DIVISION ONE NORTH
Bury Town 2
Soham Town Rangers 1
Robbie Mason was left questioning his players’ desire after two sloppy goals saw a promising first 45 minutes go unrewarded at Bury Town on Boxing Day.
The Soham Town Rangers player-manager said he wished he had picked himself after witnessing a lacklustre second-half display that left them empty handed and with back-to-back defeats over the festive period.
The Greens had been the better side in the first half but were ultimately undone by sloppy marking from two free-kicks, the first seeing Tevan Allen head home in the 57th minute before Ollie Hughes did likewise at the far post 12 minutes from time, wiping out Craig Gillies’ 71st minute deft lob.
It led Mason and assistant Erkan Okay to hold an inquest with his players on the pitch after the final whistle.
“I never, ever want to question my players and their desire and when I am having to it is hard for me because I have always been a player who, if things aren’t happening, works my socks off to make something happen,” said Mason, whose side are 14th but have now slipped from nine to 11 points from the top six.
“I asked the question of the players if they want to be there (top 10 pushing on the play-offs).
“In the first half I thought we created a lot and it was just that final ball, that final run. We just couldn’t make it work.
“We had been on top of the game and they didn’t have a sniff. They only had one shot, and that didn’t trouble Popey.
“So we came out confident in the second half, but to go 1-0 down to that goal was poor. You should not get caught under the ball as a ‘keeper and you should not let the shortest bloke on the pitch win a header and put it in the back of the net.
“We have gone back and worked hard and got our goal through a great finish from Craig and then we have given a lazy free-kick away, just dangling a leg out, and then we’ve given another terrible goal away, exactly the same.”
He added: “The first-half performance, we were creating, we were on top of the game, we were wanted the ball and were winning headers. To then come out second half and just be flat is not good enough.
“Our laziness, our lack of desire to get back in cost us.
“Even after those two goals they have had two clear-cut chances and Popey has made two great saves.”
Soham had seen their winning run ended at three games after coming back from their enforced two-week break to lose 3-1 at home to Potters Bar Town on Saturday, in a game that had three red cards.
Sandra Costa Dias Fernandes had put the visitors into the lead within 63 seconds before Lewis Clayton made it 1-1 at the break.
Soham captain Lewis Endacott was dismissed just before the hour mark for his second yellow card, with Potters Bar regaining the lead through Chris Doyle in the 72nd minute.
A melee saw Lee Chaffey and his opposite number five both dismissed in the 85th minute and Eoin Casey went on to make it 3-1 following a free-kick in the final minute.