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Soham Town Rangers boss Alex Cross hails leaders after victory in Cambridgeshire Invitation Cup over Newmarket Town





Soham Town Rangers boss Alex Cross hailed his ‘leaders of men’ after Tuesday night’s 1-0 victory against Newmarket Town in the quarter-final of the Cambridgeshire Invitation Cup at Julius Martin Lane.

Joao Aguilar’s one-on-one finish, six minutes into the second half, was the difference between the two Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division sides after Charlie Sutcliffe played the on-loan King’s Lynn Academy man through on goal.

Cross was forced into making seven changes for the tie that had previously been postponed four times, with 10 of the 16 in the squad under 21-years-old, and he was full of praise for his experienced players that helped lead his young side into the semi-finals.

Alex Cross was delighted with his ‘leaders of men’ on Tuesday night Picture: Mark Westley
Alex Cross was delighted with his ‘leaders of men’ on Tuesday night Picture: Mark Westley

“We’re really, really chuffed. I thought the players worked exceptionally hard,” he said.

“I thought everyone to a man just wanted to work hard and that was the difference I thought.

“We had leaders of men tonight. I thought Cameron Watson was absolutely superb, he really led as a man in a young side tonight. It was a real collective effort.

Lowin Hercules battles for Soham Town Rangers against Newmarket Town Picture: Sean Doyle
Lowin Hercules battles for Soham Town Rangers against Newmarket Town Picture: Sean Doyle

“I’m just delighted for the players because we’ve had three games where we’ve been beaten up really and not really been able to get at the races, but I thought we were the better team.

“We were the team that showed more endeavour and spirit, and that was shown with the amount of frustration that Newmarket were putting out on the pitch.”

Cross thanked Jockeys boss Michael Shinn for his patience following the continuous postponements and admitted that the cup tie allowed the opportunity for ‘three or four players to grab a chance’.

A 1-0 loss away at Heacham on Saturday made it three-straight-league defeats for the Greens, and in that period they have failed to find the back of the net.

Soham Town Rangers kept a clean sheet against Newmarket Town at Julius Martin Lane Picture: Sean Doyle
Soham Town Rangers kept a clean sheet against Newmarket Town at Julius Martin Lane Picture: Sean Doyle

And match-winning number nine Aguilar, on his first start for Soham, certainly repaid his boss’ faith in him.

“They’ve (Newmarket) come full strength pretty much. We had four really key players missing and that’s without the players that are unavailable because of the rules.

“If you look at the squad, even with the players that weren’t here tonight, and the two lads that haven’t been used tonight, there is a lot of young players here and we want to be known as a football club that helps and develops young players.

Lee Chaffey blocks Ali Conway’s effort as Soham kept a clean sheet against Newmarket Picture: Sean Doyle
Lee Chaffey blocks Ali Conway’s effort as Soham kept a clean sheet against Newmarket Picture: Sean Doyle

“It would be a great story if we could go and get to the final but we’ll just enjoy another game of football whenever it comes around.

“We’ve got to return to league form and get going because we were in a position where we were definitely looking upwards and we’ve stalled.

“At the end of the day, I think everyone can see it, that there are players there who can do the right things at the right time and that’s possibly the biggest frustration, because for the last 270 minutes they haven’t shown that. But definitely for the last 100 minutes they have.”

Soham Town Rangers boss Alex Cross praised his leaders for the way they helped his young side through Tuesday's Cambridgeshire Invitation Cup victory Picture: Sean Doyle
Soham Town Rangers boss Alex Cross praised his leaders for the way they helped his young side through Tuesday's Cambridgeshire Invitation Cup victory Picture: Sean Doyle

Cross’ 11th-placed Greens return to Premier Division action on Saturday, hosting mid-table Sheringham at Julius Martin Lane (3pm).