Rovers fail to beat the drop despite leads

First published in Billericay Town & Concord Rangers: Conference South

ROVERS were relegated despite twice holding the lead on a dramatic afternoon at Soham Town.

There was clearly a nervousness about the teams during the opening stages with both struggling to take control of the game.

Rovers keeper Louis Godwin-Green had already dealt with efforts from James Motley and Neil Andrews, and seen Dan Cotton scuff wide, by the time home skipper Michael Simpson spectacularly volleyed his side in front off the underside of the crossbar.

The visitors levelled immediately as goalkeeper Dan Bircham pushed aside Billy Johnson’s shot only for the onrushing Ashley Hawkins to fire home the rebound.

And they took the lead when Johnson picked the ball up 25 yards out and sent a fantastic shot into the bottom corner of the net.

But Soham were level within a minute of the restart as Simpson rose majestically to plant a header past Godwin-Green from Cotton’s corner.

Johnson almost restored Rovers’ lead with a long-range free kick which almost caught out the jittery Bircham, who somehow managed to tip it onto the bar.

But they were back in front midway through the second period when player-manager Dan Trenkel sent a sweet strike past Bircham.

At that stage it looked like Rovers would close the game out, but there was a final sting in the tail which sealed their fate.

Following a goalmouth scramble, the assistant referee spotted a handball, which even puzzled the home supporters.

Dan Cotton stepped up and dispatched the spot-kick to give Soham a share of the points they scantly deserved.

The defeat left Rovers seven points from safety with just two games to go.

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