Pope shines in The Greens’ penalty shootout
His brother Nick may be capturing global attention with Burnley in the Premier League at the minute, but Josh Pope showed why he is so valued at new club Soham Town Rangers on Tuesday evening.
The summer signing from Mildenhall made the decisive save to send The Greens through to the second round of the Velocity Trophy (Bostik League Cup) 9-8 after a penalty shootout against Witham Town at Julius Martin Lane, with the 90 minutes having ended goalless.
Robbie Mason’s men had drawn 2-2 at home to Canvey Island in the Bostik League Division One North on Saturday, despite having led 2-0 through Gary Cohen and Matt Allan before Canvey ‘keeper Henry Newcombe was sent off just after the hour mark.
The Cambridgeshire side have a daunting trip to second-placed Haringey Borough on Saturday (3pm) before hosting AFC Sudbury in a cross-border derby on Tuesday (7.45pm).
Converted midfielder Joe Asensi kept up his hot streak in front of goal for Mildenhall Town on Saturday with the decisive first-half goal in a 1-0 win at Witham Town, ensuring Dean Greygoose’s men have now won four of their last five in the league and recorded back-to-back victories.
The three points moved the newly-promoted side up to ninth in the table, a point off the play-off places, ahead of hosting the side directly below them, Tilbury, on Saturday (3pm).
In the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division, Newmarket Town’s unbeaten run ended at six matches — including four straight victories — after they lost out 2-0 to Coggeshall Town in a second-versus-third clash in Essex.
Kevin Grainger’s side, who will look to get back on track at home to FA Clacton (13th) on Saturday (3pm), had been goalless with last season’s promoted side with 15 minutes left on the clock.
Ely City (11th) will host ninth-placed Gorleston on Saturday (3pm) off the back of the weekend’s 1-1 draw at Wivenhoe Town in which Tom Williams was on target for The Robins.
Brady Stone’s men then travel to 12th placed Haverhill Rovers on Tuesday.