NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Soham Town Rangers stung by late goals in FA Trophy exit
- Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo
Manager Robbie Mason urged Soham Town Rangers not to be ‘nearly men’ after they bowed out of the FA Trophy last night (Wednesday).
The Greens were beaten 4-2 at higher-level Hayes & Yeading United in a second qualifying round tie settled by two late goals.
Ryan Auger made an early breakthrough for Rangers as they chased a second Step 3 scalp after dumping out fellow Cambridgeshire side St Ives Town in the previous round.
The midfielder's opener was cancelled out midway through the first half and Soham then fell behind six minutes into the second period.
An own goal brought them back level with 20 minutes to go and that's the way it stayed until the closing stages when two goals in three minutes sent the Southern League Premier Division South hosts through.
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"Everyone will see the final score rather than the way we performed," Mason told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire. "And we were very good for 80 to 85 minutes of the game.
"But the disappointing thing is the lack of effort and the way we switched off late on in the game which cost us.
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"It would be very easy to have gone in the dressing room after the game and say 'well done' to the lads.
"But we don't want to be the nearly men. We want to be the team that ultimately gets better and achieves things.
"When we look back we had some very good chances at 2-2 and lacked the conviction to take them and put ourselves ahead.
"The way we conceded the third goal is disappointing. We not only had the opportunity to clear it but we could also have shut it down when the ball bounced on the edge of the box.
"Hayes & Yeading are a decent outfit with some very good players and strength in depth. They moved the ball very well on a great surface.
"We have come a long way, but there is no getting away from the fact we're disappointed to go out."
It was a second successive defeat for Rangers following a 1-0 home setback at the hands of Great Wakering Rovers in the BetVictor North Division last weekend.
Mason's men return to league action this Saturday when they travel to Aveley, 3pm, with the boss insisting that tightening up defensively is a priority.
Goalkeeper Josh Pope made his 100th appearance for Soham in the FA Trophy exit.