Match Report - Premier Division
Match Report - , by Ian Craig
Sholing v Whitchurch United
Sholing 1 Whitchurch United 0
Scorers: Dan Mason 19
Date: Saturday 19th November 2016 – 3pm – Sydenhams Wessex Premier
Venue: Universal Stadium
Sholing: Ryan Gosney, Corey Cherrett, Owen Royl, Owen Roundell, Dan Miller, Alex Sawyer, Zac Mouland (Nick Yeomans 76), Barry Mason [c], Dan Mason, Lee Wort, Jamie Bulpitt. Subs not used: Jake Hoole, Kieran Winman, Marlon Mason, Jordan Brooks
Yellow Card: Jamie Bulpitt 87
Whitchurch United: Ellis Grant, Charlie Bragg, Will Gange (Josh Green 75), Scott Hassell, Craig Smith, Shawn Foster, Jack Breed, Declan McCarthy (Babucarr Bojang 63), Danny Phillips (Ross Bourke 83), Jack McCarthy [c], Alife Lis. Subs not used: Sam McCarthy, Tyler Lewis
Yellow Card: Alfie Lis 90+4
Attendance: 84 Man of the Match: Lee Wort
Referee: Sean Phillips Assistants: Geoff Skillen & Darren Larner
Sholing extended their unbeaten run to five matches and their third consecutive clean sheet as they laboured to a 1-0 victory over Whitchurch United in the Sydenhams Wessex Premier Division in appalling conditions.
Dan Mason’s acrobatic first-half volley was enough to secure an important three points for the Boatmen, as they moved up to second in the table, on an emotional afternoon at the Universal Stadium.
There was a minute’s applause before kick-off to mark the sad passing of Derek Brewster, a long-time supporter and friend of the football club, and Andy Dine, a level three referee who officiated at Sholing on serval occasions.
Team News: Sholing manager Dave Diaper made one change from the 6-0 victory at Amesbury Town on Tuesday, with Owen Royl replacing the unavailable Marvin McLean at left-back. Barry Mason missed out through injury. Pete Castle and Jack Smith remain long-term absentees. Reserves leading goalscorer Marlon Mason was called up for a place on the bench.
Both teams made a slow start, Dan Mason fired straight at Whitchurch goalkeeper Ellis Grant from 20 yards. At the other end, Jake McCarthy fired wide of Ryan Gosney’s goal, before going close with a diving header from Jack Breed’s cross. Dan Mason saw his effort go wide of the Whitchurch goal. It was a scrappy and fairly uneventful first half, but the home side opened the scoring on 19 minutes.
Alex Sawyer did brilliantly to control Byron Mason’s cross and with one touch, turn the ball back across the six-yard box for DAN MASON to acrobatically hook into the net. Goalkeeper Ellis Grant got a strong hand to the shot, but he couldn’t keep it out.
There was then an emotional moment when the entire Sholing team ran to celebrate the goal – Mason’s 22nd of the season – with the watching Kevin Brewster and his family, a touch of class from the Boatmen.
At the other end, Ryan Gosney was called into action for the first time as Whitchurch threatened on 22 minutes. Gosney made a superb one-handed stop to thwart Jack McCarthy’s powerful shot down low to his left.
Sholing began to control the game in the midfield but struggled to break their opponents down in the final third, with occasional success coming from the wide areas.
Corey Cherrett’s superb cross from the right was headed just wide by Zac Mouland at the far post on 31 minutes.
Whitchurch came closest to scoring in the first half when Ryan Gosney came to punch a cross clear and completely missed the ball, fortunately Dan Miller was on hand to clear off the line.
Byron Mason headed Jack McCarthy’s dangerous cross behind for a corner as the visitors continued to press, but they failed to seriously trouble the home defence.
On 41 minutes Sholing were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the area after good hold-up play from Zac Mouland. Lee Wort’s free-kick almost broke for Dan Mason in the area, but goalkeeper Ellis Grant raced off his line to deny the striker gathering up the ball.
On the stroke of half-time Jamie Bulpitt created space for himself just outside the box but blazed his effort over the crossbar. HT 1-0
There wasn’t much to choose between the two sides in the second-half in the torrential rain. On 55 minutes Alex Sawyer battles for the ball and wins plays a one two but drives his shot wide.
With nearly an hour gone, Alex Sawyer was sent clean through after some beautiful build-up play from the Boatmen, he lifted the ball over the onrushing goalkeeper, but also over the bar.
Lee Wort was beginning to trouble the defenders with his quick turn of pace and sharp movement. His determined run eventually led to a chance for Dan Mason, but Ellis Grant produced an outstanding save to turn the forward’s 25-yard drive behind for a corner on 68 minutes.
On 72 minutes Whitchurch substitute Babucarr Bojang – one of five ex-Sholing players in the visiting squad – made a promising run through the heart of the Sholing defence, his low shot deflected onto the outside the post.
On 76 minutes Dave Diaper sent on fresh legs and replaced Zac Mouland bringing on Nick Yeomans.
In the same move, another strong run from Lee Wort resulted in a smart save from Ellis Grant to deny the striker from close range, as the Boatmen countered at pace.
As the weather conditions worsened, the game also deteriorated.
On 87 minutes Jamie Bulpitt received his ninth caution of the season for a late foul and then four minutes into stoppage-time Alfie Lis was booked for clipping the Sholing midfielder from behind.
Dave Diaper’s side held out for an important three points and their 13th clean sheet of the season.
Sholing move up to second place in the league table ahead of Tuesday’s Wessex League Cup tie at Ringwood Town.
Match Report by George Brooks