Soham Avoid Relegation With Late Goals
Two goals in the final five minutes of the season ensured Soham avoided relegation with a 4-3 home win against second placed Maldon and Tiptree.
The Greens, who remained unchanged from the side which had drawn at Bury Town on Easter Monday, came into the game knowing they had to match or better Heybridge Swifts’ result at home to Phoenix Sports to stay up.
Knowing what they had to achieve to stay up, Soham started the game on the attack, and inside the opening minute Brown intercepted a loose ball down the right taking it towards the area, pulling it back for Mulready, with the striker lifting his shot just over the bar, whilst up the other end Conroy made a low save to keep out Brampton’s effort from distance. The hosts were dealt a blow with Ryan Horne picking up an early injury with the midfielder being replaced by Dan Hobbs after ten minutes, but continued to attack before opening the scoring in the 21st minute when Sam Mulready followed up to fire into the roof of the net after Tennent’s original effort from Cambridge’s corner was blocked on the line. Shortly after Endacott cleared Brampton’s goal bound shot before the visitors levelled from a corner of their own with Joshua Pollard coming in unmarked at the back post to head home Henry’s set-piece. The goal lifted Maldon who finished the half the stronger side however could only fire well over with efforts from Henry and Allarakhia.
Minutes after the restart Hobbs picked up an injury and was replaced by Mochalski before Brown ran onto a forward ball, holding off a defender to place at Wilks. Maldon made their first change in the 54th minute with Kieron Bailey coming on for Kyle Hammond, and within two minutes, the former Green gave his new club the lead when he collected a pass to take it wide of the area and place his shot past Conroy at his near post. However with two minutes Soham was again level with Lloyd Groves heading Cambridge’s corner under Wilks. Both sides made further changes before Maldon retook the lead midway through the half when following good build up play by Nash towards the right of the area, the substitute delivered the ball towards the back post with Sam Newson stooping to head home. As the half continued Nash worked his way along the edge of the area to fire high at Conroy before Tennent had a shot blocked, Wilks made a fine save to keep out Mulready and Agyermang shot wide. With only five minutes remaining, and the Greens in the relegation zone with other results going against them, scored twice in three minutes to pull off the great escape - The hosts equalised again in the 85th minute when Tennent sent Cambridge’s corner back into the area with Mason flicking it on for Mulready to spin and fire past Wilks with things getting better three minutes later when assistant manager Groves rose to head home his second goal of the afternoon from another Cambridge corner. After four minutes of stoppage time, the referee blew his whistle for the final time this season allowing the celebrations to start for the hosts.
The win means Soham finish the season in nineteenth position having collected seventeen points from their final seven games to avoid relegation with Ware finishing the campaign in the bottom three.
Soham Town Rangers
N. Conroy, C. Russell, W. Gardner, A. Cambridge, J. Tennent, L. Groves, L. Endacott (P. Maina 67), R. Horne (D. Hobbs 10 (J. Mochalski 47)), R. Mason, S. Mulready, L. Brown
Unused: C. Ramadan
Maldon & Tiptree
D. Wilks, K. Hammond (K. Bailey 54), J. Claridge, J. Kamanzi, J. Pollard, G. Greenfield, T. Brampton, M. Agyermang, S. Newson (A. Mills 71), R. Henry (L. Nash 65), T. Allarakhia
Unused: B. Roast, J. Behan
Score: (1-1) 4-3
STRFC: S. Mulready (21, 85), L. Groves (58, 88)
MTFC: J. Pollard (24), K. Bailey (56), S. Newson (68)
STRFC: R. Mason (45+4), W. Gardner (62)