RIDGEONS LEAGUE, PREMIER DIVISION Soham Town Rangers 5 Leiston 0 ANDY Furnell passed the half-century milestone with a hat-trick in Soham s five-star performance on Saturday. Leiston were under new management, with former Ipswich Town and Tottenham midfi
Soham Town Rangers 5 Leiston 0
ANDY Furnell passed the half-century milestone with a hat-trick in Soham's five-star performance on Saturday.
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Leiston were under new management, with former Ipswich Town and Tottenham midfielder Jason Dozzell taking the reigns last week.
Rangers were forced to reorganise their defence with Brett Claydon, Paul Hill and Stuart Williams all missing through injury and they were replaced by Simon Flanz, Andy Coleman and 17-year-old Sam Bourne, making his debut at centre-half.
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Soham started at a ferocious pace and took the lead after 15 minutes when Scott Johnson crossed from the left for Furnell, who scored with his head at the near post.
The visitors then rallied and started to play their way back into the match but Soham were solid at the back.
Soham doubled their lead, eight minutes before half-time, when Keke St Hilaire, who tormented the Leiston right-back all afternoon, crossed for Paul Jones, who finished with a looping header.
Michael Simpson almost made it three, just before half-time, but struck the inside of the post.
Soham were three up, 10 minutes into the second half, with St Hilaire again the provider, crossing superbly for Charles Libam, who scored his fifth goal in four games, with a well-taken header from close range. Three minutes later, Furnell scored his second of the match and 50th for the club with a fitting superb solo effort. The striker beat two defenders as he approached the penalty area and then struck an unstoppable shot inside the keepers' right post.
Furnell rounded off the scoring with his hat-trick, just after the hour mark, when he got on the end of St Hilaire's cross and neatly headed into the corner of the net. This was an impressive 51st goal in 112 appearances for the Soham marksman.
Debutant Bourne almost made it six when he met Flanz's cross with a strong header, but his effort just missed the target.
Soham manager Ian Benjamin said: "We had an excellent balance to the team; we were solid, caused problems down both wings and always looked dangerous up-front. It was a superb all-round performance and the perfect way to bounce back from last week's cup disappointment."
n Soham's next match is away to Kirkley in the league on Saturday.