FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round Soham Town Rangers 5 St Neots Town 2 SEVEN goals, three penalties, and a sending off all contributed to a thrilling game at Soham, but left St Neots dumped out of the cup. A controversial refereeing performance saw the home
FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round
Soham Town Rangers 5 St Neots Town 2
SEVEN goals, three penalties, and a sending off all contributed to a thrilling game at Soham, but left St Neots dumped out of the cup.
A controversial refereeing performance saw the home side awarded three penalties - much to the amazement of even Soham's die-hard supporters.
St Neots began the match strongly, playing some impressive football as they raced to a 2-0 lead inside the first half-hour.
Mark Franklin was the first man on the score sheet, opening up the Soham back line with his pace to slot past the home goalkeeper.
Three minutes later it was John Coley's turn to use his pace to score, doubling Saints' advantage on the half-hour mark.
Soham should have pulled a goal back when they were justifiably awarded their first penalty but Saints goalkeeper Roy Bloxham saved Andy Furnell's penalty.
The home side did reduce the arrears on the stroke of half-time when Paul Jones took advantage of weak defensive play to make the score 2-1.
Soham equalised five minutes after the interval when Charles Libam netted with a curling shot out of the reach of Bloxham.
A controversial handball decision handed Furnell the chance to make amends for his penalty miss. This time, the Soham man made no mistake as he put the home side 3-2 up.
There was further controversy as the half progressed when Saints' forward John Coley was dismissed for acting aggressively towards the officials following a penalty appeal by St Neots.
With the visitors down to 10 men the game soon opened up for Soham and Jones doubled his tally for the match on 71 minutes to make it 4-2.
Soham forward Libam became the second man in the game to score twice when he fired in the home side's third penalty - awarded for another handball - on 87 minutes.
Fuming St Neots manager Scott Houghton said: "John Coley was apparently sent off for 'looking aggressive'. I must admit that is a new one on me.
"If you can be sent off for looking aggressive then Roy Keane would never have finished a game in his career.
"We played well in the first half and scored two excellent goals on the counter attack but when you get three penalties awarded against you and your striker sent off it is very difficult."
St Neots' match against Desborough on Tuesday evening was postponed due to the visitors' continued involvement in the FA Cup. Town travel to Cogenhoe for a league fixture on Saturday.