Fierce derby clash at Mildenhall ends all square and 10-men apiece

Soham Town 'keeper Josh Pope (in pink), set Soham on the way to their goal Photo: STAN BASTON

Soham Town 'keeper Josh Pope (in pink), set Soham on the way to their goal Photo: STAN BASTON - Credit: Photo:Stan Baston

Mildenhall 1 Soham Town 1

This was a deserved point for ‘The Hall’ in this local derby in front of a bumper crowd of 309 at Recreation Way, writes John Campany.

Manager Ricky Cornish anticipated a ‘blood and thunder’ match, and he was right, with nine bookings, two dismissals and two penalties.

The home side with one win in the last ten outings, and 18th position in the table, were thankful when the sponsors ‘man of the match’ keeper Jack Hayhoe saved a penalty in added time to foil the visitors of all three points.

Matt Hayden made his debut having returned to Mildenhall from Newmarket to add more power up front and showed early signs of rewarding his manager.

This was an exciting game played on a testing surface, with the local rivalry intense from the outset, as both sides sought to gain the initiative, but both spurned several early chances, before Rangers took the lead on 22 minutes.

Keeper Josh Pope dispatched a long throw to Joe Carden down the right flank and he raced clear before sending in a low ball to the near post, where last Saturday’s Soham hat trick hero Sam Mulready, smartly ghosted in to side foot beyond Hayhoe.

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At the other end, the impressive wide man Evans Kouassi drove straight at Pope and then Hayden shot wildly over. The home side showing a collective spirited response, were tenacious, and at times looked better than there perilous position, but there was a resilience about ‘Rangers’.

A well-constructed move created a difficult chance when Jarid Robson progressing in midfield released Kouassi who crossed seeking out Hayden who struck a fine volley that fractionally skimmed the bar.

However, ‘The Hall’s’ persistence was rewarded in the 40th minute when Jack Mochalski was adjudged to have handled and Evans Kouassi’s firmly struck spot-kick beat Pope.

It was a fiercely contested second-half with the referee administering nine yellow cards, two of which resulted in red, and departures for Mildenhall’s Panny Boxer and Soham’s Lee Chaffey, in separate incidents.

The visitors went close when Joe Carden powered a volley that was well saved by Jack Hayhoe, and for ‘The Hall’ Tom Debenham rifled an effort inches wide and in added-time Hayhoe superbly saved Sam Mulready’s powerful spot-kick, to ensure parity.

Referee Mr Ashley List.