EMIRATES FA CUP
FIRST QUALIFYING ROUND REPLAY
Soham Town Rangers 0
Rushall Olympic 1
Robbie Nightingale reflected on what could have been after his Soham Town Rangers side exited this year’s FA Cup on Tuesday, writes Graham Clark.
If possession won games then The Greens would have progressed, however only one statistic counts, and Josh McKenzie’s sixth-minute strike was enough to send his side through.
“That is the story of our very short season so far. We started poorly and let in a sloppy goal. We dominated after and I don’t think our ‘keeper had a save to make,” said joint-manager Nightingale.
“We spent most of the time in the second half in their end and played some really good football, but we didn’t get what we deserved. If you don’t score goals though you don’t win games and that has cost us in the end.”
Having squandered a 2-0 lead in the original fixture on Saturday, The Greens fell behind to the first, and only, real threat the Dales Lane side posed as McKenzie latched on to Stan Mugisha’s well weighted through-ball before firing home past Clarke Bogard.
Rangers thought they had secured an equaliser when Lloyd Groves bundled the ball in nine minutes later but his effort was disallowed after the referee ruled the returning Dubi Ogbonna had handled the ball in the build up.
Two more chances fell the way of Ogbonna ahead of the break, both though were turned away well by Jose Veiga in the Olympic net, while Salim Relizani saw his goalbound effort cleared over the bar to safety early in the second half.
In a half of few chances for the visitors, Mickael Partodikromo whistled a shot over the bar and saw a free-kick well held by Bogard, while at the other end Rangers had three penalty shouts.
With time almost up, Darren Foxley had one last chance to level matters and force extra-time, but his free-kick went the wrong side of the post.
Rangers will be back in Ryman League Division One North action on Saturday when hosting Brentwood Town (3pm), with Needham Market the visitors on Tuesday in the Ryman League Cup (7.45pm).
Journal Man Of The Match: Jordan Fitzpatrick (Rushall Olympic)
Soham: Bogard, Harris, McDonald (White, 29), Horne (Russell, 77), Gent, Groves, Foxley, Paterson, Ogbonna, Sharman, Relizani.
n Ex-Soham player Connor Wood has joined Premier League champions Leicester City from Chesham.