Scorers : Brad Targett 7, Marv McLean 17, Owen Roundell 66
Date: Saturday 22 December 2018 - 3pm - Sydenhams Wessex Premier
Shaftesbury: Dan Card, Charlie Rayfield, Mal Benjamin, Nick Hewlitt, Adam Flint, Sean Colohan, Jack Mitchell, Ben Wood, Greg Peel, Taoufik Ben-Salem, Matt Hindle. Subs : Aaron Lane-Leney, Ryan Mitchell
Yellow Cards: ?
Sholing: Ryan Gosney, TJ Cuthbertson, Marv McLean, Owen Roundell, Dan Miller, Jamie Bulpitt, Alex Sawyer (Owen Royl 66), Byron Mason [c], Dan Mason, Lee Wort, Brad Targett (Jake Hoole 78). Unused Subs: Kev Brewster, Jack Smith, Ryan Mackney
Yellow Cards: Brad Targett & Owen Royl
Attendance: 67 (approx 15 Sholing fans)
Referee: Andrew Bailey Assistants: Bob Brittain & Mark Chinnock
Boatmen were back to winning ways, making it 16 victories out of 17 League games with a win at Shaftesbury. Three very different, but quality finishes saw Sholing stay well clear at the top of the League at Christmas.
Team News: Brad Targett came back into the starting line-up and Lee Wort had recovered from his knock. Owen Roundell replaced Pete Castle at the back. Shaftesbury appeared to be missing a few players, being only able to name two subs for a home game.
The rain stayed away to enable the game to go ahead, although the pitch was heavy and very bobbly in places. Although that is to be expected at this time of year. Shaftesbury had the first chance in the game, but the Sholing defence were able to scramble away at their far post and were soon on the attack and soon in the lead. After forcing two corners, there were strong appeals for handball by a Shaftesbury defender, but it didn't matter as the ball was immediately in the back of the net. BRAD TARGETT collected the ball just outside the area and hit a lovely curling effort above and beyond the keeper and into the far corner.
Gosney was called into action to dive full length and catch the ball as a shot came in from the right side of the area, but on 16 minutes, Sholing doubled their lead. Marv went for the one-two with Targett, who initially delayed the return ball, but then threaded an even more difficult looking pass between two defenders for MARV MCLEAN to run onto and from a tight angle on the left, he smashed a vicious right foot shot across goal and in off the far woodwork, making that satisfying sound as it pinged into the net.
Sholing looked like they would score twice more before half time. Firstly, a corner in from the right landed on Dan Miller's head, almost right on the goalline, but he somehow put it over the bar. Then, Dan Mason worked space in the area to get away a shot that beat the keeper but skimmed the outside of the post. HT 0-2
Boatmen were sluggish after the restart as Shaftesbury had a period of pressure, with Gosney making a couple of saves to deny them. The best stop coming on 65 minutes when a well struck shot through a crowd of players was tipped over the crossbar. Lee Wort was having a quiet game by his standards, although he was denied by a couple of questionable offside decisions. However, on 66 minutes, he got a shot away that the Shaftesbury keeper smothered and put out for a corner. From the corner, Sholing had their third goal. OWEN ROUNDELL pulled away from the far post to meet the ball in and he steered a looping header back over the keeper and it dipped just under the bar.
Brad Targett was very unfortunate to get a yellow card when he slipped and the ball hit his hand, with the officials seemingly not agreeing on whether it was even foul. There wasn't much in the way of goal mouth action in the latter period of the game, with Sholing in control and comfortably saw out the match to notch their 18th clean sheet of the season. FT 0-3
As we reach Christmas, first and foremost, the club wishes all our supporters, volunteers, players & coaches a very Merry Christmas! Also, Happy Birthday to Dave Diaper
We've been humble about our record this season, but to get to Xmas still unbeaten with 16 wins and 1 draw is a remarkable achievement and one that probably doesn't get the respect it deserves from outside the club. We have the best record of any Non League side playing at a decent competitive level in the entire UK. That's something to be proud of and the players, management & backroom crew deserve the plaudits and I'm sure our supporters have loved the attacking football and glut of goals they've seen thus far. Long way still to go this season, but been a great first half. Up The Boatmen!
Next Game : Sholing v Christchurch - Saturday 29th December 3pm - Wessex Premier