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Scorers : Connor Kelly 53, Liam Bennett 83, Lewis Keeble 120 / Kev Brewster 30 (pen), Alex Sawyer 48

Date : Tuesday 16th February 2016 - 7:45pm - Wessex League Cup Quarter Final

Newport IW: Gary Streeter, Mark Taylor, Ryan Oatley [c], Spie Pearce, Martin McDonough, Scott Sampson, Liam Bennett, Liam Trigg, Jimmi Burton (Joe Butcher 77), Josh Younie (Darren Powell 90), Connor Kelly (Lewis Keeble 80). Subs not used: Will Quigley

Yellow Card :  Mark Taylor

Sholing: Ryan Gosney, Kevin Brewster, Jack Attrill (Jake Hoole 58), Owen Roundell, Dan Miller, Jamie Bulpitt (Joel Drew 83), Barry Mason, Alex Sawyer (Nick Yeomans 65), Dan Mason, Byron Mason [c], Marvin McLean. Subs not used: Liam Attrill, Jordan Brooks

Yellow Card :  Jamie Bulpitt

Attendance : 70

Man of the Match : Marv McLean

Referee : Rob Ablitt  Assistants: Shaun Phillips & Andrew Jones

SHOLING suffered a gutting defeat in the Wessex league Cup as they surrendered a two goal lead, eventually losing 3-2 to Newport IW. Although the tie appeared an uphill struggle for the hosts, the game and the pitch thawed in the second half overcoming frosty conditions and turning into a hotly contested match.

Despite Kevin Brewster’s penalty and Alex Sawyer’s wonder goal giving the visitors a grip on the game but a Connor Kelly free kick and Liam Bennett’s bundled effort forced extra time, and despite an injury blighted siege the Isle of Wight side scraped through thanks to Lewis Keeble’s last minute penalty

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After a slow start to the game, where Barry Masons’ pioneering runs down the right were the only bright spark, it was Newport who looked more likely to score. But wayward shots from Liam Bennett and Josh Younie were a sign of both sides inability to force an opening.

Kevin Brewster's right sided deliveries looked to be Sholing's best source of a goal. His testing crosses firstly evading Gary Streeter in the Newport goal and his second attempt from the resulting corner was flicked over the bar by Owen Roundell. Shortly after Byron Mason managed to steal the ball from the last defender, but once again the run of the ball on a difficult pitch meant that he was unable to get away and allowed Mark Taylor the time to recover.

With 28 minutes played came the Boatmen’s clearest chance. Jamie Bulpitt showed great upper body strength in a battling run and worked enough space to fire a shot that crashed against the angle of post & bar.  But, moments later Sholing had the lead. Owen Roundell's cross found Dan Mason in the area and the striker showed great awareness with his back to goal by rolling it into the onrushing Marvin McLean. Before the winger could get a shot away he was scythed down 8 yard out and Rob Ablitt pointed to the spot. However the referee failed to produce any card, much to the bemusement of all at at St. George’s Park.

KEVIN BREWSTER slotted in the penalty, low into the left hand corner for his eighth goal of the season and in his 399th game for the club.  

For ‘the Port’ Younie’s teasing cross almost caught out Ryan Gosney but Newport showed little attacking intent for the remainder of the half.  HT 0-1

Sholings proactive approach in the second half saw a ball cleared and bouncing nicely - setting up ALEX SAWYER to hit a spectacular & vicious left footed 20 yard half-volley into the top right hand corner beyond the outstretched veteran, Streeter.

But Newport had given themselves a lifeline within five minutes. A foul 20 yards from goal allowed Connor Kelly his first real chance at goal, and the winger grasped his opportunity by bending the ball over the wall and inside the near post for a classy finish.

Brewster was almost caught out when his touch was stolen by Kelly but the troublesome forward could only send a cross into the arms of Gosney. Sholing were also wasting chances. Substitute, Nick Yeomans, failed to make contact with a square ball, and Bulpitt was harshly booked for simulation in the area as he seemed to clipped by the keeper as he attempted to skip past him.

Indeed the booking was one of the most curious decisions of the evening, with Ablitt have already lectured Taylor, Sawyer and Marvin McLean for much worse.

A tiring Sholing defence were almost culpable for Newport’s equaliser, Joe Butcher this time ran onto his touch showing the hints of the trouble he would cause the visitors in extra time, however this time Gosney was equal to his strike, acrobatically sprawling to push the ball away.

But the Islanders were level on 83 mins.  Sholing had chances to clear the ball, but failed and a cross from the right fell kindly for Liam Bennett and when the ball was poked through the midfielder was on hand to prod it beyond the Sholing ‘keeper.

The hosts ended the half on top, and Mark Taylor’s shot with the outside of the boot almost curled into the top corner but both sides had to settle for extra-time. FT 2-2

The additional time will be remember more for the impact on the injury list, than on the pitch. Owen Roundell, Dan Mason and Marv McLean all struggled with cramp throughout the first half, although McLean continued to perform admirably in a makeshift left-back role, even cutting out Butchers fierce cross.

As Sholing pushed for the winner, Dan Miller headed a Brewster free-kick over the bar and Joel Drew - making only his third appearance for the first team - forced Streeter into a fine diving save with a 20 yard strike.

However it was Newport who were given the chance to win the match in the dying seconds. Lewis Keeble took the chance to get the ball past a tired McLean, but in intercepting the ball Jake Hoole clashed with ‘the Pool’ forward, who tumbled dramatically to win a last-ditch spot-kick. Keeble stepped up and fired in an emphatic penalty to break Sholing hearts and wondering if the last ferry had already left the Island. FT AET 3-2

Report by Ollie Harvey

View from the stands:  Firstly, well done to Newport for their comeback and thanks for their hospitality.  Secondly, why in Non-League when players & volunteers have to work full time, are we still having 30 minutes of extra time in Cup Competitions?  We didn't get home until half past midnight and if it had gone to penalties, might have even missed the last ferry.  Fully appreciate its the same for all clubs and the Island teams face this situation very often when on the mainland.  So, why not make things a bit easier for everyone by going straight to pens after the 90?

After so few games recently, probably the last thing the squad needed was 120 mins on a very heavy pitch. Was certainly no lack of effort by all the players and many of them were dead on their feet at full time, but once again, we will be kicking ourselves for mistakes that handed the opposition the win when we had the game under control.

Next game is away to Bournemouth Poppies on Saturday 3pm

Next home game is on Wednesday 2nd March v Lymington Town - 7:45pm kick off

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