SOHAM TOWN RANGERS FOOTBALL CLUB
A Brief History
Soham Town Rangers were formed in 1947 as a result of a merger between Soham Rangers (1919) and Soham Town (1920). The Julius Martin Lane ground, which at the time was the home of Soham Town, is still the home of the club today, after it was purchased in 1952.
The new club started life in the Cambs League, also running a Reserve team. In 1956, they joined the Peterborough League where they were to remain until 1963. During their time there, they won the league and the league cup on two separate occasions. A measure of the level of support enjoyed by non-league clubs in those days was the fact that on their first home game of the season, on August 22nd 1956, a local derby against near neighbours Ely City, over 500 match day programmes were sold - Unfortunately, the 6-2 drubbing for the hosts took the shine off the day.
The club joined the Eastern Counties League in 1963, and remained there until 2008.
During this time, considerable ground development was taking place - The social club was built in 1968, new dressing rooms and showers were erected in 1979, along with a grandstand extension. In 1981, a lounge bar extension was added to the social club.
Floodlights were erected in 1983, and were inaugurated by the visit of an Arsenal XI in front of 1200 spectators. A new grandstand eventually replaced the original wooden structure at the beginning of the 1990’s, whilst various other developments have taken place in order to qualify the club to compete at step four in the non-league pyramid.
Soham enjoyed considerable success in the Cambridgeshire Invitation Cup during the 1990’s, winning it on three separate occasions. In 1991, Soham won the competition for the first time in their history when they defeated March Town United, before repeating the feat again in 1998 and 1999 against Wisbech Town and Newmarket Town respectively. The Greens were also the first winners of the Millennium League Cup, when they defeated Diss Town on penalties in the final in 2001.
The 2007-08 season was to be the clubs most successful season to date when they won the Premier Division for the first time, beating nearest challengers Needham Market 4-0 on the final day of the season to clinch the title in front of 680 spectators at the Lane, and with it promotion to the Southern League for the first time in their history.
In the first three seasons in the Southern League, Soham recorded finishes of 15th, 11th and 17th. At the end of the 2010-11 season, Ian Benjamin, who had been at the club for six seasons and was in charge of the 2008 title winning side, stepped down from his position as 1st Team Manager.
Soham transferred to the Ryman League Division One North for the 2011/12 season with former striker Andrew Furnell returning to the Lane, to take over as Player/Manager. However with the Greens languishing near the foot of the table, Furnell was replaced by former Histon Manager Steve Fallon and Ian Hart in March, with the club finishing the season fourth from bottom.
It was a successful campaign for Soham’s other sides though, with the Reserves returning to the Kershaw Premier Division after finishing as runners-up in Senior A, whilst the Under 18s progressed to the 1st round of the FA Youth Cup, where they were beaten by Charlton Athletic in front of a crowd of over 500 people at the Lane.