'Golden ticket' missed for Soham Town Rangers as relegation battle intensifies

Soham Town Rangers player-boss Robbie Mason on touchline

Robbie Mason (right) felt Soham Town Rangers missed a "golden ticket" to end their winless run against fellow strugglers Sutton Coldfield Town after a 1-0 defeat. - Credit: Daniel Mason

A depleted Soham Town Rangers were unable to capitalise on what their player-boss described as “a golden ticket” to end their winless run against fellow strugglers.

Rangers could not break down a stubborn Sutton Coldfield Town team that played over 75 minutes with 10 men in their 1-0 defeat today (Saturday).

“It was a great opportunity after they went down to 10 men against a team with similar form to us, it’s a golden ticket,” Soham player-boss Robbie Mason said.

“We won’t have a better opportunity to win a game all year.”

It was a far cry from the Soham side that drew at promotion chasers Stamford seven days before, as they failed to pose a severe threat on Sutton Coldfield’s goal.

And on 64 minutes, they paid the price when Isai Marselia struck a penalty past Finley Iron to go six points clear of their bottom-placed hosts in the Northern Premier League Division One Midlands.

“When Dan Olive gave away the penalty, we should have already been three goals up,” said Mason.

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“It came down to who wanted it more and they made us look like we had 10 at times, which is disappointing. 

“We’re trying to play too intricately in the final third when we need a goal, so we need to play to our strengths and feed off scraps.

“A point would have been fine for us and that’s saying something against 10 men.”

Soham’s winless league run now stands at 12 games ahead of a Cambridgeshire derby at Wisbech Town on December 27, 3pm.

The Greens may also be without defenders Olive and Lee Chaffey who both got injured in today’s defeat.

Mason said it’s unclear when the pair will be fit again, but he does know the challenge at stake.

“Every game is like a final; we’re fighting for survival,” he said.

“Sharpy (Sam Bennett) has gone to Wisbech from us, which adds a little spice there.

“But as a squad, we have to re-evaluate and go into the Christmas period with a clear mindset.”

*Ely City, who were without a game this weekend, visit March Town in an Eastern Counties Premier Division derby on December 27, 11am.

Soham Town Rangers: Finley Iron; Fayed Rhaman, Dan Olive, Alfie Connor, Lee Chaffey (sub Cameron Watson, 30’), Max Mattless, Joe Carden (sub Ollie Ward, 57’), Jon Kaye (C), Robbie Mason, Ally Conway, Ben Seymour-Shove (sub Grayson Allen, 75’).

Unused subs: Sam Kelly, Lloyd Groves.

Cautions: Soham Town Rangers - Watson (foul), Mason (dissent), Mattless (dissent).

Referee: Mr Jack Willmore.

Attendance: 118.