Player-boss fears for his job after crushing derby day defeat

Robbie Mason player-manager at Soham Town Rangers FC

Robbie Mason suffered a crushing defeat as Soham Town Rangers' player-boss at Wisbech Town in a Cambridgeshire derby. - Credit: Daniel Mason

Robbie Mason believes defeat in the next two derbies could spell the end of his time as player-boss at Soham Town Rangers after another crushing blow. 

Mason started in the 3-0 loss at Wisbech Town in an all-Cambridgeshire affair in the Northern Premier League Division One Midlands today (Monday). 

“It’s tough to take,” he said. 

“We brought some new lads in and due to Covid and injuries, we had to make changes but that’s no excuse for the performance.” 

Soham announced the signings of Sidik Atcha, Eniola Agemoh-Davies and James Hall hours before their trip to Wisbech, and decided to start with three central defenders. 

But the decision did not pay off as they were left exposed to a ruthless Fenmen side, who should have scored more had it not been for Rangers goalkeeper Finley Iron’s inspired display. 

“We wanted to be more aggressive in that formation, but because three centre-halves wanted to be protected, they were dragging players back in,” said Mason. 

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“Finn was superb; without him, it could have been embarrassing. 

“We knew they (Wisbech) were going to be tough; at that end of the table, you’re fighting and they showed that in abundance.” 

Mason’s men were left chasing the game after Fenmen emergency loanee Dean Grogan headed Wisbech in front, before Sam Bennett haunted his former club. 

The striker netted twice in front of a 301-strong crowd at Fountain Fresh Park to extend Soham’s winless league run to 13 games. 

The result also heaped further pressure on Mason’s tenure as player-manager ahead of league derbies with Cambridge City (January 1, 3pm) and Histon (January 15), both at Julius Martin Lane. 

“It’s bitter that Sam scored, but it was a case of they’re a fighting team and we didn’t bring the fight,” Mason admitted. 

“Every game is now significant and probably more so for me as if we don’t get through them two, I’m probably out of a job. 

“We’re bottom of the league, not performing and that’s (down to) me. 

“We need a little bit of luck, and it would be nice for us to get that next game, but we’ll see.”   

*Ely City are due to return to Eastern Counties Premier Division action against Mildenhall Town at the Demcom Stadium on January 3, 3pm. 

The Thurlow Nunn League will make a decision on whether fixtures on January 3 will still go ahead amid fears over the spread of the Omicron Covid-19 variant. 

Soham Town Rangers: Finley Iron; Eniola Agemoh-Davies, Sam Kelly, Sidik Atcha, Max Mattless, Cameron Watson, Ally Conway, Alfie Connor (C) (sub Ollie Ward), Robbie Mason (sub Ben Seymour-Shove), James Hall, Declan Rogers.

Unused subs: Fayed Rhaman, Warren McSkelly, Lloyd Groves.

Cautions: Soham Town Rangers - Connor.

Man of the match: Finley Iron. 

Referee: Mr Thomas Harvey.

Attendance: 301.

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