Millers win battle at Soham
It wasn’t the prettiest of wins, but all that matters is the three points.
A few little injuries saw the Millers make a few changes to the eleven that started against Bowers & Pitsea on Tuesday night.
We started off on the back foot, and it seemed like a matter of time before the hosts would deservedly be in front. Sam Mulready had a fantastic chance free at the back post but he couldn’t direct the ball in and it went out for a corner kick. From that corner, a header from Lloyd Groves directed towards the goal was hooked clear off the line from Chris Bourne.
We came into the game after those chances with James Love and George Doyle combining well which led to back to back corners. The second of those corners landed to Marcus Milner in a tough angle and he could only get his effort over the crossbar.
George Doyle then created his own half-chance from the edge of the area, which saw him curl a right-footed effort just wide of the keepers’ left-hand post.
Just after 21 minutes, the hosts looked to have gone in front with a free-kick which avoided everyone and ended up in the back of our net, but the referee had blown for a foul on David Hughes.
Followed was a couple more chances for us which saw a punch from Soham keeper Josh Pope land to Ben Sampayo who could only sort of hook/chip the ball goal-wards to see it go over the bar.
On the 35 minutes, the Millers then had a goal disallowed, the referee waved advantage at first after Alex Akrofi and Josh Pope collided, Freddie Gard then applied a smart finish, only for the official to then stop play and award Soham a free-kick.
But that wasn’t to matter, as two minutes after the keeper received treatment the Millers took the lead. Lovely footwork and solo effort for Andy Freeman saw him squeeze the past Pope and into the left-hand side of the goal. Soham 0-1 Aveley.
Just before the break we almost had the second, a ball in from George Doyle, after fantastic work from Marcus Milner, almost reached Alex Akrofi only for Groves to head the ball to take away that chance for Akrofi to continue his excellent form in front of goal.
Half Time | Soham 0-1 Aveley.
The second half started much like the first half with Soham on top. This game was similar in the way how we played away at Felixstowe where we seemed to have all possession and efforts, but it just wasn't going in.
An effort from Sam Mulready was blocked on its way towards goal by Marcus Milner, although I don't think he knew much about it, Marcus was in the right place at the right time to keep us in front. From that corner, it was headed just wide of the goal by Lewis Endacott.
David Hughes made a superb reaction save at his near post after Lloyd Groves directed his effort towards that bottom left-hand corner.
Minutes later and David Hughes again was forced into a save, this one better than them all, the ball bounced right in front of him inside the six-yard box and he somehow tipped the ball over the crossbar to deny the hosts.
Sam Mulready had a lot of chances but he just couldn't get past Hughes, who again made a great reaction save from close range. The next chance landed to Callum Russell at our back post, but unmarked he could only spoon it wide of the goal.
We did have our chances to end it, a few corners and a dangerous looking free-kick were all defended well by Soham. Andy Freeman almost had a glorious chance to double our lead, a long kick forward by David Hughes went over the Soham back line, landed to Andy Freeman but before he could get his shot off, a brilliant tackle by Lewis Endacott stopped us from ending the game.
Into the 90+7th minute of the game and the ball landed to goalkeeper Josh Pope, brother of Burnley and England goalkeeper Nick Pope, fired an inch wide of the right-hand post.
Full Time | Soham Town Rangers 0-1 Aveley.
Millers XI | David Hughes, Ben Sampayo, Chris Bourne, James Love, Connor Witherspoon (C), Sam Cross, Freddie Gard (Alex Teniola 51), George Doyle, Marcus Milner (Harry Gibbs 71), Andy Freeman, Alex Akrofi (Sam Mvemba 90).
Unused Subs | Tom Richardson, Shad Ngandu.
Soham XI | Josh Pope, Lewis Endacott (C) (Will Gardner 79), Harry Norman, Alfie Connor (Marcus Hall 83), Jack Mochalski, Lloyd Groves, Jon Kaye, Ryan Auger, Callum Russell, Sam Mulready, Michael Baulk (Joe Carden 61).
Unused Subs | Ally Conway, Rob Mason.