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Soham Town Rangers' recent additions have been making a big impact

Saturday’s match-winner Lloyd Groves believes that Soham Town Rangers’ recent recruitment drive has been a leading factor in their upturn in form.

The Greens were winless in the BetVictor Isthmian League North Division between mid-October and late December, but the weekend’s 1-0 victory at Canvey Island marked a third straight triumph without conceding a goal.

That run has coincided with defender Jake Kerins’ arrival and the return of midfielder Jon Kaye, while winger Declan Rogers has also rejoined after several seasons away.

Lloyd Groves celebrates scoring the winner for Soham Town Rangers at Canvey Island. Picture: Andy Wilkins (27927077)
Lloyd Groves celebrates scoring the winner for Soham Town Rangers at Canvey Island. Picture: Andy Wilkins (27927077)

And centre-back Groves, who scored the only goal at Canvey midway through the second half, has praised the impact the additions have made.

“We were maybe guilty of getting carried away with the good start we had, especially when we went on that bad run,” said Groves.

“The run we are on has been great, but because of that bad form we are keeping our feet on the ground.

“At the same time we are delighted. To win three games on the bounce is huge and I am especially delighted with the three clean sheets.

“Mase (Robbie Mason, manager) and Erks (Erkan Okay, assistant) have recruited well recently. JK (Kaye) has been instrumental, Kerins has been excellent and getting Chaffs (Lee Chaffey) back fit has been huge.

“These are players that know the level and have made plenty of appearances at Step 4.

“A lot of the time at this level it is about game management, seeing games out, and the players that have come in know how to do that.

“You only have to look at Romford at the moment. They have signed a lot of players from Steps 1 and 2, but they do not know this level and their results show that. It is not a mug’s level, you have to know what you are up against.”

Work commitments meant Groves did not arrive at Canvey on Saturday until after the game had kicked off, but having replaced Chaffey in the 54th minute, he went on to head home the winner.

“Canvey are a decent side with a decent pitch, so to go there and win the way we did showed some real character,” he added.

“Overall it was a professional performance, especially in the last 10 minutes or so when they put on a bit of pressure.

“As a defender, the clean sheet is the main thing, but it is also always nice to pop up with a goal.

“I did not even get the chance to warm up, which is far from ideal, but thankfully it did not matter.”

Soham will look to continue their positive form on Saturday when they play host to promotion hopefuls Heybridge Swifts (3pm), while on Wednesday they head to Cambridge City (7.45pm).