Robbie Mason has conceded the first goal is likely to be crucial in Soham Town Rangers’ season-defining clash with Maldon & Tiptree on Saturday (3pm), writes Liam Apicella.
The fourth-from-bottom Greens go into their final encounter of the campaign in the knowledge that matching the result Heybridge Swifts pick up against Phoenix Sports will be enough to secure their Ryman League Division One North status.
Mason’s men have been in good form over recent weeks, collecting 14 points from a possible 18 after back-to-back 1-1 draws with Tilbury and Bury Town over the Easter period.
Saturday’s opponents are riding high in second place, but if Soham can score first, their player-boss is confident of victory.
“We had a couple of chances to get out of trouble over Easter and make the last game more enjoyable but it was not to be,” said Mason.
“It is a massive game for everyone and it will come down to how we deal with the pressure.
“The first goal is going to be key. If we concede it, heads could drop, although we will be drumming it into the lads to not let that happen.
“But if we score it, like in recent weeks, we could go on to win well.”
One thing that could work in Soham’s favour is the fact that Maldon are scheduled be in play-off action four days after the trip to Cambridgeshire.
“They might rest a few and others might not be keen on the 50/50 tackles. Nobody wants to miss big games,” added Mason.
“We have to make sure we are strong and capitalise if there is any uncertainty.”
Both of Soham’s goals in the 1-1 draws were scored by Sam Mulready, taking his tally to seven in eight outings.