Soham survive last onslaught to grab victory
Soham Town Rangers are through to the next stage of the FA Vase after surviving a frantic First Round finale at Dereham Town. Goalkeeper Lea Jordan returned in place of the unavailable Ian Pledger and he was soon busy, saving twice and watching gratefull
Soham Town Rangers are through to the next stage of the FA Vase after surviving a frantic First Round finale at Dereham Town.
Goalkeeper Lea Jordan returned in place of the unavailable Ian Pledger and he was soon busy, saving twice and watching gratefully as Simon Flanz cleared off the line in the opening 10 minutes.
Rangers then took the lead against the run of play, with leading scorer Charles Libam slipping the ball through to Andy Furnell who rounded the goalkeeper before side-footing home.
The goal settled Soham's nerves, and they added a decisive second goal in the 38th minute.
Flanz - who along with Aaron Turner received a caution - was heavily involved in the move which resulted in Libam scoring from close range.
Both teams had chances after the break, but Soham should have extended their advantage having hit the woodwork on two occasions.
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Then with two minutes remaining, Olly Williams fired the ball past Jordan to give Dereham hope of saving the tie.
The referee added six minutes for stoppages, but Soham somehow managed to survive the onslaught and win 2-1.
n Ely City meanwhile entertained Needham Market - the team with the best current record in non-league football - and were a shade unlucky to lose by a 4-1 margin.
They went ahead in the first half when Dave Daniels nodded home a long throw, but the visitors levelled seven minutes before the break and then struck twice in the opening 12 minutes of the second half.
City had a great chance to reduce the deficit when they were awarded a penalty with 15 minutes remaining following a foul on Robbie Mason, but Brady Stone failed to convert.
Needham Market then struck their fourth goal in the closing stages for a somewhat flattering success.
n In the Ridgeons Premier Division, there was a disappointing 3-1 defeat for Mildenhall Town at home to Swaffham Town, but in midweek Soham had continued their fine run with a 5-2 victory against newly-promoted Walsham-le-Willows.
Michael Simpson converted Aaron Turner's cross via the post to put Rangers ahead in the 42nd minute, but the hosts cancelled that goal out immediately after the break through Matt Dixon.
Charles Libam restored Soham's lead with a superb curling drive after receiving another cross from Turner, and Scott Carter celebrated his 50th appearance for the club with a close-range third after latching on to a Simpson pass.
Libam then contributed another great strike for his 10th goal of the season, and went on to complete his hat-trick with 19 minutes remaining.
Stuart Logan scored a consolation goal for Walsham with quarter-of-an-hour left, but Soham ran out worthy winners and look serious title challengers at this early stage of the campaign.