Soham Town Rangers 1 v 2 Grays Athletic

VERY long grass and a bumpy pitch does not make for champagne football but goals by Ishmael Welsh and Simon Thomas were enough to secure a first round FA Trophy win for the Blues.

The ball seemed to get stuck underneath the players boots and one touch flowing football was nigh on impossible.

An early Danny Bunce corner was swung in and keeper Daniel Bircham did well to hold on.

Jared Small’s shot wide in the 13th minute. This was the first real action of the game. A few minutes later, Stephen Demetriou, trying to bring some fluency into the game, did the same.

Small came off injured in the 20th minute to be replaced by Simon Thomas.

The tackling started to get keener but when Scott Carter went studs up on Dean Pennant in the 23rd minute the referee had no choice but to issue a red card.

In the 28th minute, Simon Thomas burst through but as usual hesitated and let the ball get underneath his feet.

Soham’s first shot came on the half hour but failed to trouble Stuart Robinson.

But the wait was worth it when in the 32nd minute Ishmael Welsh received the ball outside the area, picked his spot and rifled the ball past Bircham into the top left hand corner of the goal.

In the 40th minute Demetriou made a fine run to the dead ball line, got the cross in and defender Seymore did well to block the ball away.

Grays restarted and went on the attack. The keeper spilt a Thomas shot and did well to scramble the ball away for a corner.

Grays attacked again but contined to dwell on the ball giving Soham time to regroup.

Soham’s Josh Turner forced their first corner on the 55th minute but it came to very little.

Gray’s attack flattered to deceive. Whatever got on target had no real punch.

A dangerous Soham free kick was bundled away from danger by Robinson and a short time later Shawn Richards fired on over the bar.

Grays continued to attack but failed to deliver any real killer shots. They moved it left, they moved it right but just couldn’t muster any danger in the six yard box.

In the 80th minute Jerome Ingram found himself free in the area but his shot was smothered by a busy Bircham.

Soham gathered for a final push but a corner and cross were easily diverted away.

Jason Fontaine jinked into to the area passed to Thomas who shot weakly

The second goal came when Aiken fired in a great cross from the right that Simon Thomas was able to tap home from close range.

Cammy Mawer ended an untroubled debut in the referee’s book. Soham’s Cebi Dubona stepped up to take the free kick in the 90th minute and drove the ball through a porous wall and into the net.

Grays Athletic

S.Robinson, J Ingram, D Bunce C Mawer J Baker T Harvey, S Demetriou, D Pennant, I Welsh, E Aiken, J Small

Subs: R Brown, A Osborn, S Thomas, D Reynolds, J Fontaine

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