Match Report -

Match Report - , by Roger Allen

Cribbs v Sholing 05/01/19

Cribbs 0 Sholing 2

Goals from Dan Mason and Lee Wort ensured that the Boatmen progressed to the fifth round of the FA Vase against a resistant Cribbs side away in Bristol. It was a game that was not comfortable for the Boatmen as they were pushed all the way and the home side arguably deserved more from the game on the balance of play.

On a freezing but overcast afternoon, Sholing started brightly and created their first chance in the 9th minute. A cross by Bradley Targett was chested under control by Dan Mason but the striker’s shot on the turn was always rising over the bar. However this missed opportunity didn’t deter the Boatmen as they took the lead just a minute later.

Directly after the chance by Dan Mason, the goal kick landed at the feet of TJ Cuthbertson whose low pass across field was dummied by Brad Targett into the path of the inrushing DAN MASON on the edge of the box. The striker took a touch to compose himself, before calmly slotting home with a low angled shot that flew into the bottom left corner to send the Ultras into raptures.

This was really the only clear-cut chance of the first half as Cribbs seemed to want to keep themselves in the game for as long as possible and didn’t any risks by sitting back. Therefore the Boatmen dominated the possession but couldn’t break through the stubborn defence of the home side. The slippery surface also did not help the play as players from both teams fell over, including the referee in a comedic moment that seemed to get a roar from both sets of supporters.

Cribbs did have one key chance when the ball fell to their winger on the edge of the box but his shot on the turn went high and wide after good play down the left side of the Sholing backline. However as the first half ended, the Boatmen arguably edged the proceedings and was perfectly set up for a very interesting second half. HT: 0-1

The second half began with Own Royl replacing the injured Jamie Bulpitt and Cribbs creating two big chances to equalise in the first ten minutes of the half. Firstly Sol Wanjau-Smith found space behind the Sholing defence and cut inside on the edge of the penalty area. However the shot was nearly by the corner flag after the home attack we was closed down as well by Dan Miller just before he pulled the trigger. Moments later a header was well saved by Ryan Gosney from a Cribbs free kick that was floated into the box. 2 minutes later Dan Mason received a yellow card.

Cribbs seemed to be attacking at will in the second half but a stubborn away defence restricted them to long range shots and crosses into the penalty area. However the Sholing backline again dug in and protected their lead in a comfortable manner. Credit also to Gosney who was calm throughout, dealing with the almost relentless barrage of high balls and shots throughout the afternoon.
Sholing didn’t create anything in the second half as wasteful possession in good positions let attacking play fall apart, but the performance of the home side meant these opportunities were often limited throughout the second half.
Brad Targett appeared to pick up a knock and was immediately replaced by Jake Hoole.

A key moment of the second half came in the 78th minute, when a penalty shout for the home side was denied by the referee. Cribbs felt it was their chance to equalise whilst the Boatmen felt the attacker made a meal of the tackle, and this difference in opinion led to a heated moment as frustration took over. This led to a lengthy stoppage in which Cribbs defender Sam Hedges was booked for dissent as the referee and the officials calmed the situation down.

This stoppage was to pay a huge part in the final outcome of the match when Lee Wort doubled the lead for the Boatmen in the 93rd minute. After a period of sustained pressure from the home side, a shot was blocked at source and the ball was cleared away to land at the feet of the only home defender back on the half way line. The home defender lost control of the ball as it bounced off his foot and Wort stole possession with a clear run on goal. As the Sholing striker approached the penalty area the home goalkeeper Archie Watts lost his footing to allow Wort to go around him and tap the ball calmly into an open goal in front of the Ultras. This goal was the last action of the match and sealed a hard-fought victory to progress into the next round of the Vase. FT: 0-2

The Boatmen once again showed they can grind out a result even though it wasn’t their best performance, with the Ultras helping to encourage the team with a fantastic turnout and they certainly made a lot of noise for the whole 90 minutes. Credit to Cribbs as they did deserve more than a 2-0 defeat but sadly did not take their chances. The Boatmen however go into the hat for the fifth round, and they know they must improve their performance if they want to progress further in the competition. But a win is a win, and Sholing are only 4 good performances away from a second Vase final at Wembley – A hugely enjoyable day out!!! (Connor Steel)