AFC Stoneham 2-2 Sholing Reserves
Goals: Mansell & Prentice
First half team : Robinson, Joseph, Dawson, Ferguson, Porter, Fon, Parker, Craven, New, Chester, Mansell.
Second half team : Robinson, Golding, Luyandu, Roundell, Harvie, Dove, Smith, Wilson, Tollervey, Prentice, Porter.
Our reserves travelled to AFC Stoneham last night for their second pre-season friendly after the 6-1 victory on saturday at Bush Hill.
Our opponents have aspirations this season of finishing top 3 in the Hampshire Premier league and gaining promotion to the Wessex league so were always going to be tough opposition.
Against a more physical and far more experienced side our reserves started brightly and took the lead after 7 minutes from an excellent right wing cross from full back Jacob Joseph converted superbly with his head by Jamie Mansell who looked sharped for the 45 mins he played.
Unfortunately as the game progressed we lost our shape and focus allowing AFC Stoneham to gain in confidence and take control of the game. On 38 minutes AFC Stoneham converted a free kick with a piledriver of a shot, after we gave away a silly free kick on the edge of our box, leaving our debutant keeper, Jamie Robinson, with no chance.
We changed 9 of the starting 11 at half time to allow the whole squad to get some minutes and started the second half a lot better with Dan Dove sitting in front of the back four and helping the shape of the team whilst getting in some excellent tackles.
On 60 minutes a long pass from Liam Golding found Cain Prentice around the halfway line who then single handedly with strength and pace beat off 3 challenges to calmly place a low shot past the opposition keeper. An excellent individual goal.
AFC Stoneham then came back into the game and only 2 outstanding saves from Robinson, one from another free kick, maintained our lead. However on 77 minutes our defence failed to deal with the physical presence of the opposition number 9 allowing AFC Stoneham to equalise with a sloppy goal from a defensive viewpoint.
Despite good opportunities for both Macaully Smith, who grew into the game, and Michael Bada we couldnt find a winning goal and a 2-2 draw was a fair result overall.
Our performance overall was slightly disappointing after Saturday's excellent result and was not helped by using a different team in each half however this did allow us the opportunity to both look at players and give others minutes on the pitch which are obviously key aims during pre-season.
We are still at an early stage of our preperation with 5, possibly 6, friendlies remaining with our next game at home to Netley Central Sports on Wednesday July 30th with a 7pm kick off.
Report by Mark Stupple