A.F.C. Sudbury failed to return to the top of the Ridgeons Premier Division after going down 1-0 to a determined Soham Town Rangers side at Julius Martin Lane. The match was in some doubt shortly before the kick-off. The three match officials stood together on the goal-line watching groundstaff spreading sand in the badly affected penalty area and finally asking the goalkeepers opinion before declaring the game on. Sudbury were without Gary Bennett (rib) and gave defender Shane Wardley a full debut. Lee Owen (groin) was also missing.
Sudbury kicked off and were immediately forced back by a strong Soham opening. Two quick corners from the home team were dealt with by the defence before a third, swinging effort by North evaded everyone and went behind for a goal-kick. Sudbury mounted their first attack on 7 minutes when Paul Betson evaded three tackles and found Andy Claydon whose first-time strike was easy for Gillings to gather. Betson then combined well with Michael Cheetham to release Andy Claydon, but the Soham defence scrambled clear. An excellent run by Sam Banya on 17 minutes saw his cross just evade Andy Claydons run and a similar run and cross by North was cleared by Shane Wardley. On 25 minutes Soham took the lead when Hinde touched home a deflected cross. On 27 minutes a free-kick was headed on by Simon Hyde and headed goal wards by David Head. The ball was gathered well by Gillings. There were few chances as the half ended with play bogged down in midfield.
The second half was as much a tough midfield struggle as the first had been with both sides unable to make the passing game work on a dead surface. Aaron Gardiner shot wide on 50 minutes and Chris Tracey did well to stop an advancing Crawford on halfway with a fine tackle on 58 minutes. Sam Banya was almost sent through by a fine ball from Andy Claydon, but the Soham defence stood firm. On 70 minutes Sudbury replaced Michael Cheetham with Steve Day and then on 73 minutes Simon Hyde did well to find Sam Banya whose run ended with a shot into the side-netting. Chances were just not being created by either side and in a desperate final 10 minutes Sudbury sent on Matt Ryland for Simon Hyde. The diminutive forward worked extremely hard for the opening, but no gaps could be found in a resolute Soham back-line which held on to take a dour match by the single goal.