Late Hemel goals sends Greens packing
Rangers crash out of cup
Hemel Hempstead Town 2
Soham Town Rangers 1
A LATE goal from Hemel Hempstead Town sent Soham crashing out of the Red Insurance League Cup on Tuesday night.
Striker Ross Lafayette smashed home four minutes from time to send the hosts through to the next round despite Joe Stroud’s equaliser looking certain to take the game to extra-time.
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Dennis Fenemore opened the scoring for Hemel 10 minutes into the second half only for Greens midfielder Stroud to level matters just two minutes later.
Stroud latched on to a corner from Luke Hipwell to poke home for the Greens, who had proved more than a match for their higher-league opponents
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Chances for both sides followed, Soham even hitting the woodwork, before Hemel rallied late on to take the win.
The hosts will go on to face Hitchin Town in the second round.
Soham’s cup exploits follow on from their narrow 1-0 win over Slough Town on Saturday.
Dubi Ogbonna’s 40th minute strike handed the Greens a much needed win that lifted them out of the relegation zone and secured their second clean sheet in as many games.
A tough opening quarter saw little in the way of clear cut chances for either side but the game began to pick up midway through the half as Benjamin’s young Greens started to find their feet.
Shawn Richards had a decent shot well saved and Ogbonna rattled the woodwork with a rasping drive before he finally opened the scoring from the spot after being hauled down in the 40th minute.
Keeper Dan Bircham had to be alert Dubi Ogbonnato deny a couple of decent efforts from Slough in the aftermath of the opener but on-the-whole Soham impressed in defence as the visitors struggled to find a way through.
Slough looked to up the tempo in the second half and the Greens defence were kept busy as the visitors threatened. Shaun Byrne came closest to equalising for the visitors but his low shot was superbly saved by Bircham who parried the ball behind for a corner.
Steve Sinclair also had an excellent opportunity denied by Bircham who was at full stretch to push away his shot.
Ogbonna and Richards had chances to seal the win late on for Soham but some profligate finishing ensured the battle went right down to the final minute.
Fortunately for the Greens however, they stood firm against the visitors’ onslaught to record a valuable win.