Date : Thursday 24th March 2016 - 7:45pm - Sydenhams Wessex Premier
Horndean : Derek Harding, George Callard, Lee Tigwell, Sam Hookey (Albert Egboh 74), Matt Burt, Nick Tayler, Ryan Thomas (Dan Hayes 60), Jack Warren [c], Nathan Kirby, Mark Smith, Robbie Tambling (Josh Maloney). Subs not used: Ian Humble
Yellow Card : Sam Hookey
Sholing : Ryan Gosney, Kev Brewster, Marv McLean, Dean Faithfull, Dan Miller, Alex Sawyer, Barry Mason, Byron Mason [c], Dan Mason (Nick Yeomans 86), Zach Glasspool, Lee Wort (Jamie Bulpitt 80). Subs not used: Jack Smith, Owen Roundell, Liam Attrill
Yellow Card : Alex Sawyer, Zach Glasspool
Attendance : 85 (30 Sholing fans)
Man of the Match : Byron Mason
Referee : Imran Khan Assistants: Jon Goodman & Paul Scott-Mundan
Sholing and Horndean played out a goalless draw in treacherous conditions at the Five Heads Park on Thursday night. The returning fans favourite Lee Wort, signed this week following his release from Gosport, came closest to scoring in a match where both defences stood firm and chances were hard to come by.
The stalemate was Sholing’s first goalless game of the season, ironically on the same night that manager Dave Diaper fielded three strikers; with other new signing, Zach Glasspool, joining Wort and Dan Mason in a deadly sounding trio. Before the match, talk amongst fans was how Sholing would accommodate the new boys and the answer was to play Lee & Dan up front with Zach just behind.
The Boatmen made the quickest start, kicking down the slope but into the wind, with Wort powering through the centre of the pitch before whisking his fizzing left-footed curler inches wide of Derek Harding’s post. Sholing’s front men combined well early on to create openings for Alex Sawyer and Barry Mason but neither could trouble the home defence.
Captain Byron Mason pick-pocketed Sam Hookey and clambered through on goal but the outrushing Harding was quick to clear the danger.
At the other end, Robbie Tambling cleverly turned Dan Miller in the box and unleashed a low, left-footed drive towards the bottom right corner but visiting goalkeeper Ryan Gosney was on hand to parry away.
Wort soon had another chance to score - on his first Sholing appearance since the 2014 FA Vase final - but chose the more selfless option. The 24-year-old latched onto a missed clearance from Horndean’s Matt Burt and snuck his way past Harding before laying the ball off to Glasspool just inside the box. However, the prolific ex-Winchester City striker saw his shot blocked by Nick Tayler near the goal line.
The Dean thought they should have had a penalty in the 37th minute after Mark Smith was brought down in the box by Dan Miller, but referee Imran Khan waved away their protests.
As the first half drew to a close, Sholing seemed the more likely to score with both the two new boys’ going close – Wort and Glasspool seeing their tame efforts handled easily by Harding. HT 0-0
The rain got even heavier at the restart, blowing up the slope towards the goal that Sholing were attacking. Glasspool threatened again, cutting onto his left foot from the right wing before curling his shot just too far off the back post.
The hosts countered down the left hand side and nearly broke the deadlock through Robbie Tambling, but his skewered effort veered past Gosney’s far post. Horndean lacked a killer touch in the 6 yard box as a low cross appeared to go through Gosney and flash across the goal, managing to avoid all the players gathered there.
Wort continued to menace the home defence with his dainty footwork and sharp shooting but he was unable to net his first Sholing goal since 2014 before he was substituted for Jamie Bulpitt in the 80th minute, to great applause from the 30 traveling Boatmen supporters.
A succession of corners in the dying embers saw Horndean look the most likely to snatch three points late on, with Tambling glancing wide and Tayler thrashing his well-struck volley over. FT 0-0
Report by Neil Vincent
View from the stands: As often is the case when you are hoping for a goal-fest, it doesn't materalise. Game certainly wasn't helped by the awful weather as the new look Sholing front-line were unable to click instantly. Although with both Lee & Zach short of games in the last month or so, they will probably need a couple of matches to get back their sharpness.
Our set pieces weren't up to their usual standard, so all in all, made for a slightly frustrating game, which was probably as uncomfortable to play in as it was to watch for the hardy spectators who had the rain blowing in our faces for 90 minutes. Looking at the positives, defence played well & Byron put in a storming performance.
Next game is on Saturday, away at Blackfield & Langley (3pm)
Next home game is on Saturday 2nd April v Hamworthy United (3pm)