FA Trophy tie hands Soham Town Rangers opportunity to end winless run against Bury Town
Belief and confidence – those are the two elements that manager Robbie Mason believes will be key if his Soham Town Rangers side are to end their long winless run against cross-county rivals Bury Town on Saturday (3pm).
The two sides will lock horns at Julius Martin Lane with a place in the first round qualifying of the Buildbase FA Trophy at stake.
The history books will certainly favour the visitors from Suffolk, who have lost none of the last 15 meetings between the two in all competitions.
In fact, the Greens last trumped the Blues back in November 2005 when goals from Rob Allis, Stephen Bugg and Andy Furnell sealed a 3-1 win at Ram Meadow, while Soham’s most recent home win over Bury came 18 months earlier when Tommy Crawford and Michael Simpson (2) were on target (also 3-1).
However, with three BetVictor Isthmian League North Division wins and a run to the second qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup already under their belt this term, the mood inside the Soham dressing room is positive.
Mason is confident that the squad he has assembled will be a match for second-placed Bury in terms of quality, with the difference between the teams likely to come down to a battle of the mind.
“We will need to play the occasion. Since I came in (December 2016) we have tended to go into this sort of game not confident enough and we do not back ourselves to get the result,” said the boss, whose side beat Cambridge United Development 2-1 in the Cambridgeshire Invitation Cup on Tuesday night.
“It is a local derby and it will be tough. You have to fight in these matches and hope that you have the quality on the day to get you through. They are flying in the league and are bound to be confident that they can roll us over again, but we have a lot of quality in our squad now.
“We need to stand tall and let that quality show. We have lacked the belief to do that in the past but the lads are playing well, so hopefully that encourages them.
“We have to start getting results in games like this. We lost at Grays and Heybridge recently (both 3-2) and we played well, but we do not want to be the sort of team that impresses performance wise but does not get the result.
“It is a mentality thing because the players have shown they are good enough footballers.There is always the financial reward in games like this but the real incentive is a chance to beat our neighbours.
“Defeats in these games stick with you and we have had a few against them recently. It is a massive game and it is down to us to show them our quality.”
After a spell on the sidelines, striker Sam Mulready is fit for the Bury clash while player assistant-manager Erkan Okay will return from suspension.
Soham will also be in action at home on Tuesday when they host Hertford Town in the group stages of the Velocity Trophy (7.45pm).