Gutsy Greens squad ravaged by virus crash out of FA Cup

Soham Town Rangers 0 Maldon and Tiptree 2

A BOUT of food poisoning wrought havoc among Soham’s squad on Saturday as they crashed out of the FA Cup at the hands of Maldon & Tiptree.

A virus picked up by 10 of the playing squad following a midweek trip to Cheshunt left the team in tatters, with the sapping heat on Saturday making their task almost impossible.

Despite their woes, the team competed manfully with their opponents, losing out to goals in the third and 87th minutes of an evenly-contested cup tie.

No doubt with their 4-1 victory over Soham just two weeks earlier fresh in mind, Maldon were straight on the attack and needed just three minutes to make their mark, Joe Asensi adjudged to have tripped a striker in the box.

Jamie Guy converted the resulting spot kick with the minimum of fuss to put the visitors into an early lead.

Guy and his strike partner James Robinson had chances to put the visitors further ahead in a dominant opening quarter, but their profligacy saw a number of chances go awry.

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With the storm weathered, Soham gradually grew into the game but had little to cheer in attack as Robbie Mason, beset by illness, lacked his usual verve.

After the break, Soham’s Jamie Barker saw a shot slip wide and Jack Paxman’s low effort was well saved as the home side found their feet going forward.

Mason had a header cleared off the line and the Maldon goalkeeper was pressed into action to make a number of smart saves as the Greens peppered the goal.

At the other end, Dan Bircham made a superb double stop to deny Robinson on the hour mark and the big keeper was at his best again to keep Robinson’s shot out 10 minutes later.

As the game headed towards its final quarter however, Steve Fallon’s men began to tire and a chink in their armour was finally revealed with just three minutes left as Robinson ghosted into the box for a simple finish from close range.

Meanwhile, influential midfield duo Scott Carter and Daniel Cotton announced they were to leave Julius Martin Lane in midweek..

United Counties League highflyers Spalding United have swooped to sign winger Cotton while Peterborough Northern Star have made an approach for Scott Carter.