Date: Tuesday 21st March 2018 7:35pm - Southampton Senior Cup Semi Final
Venue: Follands Park
Sholing: Ryan Gosney, Owen Roundell, Jack Smith (Kevin Brewster 90) Pete Castle, Dan Miller, Alex Sawyer, TJ Cuthbertson, Byron Mason [c], Dan Mason, Lee Wort (Jamie Bulpitt 82), Jake Hoole. Subs not used : Owen Royl, Bradley Targett, Jamie Bray
Yellow Cards: Dan Mason, Alex Sawyer, Lee Wort
Blackfield & Langley: Brad Snelling, Liam Robinson, Ryan Oatley, Lewis Tallack, Sam Poole [c], Connor Doe, Sam Griffin, Connor Hoare, Sam Makhloufi, Franklyn Clarke, Joe Butcher. Subs : Sam Woodward, Frankie Paige, Josh Leslie-Smith, Henry Howes
Referee: Derek Pratt Assistant Referees: Huw Evans & John Bungay 4th Official: Rudi Burton
Man of the Match: Dan Miller
Sholing won't be defending the Southampton Senior Cup at St Mary's Stadium in it's 100th year, after losing on penalties to Blackfield & Langley. Was a bitterly disappointing way to go out the competition after the Boatmen had played excellently in an enthralling game.
Team News: Byron & TJ returned to the starting line-up, but Marv was unavailable. Dave Diaper went with his most experienced back line, but still had youth in the side in the shape of Jake Hoole on the left, plus a first time on the bench for 16 year old Bradley Targett.
Follands groundstaff had done superbly to not only clear the pitch of snow in the days before the game, but get the surface in good condition for the kick off. There was a healthy crowd in attendance, with Sholing supporters in the majority and in good voice. Was an energetic opening 15 minutes as both sides were giving no quarter, but Sholing looked the more comfortable on the ball, but without creating anything of note.
On 23 minutes, a challenge between Byron & Connor Doe saw both players square up. As the ref was dealing with that, was a few more handbags as the rest of the players lined up for the freekick. It was still fiesty when Dan Mason went in the book, with the ref appearing to caution him for delaying a Blackfield freekick.
On the half hour, Sholing got in behind the Watersider's defence, with Lee Wort crossing from the left to the far post, where TJ was racing in, but on the stretch, he couldn't make a clean connection and prodded wide. Blackfield looked to set-pieces for their chances, but a header in a good position was put over the bar.
Biggest talking point came in the 38th minute, when Dan Mason brought down a ball into the box, turned his man and as he was looking to shoot or cross, appeared to be bundled over from behind. However, the referee, Mr Pratt, who had awarded the Boatmen a penalty on Saturday at Lymington, turned down Sholing's appeals tonight.
Despite no goals and lack of chances, it was still an enthralling 45 mins of football, as two strong, closely matched teams battled each other. HT 0-0
Second half started where the First half left off, both sides full committed, but Sholing slowly started to become the most dangerous going forward, with Blackfield struggling to get beyond the Boatmen defence, with Dan Miller, Pete Castle & Owen Roundell mopping up their attacks. On 53 mins, some nice build up play through midfield saw Jake Hoole come infield and try his luck from 20 yards, but the ball curled the wrong way and just over. Sholing went close to breaking the deadlock on 67 mins as a cross into Dan Mason saw his flicked header pick out Lee Wort at the far post and he did brilliantly to stretch a leg to divert the ball goalwards, but a Blackfield defender was on hand to clear off the line.
From a Sholing corner, Blackfield broke away, but Ryan Gosney came racing out of his area and timed his tackle to perfection to deny a clear run on goal. On 70 mins, Sholing thought they had scored, when Jake Hoole hit a fierce left foot shot that Snelling parried, with the ball landing near the goal line where Alex Sawyer raced in to knock into the net, but the linesman had flagged for offside, although Sawyer appeared to be the further back of the two Sholing players who were following in on the shot.
Neither side could find a late winner, with Sholing bringing on deadball expert Kevin Brewster seconds before the final whistle as the Semi Final went to a Penalty shootout. FT 0-0
Sadly after a great game, the shoot-out (for Sholing at least) was an anti-climax. Owen Roundell had the first penalty saved well by Snelling, who went on to also deny Brewster with a full length dive. Despite Sawyer & TJ scoring their pens, Ryan Gosney wasn't able to get near any of the Blackfield's four well taken penalties, as the Watersiders went through to the Final, 2-4 on pens.
Dave Diaper said after the match : "Very proud of the lads tonight, it was disappointing to lose on Penalties. but that’s football. Let us not forget that we won the quarter final against Brock by pens in a game where we weren't at our best. Good luck to Blackfield in the Final and now onto our other Semi Final, the Wessex League Cup against Fawley away on Friday night. I hope our fans, who backed us so well tonight, also come support us at Fawley"
Next Game : Fawley v Sholing - Friday 23rd March 7:45pm - Wessex League Cup Semi Final