Match Report -

Match Report - , by Roger Allen

Sholing v Bournemouth 06/11/18

Sholing 4 Bournemouth 2

If this game had been on Strictly it would undoubtedly have been marked 3 tens and a nine – what a cracker!

On a windy (and ultimately rainy) night both teams struggled to come to terms with the long ball and Sholing were to benefit as early as the 4th minute when a ricochet bounced off a Poppies defender into the path of Lee WORT. If there was an element of luck about the build up, there was nothing wrong with the finish, low past Sam Jones.

One suspects that Sholing have built their success on undoubted firepower backed by a solid defence. Here the latter was fully tested as both teams went toe to toe with fast attacking football. Sholing had had several warning of Poppies’ attacking intent before the equaliser in the 23rd minute.

Not for the first time, the Sholing defence was split open by a ball down the inside left channel and Shiv ROUSHBAIANI raced clear. His first effort was blocked by keeper Gosney but the Poppies forward was able to follow up and score.

From then until half time Bournemouth had the better of the game as they hassled and harried the normally composed Sholing. They even had a couple of credible shouts for a penalty particularly when Aziz Aldhayan was pushed over.
H.T. 1-1
By that stage it had dawned on everyone that Sholing’s 100% League record was under serious threat but they were able to take an early lead in the second half. Again the quality was in the finish, not the build up, as DAN MASON scored a typical poacher’s goal with a swivel and shot.

Would that break Poppies resistance – not a bit of it. Poppies had brought on the much travelled River Smith and he gave Sholing early warning as he ran onto a through ball only to be thwarted by the onrushing Gosney. In the 66th minute there was no such escape for the home defence as SMITH latched onto another through ball, this time hitting the target.

Parity was short-lived as Sholing went back on the attack and they restored their lead in the 70th minute as an unmarked DAN MASON was left with a simple tap in at the far post from a header across goal.

The rain had forced us the seek cover in the Sholing Ultras stand and they were in full voice as they ran through their repertoire of songs. However when one asked if they had sung their “We’re always winning” song, he was told by a fellow member of the choir that the game was much too close for that.

And so it was – as Sholing were fully tested by a Poppies side that pounded away in search of a third equaliser. Finally in the 4th minute of stoppage time, Sholing broke Poppies resistance when Bradley TARGETT raced through a stretched defence and placed the ball low past Jones. So the Ultras finally got to sing their song during the final few moments of the game.

Congratulations to both sides on a thrilling game – neither will face harder physical games than this one during the rest of the season. (Roger Allen)