Scorers : Jake Hoole 86
Date: Saturday 24th November 2018 - 3pm - Sydenhams Wessex Premier
Venue: Universal Stadium
Sholing: Ryan Gosney, TJ Cuthbertson, Marvin Mclean, Pete Castle, Dan Miller, Jamie Bulpitt, Jack Smith (Kevin Brewster 72), Byron Mason [c], Dan Mason, Lee Wort, Bradley Targett (Jake Hoole 74). Unused Subs: Owen Roundell, Ryan Mackney, Owen Royl
Yellow Cards: TJ Cuthbertson, Byron Mason
Horndean: Keiron Magee, Benny Read, Tafadzwa Kanjanda (Fuzz), Luke Heard, Jack Lee, Daniel Sackman, Jack Maloney, Ashley Howes (c), Zack Glasspool, Sam Hookey, Harry Jackson (Miles Everett 72). Unused Subs: George Thomas, Connor Kelly, Alfie Lis, Mark Smith
Yellow Cards: Miles Everett
Referee: Tom Moisey Assistants: Des McCulloch & George Redford
Sholing left it late to keep their 100% record intact as Jake Hoole struck in the 86th minute to give the Boatmen three points that looked under serious threat against 3rd place Horndean. The visitors were denied time and again as the Boatmen today relied on their strong defence more than their potent attack.
After a week in which Alex Zarrelli was tragically killed in an road traffic accident, both sets of players and coaching staff lined the centre circle for a minute’s silence before kick-off in respect and remembrance. Along with the Boatmen wearing black armbands, this was a emotional tribute to a player who had made many friends and fans during his short time at the club as well as throughout his footballing career in non-league.
Team News: Alex Sawyer missed out through injury and Brad Targett was preferred to start ahead of Jake Hoole as two of the strongest teams in the league went head to head on a drizzly day at the Universal Stadium.
The first chance of the game fell to Horndean when Harry Jackson ran at the Sholing backline but fired high and wide in the 2nd minute. Just five minutes later Sholing had their first shot when Bradley Targett cut inside and tried to curl the ball into the top corner, but it carried on curling wide of the post.
The first twenty minutes saw periods of one touch passing by both teams on the slippery surface, but the final ball or shot seemed to be lacking. This was no different when Zach Glasspool shot over the bar from 25 yards after a mistake in the Boatmen defence, which was followed by Ryan Gosney saving a powerful drive by Sam Hookey in the 19th minute of the first half.
On the 25th minute Fuzz Kanjanda was played in but miscued his cross and it floated over the heads of the inrushing Horndean attackers and out for a goal kick. Moments later Zach Glasspool ran into the box and managed to beat two defenders to cut inside and take a shot, but failed to score against his former Boatmen teammates as the ball sailed over the bar from 10 yards.
As both teams cancelled each other out, the next chance fell to Sholing in the 37th minute when Lee Wort cut inside and ran across the 18-yard line but his shot was straight at Magee in the Horndean goal as the first half ended with the visitors attacking game working better than the League Leaders. HT: 0-0
Sholing dominated the first ten minutes of the second half in a spell that nearly gave them the lead. In the 48th minute TJ Cuthbertson played a first time cross to the unmarked Byron Mason, but his free header went over from near to the penalty spot. Just two minutes later there was an identical chance, but it was Dan Mason who headed TJ's cross over.
Once it became apparent that just the one goal would be needed to win the game, Horndean seemed to step up several gears and the Boatmen will be thankful to Ryan Gosney as he made several excellent saves in the last 35 minutes of the game.
Firstly he saved an effort from Benny Read with his feet after great build-up play from the away side in the 55th minute, before doing the same thing from an effort by Zach Glasspool. Furthermore a free kick in the D for the away side was hit high and wide in the 70th minute before Gosney made three more superb saves in an number of minutes to keep the scores level.
In the 77th minute the ball fell to Fuzz Kanjanda, whose shot was well saved at the keeper’s near post. Then three minutes later Fuzz again found space and forced a fingertip save from Gosney and the ball fell to Benny Read, whose shot was brilliantly tipped over the bar.
In response to the Horndean dominance, the Boatmen weathered the storm, but didn't look like they would threaten the visitors goal. However, Sholing are still a team that only need one moment of magic and clear sight of goal to turn a draw into a victory. Such was the case with just 4 minutes remaining. A ball forward to Dan Mason was flicked on by the forward down the right channel for Lee Wort to run onto. Wort did brilliantly to bust a gut to keep the ball in play and find JAKE HOOLE on the edge of the 6 yard box. With his back to goal and a defender behind him, the winger span around and flashed a shot high into the net for his 7th goal of an impressive season.
Sholing protected their lead against a Horndean side who gave their all and will feel they deserved something from the game. The Boatmen continue to be the highest ranked team in the whole of Non-League still with a 100% record as they chalk up win number 14 in the league and 16th consecutive victory. FT: 1-0
Nice touch by The Ultras at the final whistle, singing Alex Zarelli’s name.
Report by Connor Steel
Next Home Game : Sholing v Chamberlayne Athletic- Tuesday 27th Nov 7:45pm - Southampton Senior Cup
FA Vase next Saturday : Sholing v Pagham - Saturday 1st Dec 3pm
Photos by Ray Routledge (click an image to enlarge)