Sholing1-2Farnborough

Scorers : Alex Sawyer 7  /  Feye Okenbarhie 64, Duncan Culley 71

Date : Saturday 29th November 2014 - 3:00pm kick off - FA Trophy Third Qualifying Round

Sholing : Rory Anderson, Kevin Brewster, Taurean Manders, TJ Cuthbertson, Mike Byrne, Alex Sawyer (Tobi Adenkunle 71), Barry Mason [c], Jack Smith, Dan Mason (Jude Nwachukwu 75), Sam Wilson (Alex Baldachinno 67), Nick Watts.  Unused Subs: Lewis Fear, Owen Roundall.

Yellow Card : Nick Watts 17, Mike Byrne 63, Taurean Manders 63

Farnborough : Dillon Barnes, Amadeu Arnau, Ollie Treacher, Michael Richens, Darryl Siaw, Lloyd Foot [c], Harry Grant, Aaron Dawson, Phil Page (Duncan Culley 57), Louie Theophanous, Feye Okenbarhie.  Unused Subs: Dan Bennett, Courtney Fearn, Adam Brice, Ashley West.

Yellow Card : Feye Okenbahrie 74, Michael Richens 90

Attendance : 224

Man of the Match (Sponsored by Nationwide Concreting):  Rory Anderson

Referee :  Anthony Serrano.  Assistants: Andreas Anastasiou, Harrison Read

Sholing bowed out of the FA Trophy with their heads held high, after a thrilling game of football against Conference south side Farnborough, in which Sholing lead for most of the game at the Silverlake Arena.

A big crowd had showed up to the Silverlake Arena, with a good traveling contingency also traveling the distance of the county to see Sholing take on Farnborough, 2 divisions above the Boatmen, in the FA Trophy 3rd qualifying round. Before the game manager and FA Vase champion Dave Diaper was presented with a replica of the FA Vase and a commemorative plaque, remembering the day the Boatmen conquered West Auckland at Wembley, to go in the new clubhouse when built.

Sholing got the game underway, and straight away Barry Mason sent an attempted volley into space after being found by Alex Sawyer from the edge of the area. Farnborough sent early pressure and won 3 corners in quick succession. The pressure was relieved as Anderson claimed a rebound cross into the area. But it was Sholing who were to take the lead.

Dan Mason picked up the ball on the right hand side, he had enough time to deliver a devine cross to pick out ALEX SAWYER, who was stood completely on his own in the middle. And with just the keeper to beat, Sawyer nodded to ball back towards the near post to put the Boatmen ahead, and send the fans delirious!

Dan Mason then ghosted away from a sleeping Farnborough defence to remain onside and pick up what was intended to be a clearance. The Farnborough keeper rushed out and won the ball in the aerial challenge, leaving Mason on the floor wondering what could have been. Harry Grant had a strike at the Sholing goal after some tricky work by Feye Okenbarhie, but Rory Anderson got down really well to beat the ball away for a corner. Okenbarhie had been troubling Manders so far and got the better of him again in the build up to shoot.

A Kevin Brewster free kick on 25 minutes caused the travelling goalkeeper problems, fumbling an easy catch, and thankfully fell on the spilt ball straight away, taking a kick or two in the process. A few minutes later a similar free kick was easily matched. Louie Theophanous reminded Sholing it wasn’t all going their way by smacking the post, after the Boatmen missed some defensive headers the number 10 rocketed a vicious strike against the near side upright. And a few minutes later, Farnborough teased a ball right across the face of goal and gaps drew from the crowd as the ball appeared out from the other side, untouched.

Sam Wilson tried to get a few moves going, but Sholing were restricted to their own half. Another Farnborough move materialised into nothing more than a scuffed effort wide, and another corner resulted into nothing too. Farnborough’s fans and officials were clearly getting frustrated at the away side’s performance, but really it was Sholing doing brilliantly to scrap everything away. Anderson made yet another fantastic reaction save from a low driven shot, before claiming a long free kick which was to be the last kick of the half HT 1-0

Farnborough started the second half and won a free kick straight away in dangerous territory, but Harry Grants dipping effort was met again by Anderson on the floor. Just 5 minutes in and it was bad news for Sholing. Goal scorer Alex Sawyer was left on the floor hurt in the middle of the pitch and left the field. The game continued with the Boatmen only having 10 men, tempers began to rise as the referee called yet another decision against Sholing, but the players composed themselves and Sawyer thankfully returned from the side-line. Farnborough changed strikers with new signing Duncan Culley coming on to replace Page. But it was Theophanous who was testing Anderson again, wiggling into a shot which was again well caught.

Sam Wilson could have given Sholing some breathing space, but he couldn’t poke in Nick Watts’ low ball. And a few minutes later Farnborough were level. Byrne wiped out a Farnborough shirt inside the area, leading the referee to point to the spot. Both Manders and Byrne were booked in the incident and the penalty was cooley converted by Feye Okenbahrie low to the keepers left.

Sholing responded by replacing Sam Wilson with Alex Baldachinno. But Farnborough were on a roll and a ball found its way to substitute Duncan Culley, who didn't make the cleanest of contacts with the ball and it skidded into the far corner of the goal to put the travelling side ahead.

Jude Nwachukwu had just come on a moment before for Sholing when he burst downfield, hustling a defender off the ball before beating the keeper leaving an open goal. But the finish was difficult, as was proved by Jude Nwachukwu placing the ball past the far post. Farnborough hit a few strikes wide and had attacks fizzle out, as Sholing continued to drive forward too, using the pace of Nwachukwu to kick start attacks. The last 10 minutes were a real end to end spectacle. And as the dying seconds ticked away, a Nick Watts strike was again fumbled by the goalkeeper, Baldachinno tried to poke home the second ball, that was blocked and the keeper somehow retrieved the ball eventually in the scrum.

That was that for Shoing, who battled hard and gave Farnborough a real tough game. For moments of the game there looked to be no difference between the teams. A real classic at the Silverlake. FT 1-2

After the game Sholing manager Dave Diaper said: “To be one-nil up for 65 or so minutes we played well today, they are two league above us and people have got to remember that. You’ll never see a goal better than the one we scored, football is so simple and sometimes players overcomplicate it. I thought the boys did extremely well and I’m disappointed we couldn’t take them to a replay. This club has moved forward so much over the last 6 games.”

On man of the match Rory Anderson “Tremendous goalkeeper! He did everything we asked of him, what can I say he really played well, as did the other 10 players on the pitch.”

Report by Ollie Maskell

Photos by Ray Routledge (click an image to enlarge)