Match Report -

Match Report - , by Roger Allen

Sholing v Sporting Khalsa 02/02/19

Sholing 3 Sporting Khalsa 1

Three first-half goals were enough for the home team against a side that battled gamely and improved after the break when Sholing eased off. The pitch had been under a couple of inches of snow yesterday but it melted overnight and great work was done to make it perfectly playable. The visitors were reinstated in the competition when Godmanchester Rovers, who had beaten them in Round 4, were disqualified for an ineligible player.

A good start to the match – in the first minute Sporting keeper Sam Arnold had to run out and clear from the onrushing Dan Mason. then the visitors came forward and looked dangerous on a couple of occasions; Robinson headed just wide, and Mykel Beckley was just blocked as Liam Armstrong headed on to him.

On 12 minutes, however, a good in-swinging corner by Sawyer saw several defenders go up for it, Armstrong got the touch and it looked like an own goal, but close inspection of the video footage on Sholing Twitter showed that Dan MASON had got the final touch, to make it 1-0 to the Boatmen.

The away team felt the pressure and conceded another one on 21 as they failed to clear a ball into the box and Dan MASON cleaned up to grab his second. He nearly got another one on the half hour, but instead it was Lee WORT who made it three after 31 minutes as he ran clear – Arnold made a good save from the first attempt, but the ball looped up, for Wort to head it into the net. Cuthbertson and Dan Mason had further efforts wide and the latter fell over as he shaped to shoot from a good cross – looked like a possible penalty – instead it was half time HT 3-0

After the break Sholing played more within themselves for half an hour and the visitors came back into the game. Beckley had a header saved and Rico Taylor shot over. The home defence was as strong as ever and they still looked dangerous on the break; Wort had a shot deflected just wide and went close again from the ensuing corner. For the visitors, Armstrong then had another effort saved and sub Alex Perry, who looked useful when he came on, had a shot cleared off the line.

As Sporting went forward, Leon Miles had a header saved and Wort nearly replied for Sholing on the break. Hoole then went one-on-one with Arnold, but lacked confidence and the ball was cleared. The visitors pulled a goal back on 80 minutes – a cross from the right went over home keeper Gosney and PERRY headed in at the far post. It was too late for a comeback and in fact Dan Mason almost got his hat-trick, a desperate block from a defender after an initial error. A fairly comfortable win for Sholing, who are now in the quarter-final, and must be one of the favourites given their current form. FT 3-1 (Paul Harris)