Scorers : Carl Preston 34 / Barry Mason 49
Date : Saturday 26th March 2016 - 3pm - Sydenhams Wessex Premier
Blackfield & Langley: Lloyd Thomas, Hugh Dathan, Jesse Gould, Dave Allen, Sam Poole [c], Matt Page, Ekowe Elliott, Sam Lanahan, Rico Wilson (Dan Munday 74), Dan Cann (James Ford 69), Carl Preston. Subs not used: Henry Howes
Yellow Card : Carl Preston
Sholing : Ryan Gosney, Owen Roundell, Marvin McLean, Dean Faithfull, Dan Miller, Jack Smith (Alex Sawyer 66), Barry Mason, Byron Mason [c], Lee Wort, Zach Glasspool (Jake Hoole 87), Jamie Bulpitt. Subs not used: Dan Mason, Nick Yeomans, Kevin Brewster
Yellow Card : Jamie Bulpitt, Lee Wort, Owen Roundell
Attendance : 89 (25 Sholing fans)
Man of the Match : Dan Miller
Referee : Wayne Thomas Assistants: Rodney Burt & Huw Evans
Battling Sholing left a blustery Gang Warily with a well deserved point after drawing 1-1 with second place Blackfield and Langley. Carl Preston broke the deadlock for the home side in the 34th minute, nonchalantly skipping past keeper Ryan Gosney before firing into an open goal. Barry Mason levelled the scores for the visitors just after the interval, latching onto brother Byron’s cutting pass and slotting past Lloyd Thomas. Barry had the chance to net a late winner but his goal was deemed offside by the linesman.
Byron won the toss and elected to kick with the wind at Sholing's back. It looked to give us an advantage, but such was the wind's strength, it ended up being no such thing. The home side started the brighter as Dan Cann played a neat one-two with Rico Wilson and found himself through on goal, only to see Gosney come out quickly to gather the loose ball.
Wilson then managed to find himself with a chance to net his 23rd goal of the campaign moments later but he scuffed his left-footed shot just past the far post. Top scorer Sam Lanahan threatened to open the scoring in the 13th minute as the Watersiders continued to pile on the pressure, although his effort from outside the box was too high.
Jack Smith had Sholing's first chance midway through the half, ushering the ball onto his favoured left foot from 30 yards before smashing his shot wide of Lloyd Thomas’ goal. Thomas was finally forced into action moments later as he quickly came out to stop Lee Wort netting his first goal for the Boatmen since re-joining the club.
Zach Glasspool fired a dangerous free-kick straight at Thomas while Lanahan continued to pose problems at the other end, missing from close range with a free header before setting up Dan Cann, who’s drive was too high to threaten Gosney.
The pressure of the hosts paid dividends in the 34th minute as they took the lead. A long ball from captain Sam Poole found its way to Wilson just inside the box and his deft flick set through Preston, who calmly rounded the outrushing Gosney before coolly slotting into the empty net.
The majority of balls forward by Sholing either picked up speed and went through to the keeper, or swirled out of play. Lee Wort tried to use it to his advantage, trying a shot from 45 yards out, but it went wide. HT 1-0
With Sholing starting the second half kicking against the wind, they began to push forward – Wort forcing a smart stop from Thomas.
The Boatmen levelled the match in the 49th minute through the industrious BARRY MASON. A delicious through ball from captain Byron Mason found his older brother to muscle in front of his marker and with the keeper to beat, Baz remained composed to place the ball under the advancing Thomas and carefully into the bottom left.
And with the windy conditions beginning to get more forceful, the second half was all about the visitors, and goal scorer Barry Mason in particular, who spurned a glorious chance to give his side all three points.
A clever, lofted ball over the top of the Blackfield and Langley defence set Barry through and after initially struggling to control the ball, he found his footing and edged past three covering defenders to unleash a rasping shot that flew high over the Watersiders goal.
Barry continued to pose the biggest threat, again forcing Thomas to parry clear from a low drive on the left, while Wort attempted to win the game for Sholing with a fizzed effort from 25 yards.
At the other end, left-back Hugh Dathan managed to muscle and wriggle his way past Dean Faithfull and unleashed a right-footed curler headed towards Gosney’s far post, but the keeper dived well to punch away. A contentious decision late on could have seen Sholing leave the Gang Warily with all three points as Barry slotted home from substitute Jake Hoole’s through pass, only to find himself adjudged to have held an offside position.
Hoole looked to be the creative spark for the Boatmen late on, again turning provider but this time for Alex Sawyer – the midfielder raced down the right to latch onto Hoole’s pass before twisting and turning to create space for a shot, only to drag it wide. FT 1-1
Report by Neil Vincent
View from the stands: A point moves Sholing up to the 4th in the table above Portchester, although the win was really what we needed if we wanted to put pressure on Blackfield in second spot. Some days you use the conditions as an excuse because you don't play too well. Today, Barcelona would have struggled to cope with that wind. Shame it ruined the game as a spectacle as this looked like a game between two strong sides that might have been a classic on a nice calm sunny matchday (remember them?).
Speaking before the game, Lee Wort & Zach Glasspool were interviewed :
Lee Wort was delighted to mark his return to Sholing colours by making his 300th appearance for the club in last Thursday’s 0-0 draw away to Horndean.
The 24-year-old striker’s last match for the club came in the 2014 FA Vase final victory over West Auckland at Wembley, following his 50-goal haul in the league and cup double-winning season of 2013/14. He re-joined the Boatmen last week following a spell in the National League South with Gosport Borough and started in the fixture at Five Heads Park.
Wort was thrilled that his second debut for the side - nine years on from his first - coincided with his 300th outing for the Wessex League outfit. “It’s great to be back at Sholing for the rest of the season,” he said. “To have the opportunity to play with my mates again is fantastic. I grew up playing football with a lot of these guys and I loved that so it’s good to be back. “It also gives me a chance to keep myself fit from now until the end of the season.
“I haven’t played for Sholing since the FA Vase final (in 2014) and to come back and make my 300th appearance is terrific.”
Another recent arrival at the Silverlake Arena made his debut in the Horndean match – Zach Glasspool, who signed for Sholing following his departure from Winchester City.
Glasspool is a feared striker in the Wessex League after a prolific spell for Alresford Town in 2013/14 and revealed he is looking forward to playing regular football after falling down the pecking order at The City Ground.
"I'm looking forward to the new challenge,” said the 27-year-old. “I joined Winchester at the start of last season with Warren (Bentley, from Alresford Town) and had some moments to remember but it was time for a change a scenery and time to be playing more often.
“I’m positive at Sholing we can finish this season in good form and then next season we can look towards trying to make a run at it in both the league and the cups.”
Next game is on Tuesday, away at Follands (7:45pm)
Next home game is on Saturday 2nd April v Hamworthy United (3pm)