Scorers : Lewis Powell 9 / Les Mwenze 23
Date : Saturday 7th March 2015 - 3:00pm kick off - Evo-Stik League Southern, South & West Division 1
Mangotsfield United : Joe Perry, Neil Arndale [c], Tom Parrinello, Marcus Mapstone, Alex Kite, Lewis Shipp (Ibrahima Diallo 80), Elliot Gibbons (Karim Rendall 75), Lewis Hogg, Ryan Bath (Steve Davies 87), Lewis Powell, Matt Groves. Subs not used: Geraint Bater
Yellow Card : Parinello 47, Rendall 91
Sholing : Matt Brown, TJ Cuthbertson, Joe Griggs, Dan Miller, Mike Byrne (Kevin Brewster 37), Les Mwenze (Jack Smith 80), Barry Mason, Alex Sawyer, Dan Mason (Nick Watts 73), Byron Mason [c], Marv McLean. Subs not used: Jess Walklin, Declan McCarthy
Yellow Card : Sawyer 50
Attendance : 122
Man of the Match : Les Mwenze
Referee : Philip Staynings Assistants: Ian Parsons & Tyler Ganfield
The Boatmen picked up a point thanks to a wonder goal from Les Mwenze, another strong goalkeeping performance from Matt Brown and an all round good team effort in a game of few chances.
Joe Griggs & Les Mwenze kept their place in the team after good debuts last week. With Pete Castle sadly out with an injury, Mike Byrne partnered Dan Miller at the back.
It was a perfect day for football, bright warm sunshine made a welcome return for players and fans alike. The nicely appointed Mangotsfield ground had a slope from the main stand side down to the opposite dugout touchline. Sholing switched the home side from their usual end they attack in the first half so their keeper had the sun in his eyes. There was a small group of enthusiastic "mini-ultras" behind Matt Brown's goal, meanwhile the slightly older Sholing "boys" (ahem) were belting out songs from the other end.
The opening few minutes of the game saw little goalmouth action until the "Mangos" took the lead on 9 minutes. A rare slip by TJ allowed the home side to get to the byline and the cross was converted by Lewis Powell. Sholing had to withstand a period of concerted pressure with Matt Brown pulling off a breathtaking pointblank save when a second goal looked certain. Going forward, the Boatmen forwards weren't threatening the Mangos keeper but on 23 minutes he was picking the ball out of his net. LES MWENZE found himself in acres of space in central midfield, he strode forward and when the Sholing fans encouraged him to shoot, he did exactly that and his 30 yard left foot shot arrowed into the top corner. The keeper got his fingertips to it, but the piledriver was unstoppable. What a goal!
This gave the Boatmen renewed confidence and started to threaten more, although without creating too much from open play. Mike Byrne pulled up on 37 minutes with a groin strain and he was replaced by Kev Brewster, with TJ going to central defence. Just before half time Sholing had a strong claim for a penalty when Barry Mason's standing leg was swept away from him right on the edge of the area, but the referee who wasn't quite up with play, gave nothing. HT 1-1
Second half started with Mangotsfield on the attack and Matt Brown was called into action early to push away an effort from inside the box. The game got a bit bogged down in midfield as both sides were closing down fast, and neither side was able to get it wide to stretch the play. On 60 minutes Sholing created a good chance when a flick on by Alex Sawyer was siezed upon by Byron he took it into his stride, his shot had the power, but not the direction and went a yard wide.
Mangos managed to carve out a couple of good chances, but once again, Matt Brown was at his best to deal with them. There was a late flurry of substitutes from both sides in the final 15 minutes, but with Sholing seemingly happy with a point, the home side were looking less threatening and the game ended even. FT 1-1
View from the Stand : On most days, Matt Brown would have walked away with the Man of the Match award, but such was the quality of Les Mwenze's goal it lit up the game. Les was playing it down after the match saying he normally doesn't bother shooting, but on this evidence, he should do it more often, as perhaps should the rest of the team. Think this was probably only our 2nd long range goal of the entire season in the League. That aside, a good team performance & deserved point. Thanks also to Mangotsfield for their hospitality. A nice clubhouse and friendly staff.
Next Game : Sholing v AFC Bournemouth (Development Squad) - Wednesday 11th March 7:45pm. Hampshire Cup Semi Final (Final at Fratton Park against Gosport Borough)