Match Report -

Match Report - , by Roger Allen

Sholing v Team Solent

Sholing 3 Team Solent 2

Sholing continued their fine winning streak after edging past an organised and resilient Team Solent side in a rollercoaster match at the Universal Stadium. It was a match in which the Boatmen had to overcome many hurdles and twice had to come from behind to claim the three points.

Before the kick off Sholing were presented with the December Team of the Month from the Wessex League Premier, the third such award for the club this season. The presentation was made Belinda Colley (Assistant Referees Secretary) to Sholing Vice Chairman Mick Brown. Once the game kicked off, it was a quiet start as Sholing dominated possession but failed to find the final pass in good positions.

This all changed in the 14th minute when Lee Wort went through on goal and shot the ball towards goal, but instead the hand of a sliding away defender blocked the ball in front of the referee. The penalty was awarded and was taken by Dan Mason, whose shot to the left was clawed out of the bottom corner by Alex Londors before bouncing away to safety. This penalty miss seemed to give Team Solent a boost and Hashim Kasimu managed to get through on goal but a lack of attacking defence allowed Marvin Mclean to track back to stop the attack. It became apparent that the Boatmen could encounter a pacey away attack force and this was going to be a stern test for the home side, a task that got harder when Dan Miller suffered a head injury and was replaced by Owen Roundell.

In the 22nd minute a free kick was punted forward by TJ Cuthbertson towards the attackers and was flicked onto the feet of Jake Hoole on the corner of the box. His shot was very well struck from an angle but again Alex Londors denied the home side the lead. Then just eight minutes later, Team Solent scored against the run of play with their first shot on target of the afternoon.
A throw in was taken down the left side and a ball was fizzed into the box. The ball was also partially cleared to the edge of the box by the Sholing backline, but sadly Ryan PENNY was lurking in space and he made no mistake in going around the defender before slotting an angled shot into the bottom left corner of Ryan Gosney’s goal.

The rest of the first half was quiet and without incident as Sholing dominated possession without creating any clear-cut chances. The only minor action was a booking for Alex Sawyer and a tame shot by Dan Mason that went straight into the keeper’s hands from an angle on the stroke of half time. As the first half ended Sholing could feel to be unlucky to be losing due to the creation of many chances, but the score line reflected the clinical nature of the away side attacking force. In contrast the home side were often loose in possession (the bobbly pitch didn’t help at times) and sceptical to counter attacks, but they had shown enough to show that they could turn the match around. HT: 0-1

Sholing came out after the break with more intensity to their attacking play, which almost reaped rewards with two half chances in the first five minutes. First a Dan Mason shot was deflected just over the bar before a snapshot by Byron Mason was deflected and nearly wrongfooted the away keeper on the line. However it wasn’t long before they were level with an equaliser that was the first goal of a crazy 10-minute spell before the hour mark. A corner by Alex Sawyer was played across the 6-yard box and found Lee WORT, who poked the ball into the middle of the goal before the keeper could get back into position.

However the joy of being level was ended just seconds later when Team Solent scored straight from the kick off. The ball was played to Hashim KASIMU, who ran at the Sholing backline and could beat two defenders before slotting into the bottom right corner to restore the away team’s lead. It was nearly 3-1 to the away team when Pete Castle slipped and allowed Silvano Obeng to run through the middle, but he rushed the shot as it flew harmlessly over the bar from close range. Sholing punished this missed opportunity moments later with their second equaliser of the afternoon, when Marvin Mclean’s low attempted cross was poked in by a defender’s toe into the near post corner for an OWN GOAL in the 56th minute.

The winner came on the hour mark from what became the last clear-cut chance of the match when a free kick was played into the path of the inrushing Jake HOOLE on the edge of the penalty area. His powerful drive flew into the bottom corner to give Sholing the three points and make it 19 wins in 20 league games this season. The last half hour was played without incident as Sholing soaked up the attacking pressure of Team Solent without much alarm as the away side struggled to create anything despite their possession. The home side made two further substitutes and the fresh legs certainly helped them towards the hard-fought win. FT: 3-2
Credit to Team Solent who were one of few teams to really attack the Boatmen this season and could have got something from the match on another day. In comparison this was not the best performance from Sholing, but they still managed to comeback on multiple occasions in the afternoon and ground out another victory. The Boatmen are now 10 points clear in the league although they are tough tests to come in further weeks. (Connor Steel)