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Soham boss regrets lack of extension as side endures a gruelling schedule

TOUGH SCHEDULE: Soham boss Robbie Mason
TOUGH SCHEDULE: Soham boss Robbie Mason

Robbie Mason would like the Bostik League to have followed suit with their Thurlow Nunn League counterparts by extending the current season.

Mason’s Soham Town Rangers have been hit as hard as any side in the Bostik League North Division with postponements in recent months, leaving them to play catch up before the campaign draws to a close on Saturday, April 28.

INJURED: Marcus Hall is likely to miss the rest of the season with a hamstring injury
INJURED: Marcus Hall is likely to miss the rest of the season with a hamstring injury

The Greens are currently in the middle of a 10-game run in 29 days — a sequence that saw them beat Ware 3-2 last Thursday, lose 1-0 at home to Witham Town on Saturday and then suffer a 3-0 defeat at the hands of promotion-chasing Heybridge Swifts on Tuesday.

Soham also travel to Dereham Town tonight (7.45pm), Waltham Abbey on Saturday (3pm) and host Ware on Tuesday (7.45pm).

The Thurlow Nunn League has granted clubs a seven-day extension to help with the backlog, but there has been no such leeway coming from Bostik League officials.

Mason said: “When you have a small squad like we do it is very tough.

“We played Heybridge on Tuesday and they have a big squad full of good players — it is hard for them, but they have the options to manage it.

“The end of the season is crucial for some teams and while we are in a safe position, we still want to end on a positive note.

“On Saturday we looked sluggish and lazy but that is not us, we just did not have enough time to recover after Thursday. Witham were fresher and sharper because they did not play on Thursday.

“These are not full time footballers and even if the season was extended by a week it would make a difference for all of the clubs.”

Injuries and suspensions have not helped Soham’s cause, with Marcus Hall (hamstring) set to miss the rest of the season and defenders Lee Chaffey and Harry Norman due to sit games out because of ill discipline.

Nevertheless, player-boss Mason, who may have to revert to centre-half to cover the absences, does not want his players downing tools during the weeks that remain.

“We have to try to keep focused. I know it is difficult and we have been hit by injuries, but we have to keep going,” he added.

“We cannot think negatively about it — if we do the season will just fizzle out.

“It is all about pride. We have to really dig in now, not roll over, and play for each other.”

Mason also revealed that his assistant — Erkan Okay — could get some minutes on the pitch before the season is out.

Okay, who is a former England C international, has not played for the last 15 months because of the cruciate knee ligament injury he suffered while playing for AFC Sudbury.

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