Relief for clinical Soham as four-month winless run is over
- Credit: Daniel Mason
Strikes from Ollie Ward and Hilton Arthur claimed the derby bragging rights for Soham Town Rangers as they ended a 14-game winless league run in impressive style.
Ward and Arthur both shone in Soham’s 2-0 home triumph over Histon today (Saturday), their first win in the Northern Premier League Division One Midlands since beating the Stutes last September.
It was Rangers’ first game since Lloyd Groves and Matt Clements were appointed joint managers on January 4.
“It’s a fantastic feeling,” Groves said.
“The lads showed they’re willing to run and fight for each other and put their heads in where they could get hurt.
“The win was fully deserved.”
Victory also meant Soham leapfrogged their opponents, who mostly threatened in the second half, off the bottom of the table on goal difference.
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Ward, who toiled with the Histon defence all afternoon, pounced on a Sam Roach error before Arthur drilled home three minutes before half-time.
Defender Sidik Atcha also impressed at full-back, while new signings including Julien Saka, Jesse Airen and Joe Thomas also featured.
Groves has overseen the Greens’ season from the outset and is pleased with the reaction his players have given him and Clements since Robbie Mason left the club last month.
“You can look at the size of the game for the club, but for us, it was a fresh start,” said Groves.
“Robbie’s been here a long time and has been fantastic.
“Those that stayed knew that and knew they’d have to be held accountable for what happened to Robbie, and the new lads are playing with a point to prove.
“It’s been a pleasure to see the rise in intensity with the existing lads and the new boys.”
Groves and Clements look to build on their first win in joint charge when Soham host league leaders Ilkeston Town next Saturday, 3pm.
But although the squad is buoyant, they know the battle for survival is not over.
“It’s fantastic that Soham are off the bottom, but ultimately it means nothing if we’re still there at the end of the season,” Groves added.
“This is one game out of 15 more cup finals.
“We go into the Ilkeston game preparing rightly and off the back of a win, a clean sheet and belief that they know they can get a result."
*Josh Townshend's brace earned Ely City a 2-2 draw with neighbours Newmarket Town in the Eastern Counties Premier Division last weekend.
Ely take on March Town in another league derby this Saturday, 3pm.
Soham Town Rangers: Finley Iron; Sidik Atcha, Julien Saka, Jon Kaye (C), Max Mattless, Cameron Watson, Morgan Seaman (sub Alfie Connor, 73’), Ally Conway, Ollie Ward, Declan Rogers (sub Jesse Airen, 90’), Hilton Arthur (sub Joe Thomas, 90’).
Unused sub: Lloyd Groves.
Cautions: Soham Town Rangers - Kaye, Conway.
Man of the match: Sidik Atcha.
Referee: Mr Thomas Kelly.