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Soham Town Rangers improve fitness levels in bid to kickstart their season

Player-manager Robbie Mason is hoping a run around Royston Heath will prove to be the turning point in Soham Town Rangers’ season.

The Greens got off to a slow start in the Pitching In Northern League Midlands Division, picking up just one point from their opening six matches.

Mason felt much of that form was down to his side tiring in the latter stages of games, leading to poor decision making and subsequently goals being conceded.

Robbie Mason's Soham got off the mark last time out. Picture: Mark Westley
Robbie Mason's Soham got off the mark last time out. Picture: Mark Westley

And so he decided to put the players through their paces at a venue he knew well from his time on the books at Royston.

The early results have been promising, with Soham going on to pick up their first three points of the campaign thanks to a 1-0 home victory over Daventry Town.

Mason said: “It has been a tough start, but we’ve shown plenty of potential as well. We’ve been good in the first 45 or 60 minutes of games, just not for a whole game.

“We did a lot of ball work in pre-season which was really good, but you’ve got to get the basics of football right and I felt like maybe we weren’t quite fit enough.

“When you get tired you make bad decisions and that is when you concede more goals.

“I remembered the hill on Royston Heath from my time at Royston and we took the lads there. I did it with them, and it was about working hard for each other.

“It’s all well and good being good on the ball, but you’ve got to be willing to make those 60-yard runs for your team-mates when things are tough.”

As well as working to boost fitness levels, Mason has also been pleased to welcome four players back to the club.

Sam Mulready, Ryan Auger and Lloyd Groves have all returned to Julius Martin Lane following summer departures, while Ben Seymour-Shove has rejoined after a number of seasons away with the likes of Cambridge City and St Ives Town.

And the boss believes the quartet will all help to boost the goal tally.

“We always say to the lads that are leaving that the door is open to come back,” he said.

“With Muzza, it didn’t work for him at Dereham and we offered him a way out. Everyone knows what he’s about. He guarantees you 20 to 25 goals and that started with his goal against Daventry.

“I’ve known Ben for a long time and he’s a proven Step 3 player. He’s got a lot of quality and we’d like to think he’ll be worth at least 15 goals to us.

“Lloydy is obviously a defender but is a big threat from set pieces and Augs will help to be that link between the midfield, Muzza and the wide players. He has also got a great delivery from set pieces.”

On Saturday, Soham will look to make it back-to-back victories when they make the short trip to Histon (3pm).

The Stutes are the only side in the division below Mason’s men – and he is keen to keep it that way.

“We’ve experienced being at the bottom and nobody gives you a hand to pick you up,” he added. “That’s what we’ve got to make sure we don’t do on Saturday. We need to be on the front foot and take the game to them.

“The last thing you want to face when you’re bottom is a side who race out the blocks and get in your face.

“At the same time you can’t let a team that’s bottom get an early lead and get on top because if you get a sniff of points they’ll scrap for it.

“We know Histon well and how they’ll play. It will be tough – it always is against them – but it is down to us to make our mark on the game.”

Player-assistant Erkan Okay and midfielder Jon Kaye will miss the Histon match through suspension.