LUKE Stanley hit a hat-trick as Soham ran out comprehensive 5-1 winners over Chatham in the Ryman League at Julius Martin Lane.
The Greens made the perfect start to the Division One North contest as they forged a 2-0 lead inside the opening 11 minutes, with Stanley firing in and James McCabe also netting.
Manager Steve Fallon saw his team add a third when George Darling beat the visiting goalkeeper from outside the box, but a few nerves creeped in when Chatham pulled a goal back.
However, they were reduced to 10 men following a foul on Ben Sawyer and Stanley went on to complete his treble.
“It was a good win in the end,” said Fallon. “We played very well in spells and not so well in other spells, but overall it was very pleasing.
“It was 3-1 when they had the man sent off for denying Ben Sawyer a goalscoring opportunity. I think even if it hadn’t been a goalscoring opportunity he could have been sent off the for the challenge as it was fairly agricultural.
“When they’d pulled it back to 3-1 we became a bit jittery for whatever reason, and they were creating a few bits.
“We’ve started to pick up and we’re still looking to improve, and we’ve given ourselves a chance as we’re back around the edge of the play-offs,” added Fallon, whose side are seven points adrift of fifth-placed Thurrock.