Match Report -

Match Report - , by Roger Allen

Sholing v Pagham 01/12/18

Sholing 6 Pagham 2

SHOLING came firing out of the blocks and after a spell of quick possession, they took the lead in the 5th minute. A pass by TJ Cuthbertson found Dan MASON surging into the box, who controlled the ball after a couple of bounces in the area at an angle and his shot beat James Binfield via a deflection as Mason celebrated his 350th Sholing appearance in style. Two minutes later Lee Wort cut inside and hit a low shot towards the bottom corner, but a Pagham defender cleared off the line with a sliding block. Then in the 11th minute fantastic one-touch passing between Dan Mason and Lee Wort worked space for an angled shot by the latter that was saved by the shins of the away goalkeeper. From the resulting corner a volleyed effort was blocked by the head of a defender, before the ball was played back into the box and a header by Bryon Mason was parried safely away by the goalkeeper.

After a dominant first twenty minutes you could sense a second Sholing goal was coming and nobody could argue it wasn’t deserved. It came in the 22nd minute when a low shot by Jake Hoole was blocked at source by a Pagham defender with the ball falling perfectly to Alex SAWYER who was eight yards out. The midfielder calmly doubled the lead with a passed finished into the bottom corner. Once Sholing doubled their lead Pagham had a brief spell of possession that led to a cross from the left was claimed easily by Gosney.

Such was the Boatmen’s dominance, this was the first and only time the away side found themselves in a good position during the first half. On the counter attack the home side had two half chances from Jake Hoole, whose shot went just wide with the keeper beaten and minutes later had a shot off the line. In the thirty-fifth minute it was 3-0 to the Boatmen as they seemed to ride the wave created by Pagham possession and began to attack again. A low angled shot by Lee Wort took a deflection and seemed to be nestling into the bottom corner. However the keeper made a superb save diving to his right and parried the ball straight out to Dan MASON, who tucked home the rebound. In 350 appearances for the Boatmen, the attacker now has 168 goals for the club.

It looked like that was it for the half, but on the stroke of the whistle Sholing made it 4-0. Sustained possession on the right following a corner led to Cuthbertson playing a cross that landed perfectly on the head of skipper Byron MASON, who made no mistake with the header as he nodded past the keeper. It rounded off a brilliant first half performance for the home side, who deserved the lead and it could have been more had it not been for the away goalkeeper who made three brilliant saves. HT 4-0

The second half started with Sholing having a goal ruled out for offside as Lee Wort brought a cross down by Cuthbertson and finished empathically joy turned to jeers as the assistants flag was up. Moments later the away side had a shot flash just wide of the post, but this did not deter them, and they got a goal back in the 52nd minute. A mixture of sloppy defending and good play down the right from Pagham opened a huge space for Lloyd Rowlatt. He found Pagham’s leading goalscorer Callum OVERTON with a low cross and the striker slotted past a stranded Ryan Gosney. Any Pagham hope of a comeback were very quickly ended when from the kick-off Sholing breezed forward and won themselves a corner. A great delivery by Alex Sawyer found Dan MILLER, who headed home past the keeper for a fifth and ended the game as a contest if it was indeed one.

In the 62nd minute Lloyd Rowlatt hit the post with a low angled shot across goal with the rebound falling to a Pagham attacker who was fouled before he could tuck it away. A penalty was awarded to the away side and the Boatmen did not argue, although Pagham didn’t really appeal for the foul either. Callum Overton stepped up but Ryan Gosney pulled off a great penalty save by diving to his right to deny the striker his second goal.

With the now-postponed match against Hamble Club possibly in mind, Lee Wort and Alex Sawyer were subbed off with twenty minutes left. At this moment the game had hit its only lull of the afternoon with the game won and the away side resigned to their fate. However it did not stop the game being brought to life in the last five minutes with a single goal for both sides. In the 85th minute Sholing made it 6-1 with a goal for Bradley TARGETT. The young attacker chased the ball down on the right side before beating the defender down by the bar line with a flick. This improvisation created space for himself to lift the ball over the advancing keeper into the roof of the net to complete the rout and add some extra gloss to the score line. Despite the Boatmen dominance throughout the 90 minutes, added time was spent in their half as Pagham sought another consolation goal and they got it in the 92nd minute. After two attempts by the away team were saved comfortably by Gosney, it was third time lucky when George GASKIN let rip from the edge of the box and it flew into the top corner leaving the home goalkeeper with no chance.

The final whistle blew on a fantastic performance by the boatmen, with the final 6-2 score line not fully showing their dominance of the match. This was a performance that ensures nobody will want to draw the Boatmen and their fans in the next round, with the Ultra daring to dream of a second Vase win to add to their 2014 success. Who can blame them after another win to make it 18 in a row, and a brilliant performance all round? FT 6-2 (Connor Steel)