pm, and travel to CRC on Tuesday, January 2, 7.45pm.