Pride of place for Soham Town Rangers despite FA Cup agony

Soham Town Rangers vs Corby Town August 24 2021

Soham Town Rangers fought valiantly in their 4-2 defeat to Corby Town in an FA Cup preliminary round replay. - Credit: Daniel Mason

Soham Town Rangers player-assistant Erkan Okay believes the team has plenty to be proud of despite suffering FA Cup heartbreak.

Having fought back to draw level, the Greens were beaten 4-2 in extra-time by Corby Town in a preliminary round replay on Tuesday night.

Joe Carden’s finish gave Soham a half-time lead, before Ally Conway struck after Corby took a 2-1 lead early in the second half.

“The lads put their bodies on the line,” Okay said.

“It just didn’t quite happen and we were running on empty.

“But it’s fantastic experience for the lads and we are proud of them whatever the result.”

Soham, who took Corby to a replay at Julius Martin Lane after a 3-3 draw on Saturday, fielded a youthful side against strong step four opponents.

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Many of last season’s experienced players have left, while the influential Lee Chaffey came off owing to injury.

“Hopefully it’s just tightness,” said Okay.

“We’ve had to replace the experienced lads with young ones, but they’re willing to learn and we feel they’re good enough to play at this level.

Erkan Okay Soham Town Rangers vs Corby Town August 24 2021

Player-assistant Erkan Okay believes his players should be proud of their performance in the FA Cup defeat to Corby Town. - Credit: Daniel Mason

“Matt Clements has come in and has been a breath of fresh air with the young lads.

“Corby caused us problems from set pieces, too, but hats off to the lads to come back and take it to extra-time.”

Okay will look to guide Soham to a first Northern Premier League Division One Midlands victory at home to Shepshed Dynamo on August 28, 3pm.

He hinted that the club could add one or two players to the squad, but Okay believes his current crop can help the team progress.

‘It’s an experience the lads have got to learn from quickly and hopefully they can use this as a platform so it doesn’t happen again,” he said.

“Even though it wasn’t the right result, we’ve learnt that they’ve got plenty of heart, desire and application which is all we ask for.

“We’re proud of them in every single way and the league is now our focus.”

Soham Town Rangers: Finley Iron, Dan Olive (sub Fayed Rhaman, 82’), Warren McSkelly, Alfie Connor, Lee Chaffey (sub Jake Andrews, 46’), Jake Sulman, Ally Conway, Jon Kaye (C), Ollie Ward, Declan Rogers (sub Sam Bennett, 71’), Joe Carden (sub Josh James, 91’).

Unused subs: Okay, Mason.

Cautions: Soham Town Rangers - Andrews, Conway, Bennett.

Sent off: Soham Town Rangers - Connor (denied goalscoring opportunity).

Referee: Mr Ayrton Hursey.

Attendance: 204.