Hot-shot Furnell in Market for goals
RIDGEONS LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION Soham Town Rangers 2 Needham Market 0 SOHAM S successful holiday period continued with a crucial victory from this six-pointer against second-placed Needham Market, on Saturday. Andy Furnell continued his good form, scorin
RIDGEONS LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION
Soham Town Rangers 2 Needham Market 0
SOHAM'S successful holiday period continued with a crucial victory from this six-pointer against second-placed Needham Market, on Saturday.
Andy Furnell continued his good form, scoring the first goal and setting up the second.
But third-placed Rangers were equally thankful for their watertight defence in torrential weather.
The league's top goalscorer had an easy tap-in after seven minutes as a quick break ended with Aaron Turner drawing out the goalkeeper before rolling it through for Furnell to finish from two yards.
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Needham offered little but hopeful long balls which centre-backs Paul Hill and Stuart Williams comfortably dealt with.
Michael Simpson almost made it 2-0 in the 25th minute when, after some good build-up play, he forced a save from an acute angle.
As the rain lashed down, tackles came flying in but Soham comfortably won the physical battle.
Just before half-time, Keke St Hilaire ran at the left-back for the first time and delivered a fine cross for Charles Libam, who mis-timed his run and was caught offside.
Three minutes after the re-start, Nick Reeson clipped the top of the crossbar with a free-kick from the right.
Needham's best chance came in the 55th minute when a low cross from the left made it to the back post, but Dean Greygoose stood up well to deny the striker from eight yards.
Libam had endured a torrid afternoon on the heavy pitch, but when Furnell picked him out unmarked in the penalty area after a strong run down the left, the African striker calmly slotted past the out-rushing goalkeeper.
Needham moved to a 3-4-3 formation but Soham countered by pushing forward pacey winger St Hilaire and he was a constant threat.
Thunder and lightning crashed down in the final 10 minutes and when a horrible bounce eluded the Soham defence, a pacey striker took the ball around Greygoose but found three Soham men on the line to clear the danger.
St Hilaire almost made it 3-0 in the dying minutes when he dribbled half the length of the pitch but blasted over the bar.
Soham boss Ian Benjamin said: "I can't fault anyone - all the lads had a fantastic attitude and we fully deserved to win because we wanted it a lot more than them. We've got so much quality going forward, I'm never worried about scoring goals, but the defence has worked very hard to make sure that they don't repeat the mistakes of recent weeks, and they were excellent."
- Soham's scheduled league fixture at CRC on Tuesday (January 2) was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch.
Soham's next match is at home against Stanway Rovers on Saturday (3pm), and they play Over Sports at home in the first round of the Cambs Invitation Cup next Tuesday (7.45pm).