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Frustrating FA Trophy debut ends in stalemate SOHAM TOWN RANGERS 0 - 0 AFC MANSFIELD

Rudy Funk and Mark Ward were left disappointed by their AFC Mansfield side’s FA Trophy debut, as the Bulls were forced to take a replay after a 0-0 draw at Bostik League North side Soham Town Rangers in the Preliminary Round.

“It’s probably one of the poorest performances we’ve delivered this season,” said manager Rudy Funk.

“We’ve come here after a long trip, everyone was right as rain, preparation was good, but we haven’t delivered at the top end and that’s disappointing considering the quality we have in our ranks.

“But fair play to our opponents – they had a couple of chances and we had very little to shout about today.”

Assistant manager Mark Ward said that the most frustrating thing about the result was the lack of quality when the Bulls advanced into dangerous positions.

“We didn’t really create any clear cut chances today. If we read the game a little better or if the final pass was a bit better, we could have scored two or three.”

Jason White came to the rescue twice in the first-half, blocking Joe Carden’s one-on-one effort early on after the forward was put through on goal by Sam Mulready.

Lewis Endacott was the second to have a one-on-one opportunity denied by White after the half-hour mark, with another expert piece of goalkeeping averting the danger for the Bulls.

Charlie Dawes had perhaps the best chance for the visitors, holding the ball down deep inside the Soham penalty area before seeing two attempts well blocked and frustratingly deflected out for a corner.

The Bulls did have the ball in the net deep into injury time but Jordan Annable’s header from a Liam Marsden throw-in was ruled out before it could even cross the line, as referee Jeff Aldous blew for a shove to the frustration of all involved with AFC.

The stalemate means the two sides meet again at the Forest Town Arena on Tuesday night for a replay. The home advantage may prove pivotal considering the long journey, but the gaffer was far from convinced that the distance will play a part in the result.

“By hook or by crook,” Funk said, “it doesn’t matter if it’s midweek or a Saturday. Half of their lads will probably take the day off and they’ll come ready.”

MATCH DETAILS

Final score: Soham Town Rangers 0-0 AFC Mansfield

SOHAM TOWN RANGERS XI: Pope, Endacott (Russell 51’), Gardner, Okay (Connor 77’), Chaffey ©, Mochalski, Kaye, Auger, Baulk (Hall 72’), Mulready, Carden

Subs: Conway, Russell, Hall, Connor, Mason

Yellow cards: None

AFC MANSFIELD XI: White, Marsden, Dudley, Buxton, Broadhead, Annable, Dear, Ghaichem ©, K. Wells (Guest 69’), B. Wells, Dawes (Daniels 83’)

Subs: Guest, Daniels, Wall, Peace-McDonald, Burton

Yellow cards: Buxton (90’+4)

Man-of-the-match: Jason White

Attendance: 139

MoM: Jason White

Jason White receives the MoM from Vice President Barry Coleman

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