Sholing1 0Alresford

Scorers : Owen Roundell 63

Date : Saturday 19th March 2016 - 3pm - Sydenhams Wessex Premier

Sholing : Ryan Gosney, Kev Brewster, Dean Faithfull, Owen Roundell, Marv Mclean, Barry Mason, Alex Sawyer (Luke Bergg 68), Jamie Bullpitt, Jake Hoole, Byron Mason [c], Dan Mason. Subs not used: Jordan Brookes, Nick Yeomans, Liam Attrill.

Yellow Card :  Dean Faithfull, Byron Mason

Alresford Town : John Howard, Carl Steadman, Aaron Blaxall, Gary Fulker, Ben Stanbrook, Dan Molyneaux, John Mulhern [c], Simon Everett, Rian Jima-Otero, Brian Howard, Oliver Yates. Subs: Michael Weatherall, Sam Carter, Maciej Marcinkowski, Cliff Walters.

Yellow Card :  Gary Fulker

Attendance : 84

Man of the Match : Jake Hoole

Referee : Josh Osafa  Assistants: John Bungay & Alan Haynes

SHOLING returned to winning ways thanks to an Owen Roundell goal against Alresford Town. The Boatmen thrashed the relegation contenders 7-1 earlier this season but this game was a lot tighter, with Roundell’s header proving decisive despite Alresford hitting the woodwork in the dying seconds.

Team News: Dan Miller was the major absentee for today’s game, he was replaced in the starting line up by Owen Roundell. Pete Castle was still out, but influential captain Byron Mason made his return to the side. Nick Yeomans was carrying a knock so dropped to a young looking bench that featured several development squad players.

Barely a minute had passed when former Saints, Barnsley & Reading midfielder, Brian Howard, tested Ryan Gosney with a speculative volley, but the keeper was equal to it. Following that, Sholing went straight up the field and Kev Brewster saw his cross fumbled by Alresford goalie John Howard, however no one was placed to convert.

Jake Hoole was already causing problems for the defenders with his pace in behind, and Sholing almost took the lead after he won a corner that was headed just over by Dean Faithfull. At the other end Kevin Brewster attempted to clear an in-swinging Alresford corner, but could only glance his header towards his own goal, but luckily for the right-back, it went over.

The match quietened down after that until superb footwork and balance from Hoole created a chance, but his hard struck cross just evaded Dan Mason from tapping home from close range. Alresford were next to threaten, when John Mulhern fired into the side netting after being played through by Rian Jima-Otero.

The Boatmen almost opened the scoring in the 20th minute, when Brewster fired towards the right goal, and his free kick clipped the post before going wide. Alresford then had an optimistic penalty appeal turned down when Howard went over, before Barry Mason saw a header go just over at the other end. Mulhern again went close, with his header going inches wide from a Carl Steadman cross.

Captain Byron Mason then had the best chance of the first half, but he couldn’t connect cleaning when he had a free header and put it wide. Dan Mason then thought he’d scored his 32nd of the season, but his poacher’s effort was quickly ruled out for offside. HT 0-0

Alresford dominated the opening to the second half, with Oliver Yates having a shot blocked on the line by a combination of Brewster and Roundell, before Simon Everett curled the ball wide from point blank range after being played through by Howard.

Despite the Alresford pressure, it was the Boatmen who took the lead just past the hour mark. They’d been dominant from set-pieces all day and it finally showed when an OWEN ROUNDELL downward header bounced over the line from a Brewster corner. The defender’s second league goal of the season dishearten the visitors and Sholing were happy to sit on their lead.

Luke Bergg became the 9th player aged 18 or younger to play for the first team this season, when he replaced Alex Sawyer. The youngster almost had a dream debut when he made space in the box for a shot, but at full stretch, Howard tipped his curling effort wide. The keeper was called into action once again when he blocked Dan Mason’s shot blocked after the striker failed to make full contact.

Alresford finally threatened to grab a point in stoppage time with a freekick on the edge of the box, but Brian Howard hit it into the wall. However, the ball stayed in the Sholing half and when Jima-Otero found Mulhern, the captain curled an effort against the bar before Yates fired the rebound over.

It was a heart in mouth for the Boatmen, but the referee blew the whistle shortly afterwards giving them a hard fought victory and a fourth clean sheet in the last five home games. FT 1-0

Photos by Ray Routlege (click an image to enlarge)

Video Highlights by Matt Elnor