Scorers : Dan Mason 69 & 84, Byron Mason 79
Date: Saturday 29th December 2018 - 3pm - Sydenhams Wessex Premier
Venue: Universal Stadium
Sholing: Ryan Gosney, TJ Cuthbertson, Marvin Mclean, Pete Castle, Dan Miller, Jamie Bulpitt (Alex Sawyer 59), Owen Royl, Byron Mason [c] (Owen Roundell 87), Dan Mason, Lee Wort (Bradley Targett 59), Jake Hoole. Unused Subs: Kevin Brewster, Nick O’Donnell
Yellow Cards: Lee Wort
Christchurch: Max Frampton, Harvey Wright, Loyd Cole, Grant Cormack, Keiron Douglas [c], Brad Cherrett (Jamie Wilson 64), Tom Cooper (Shaun Prentice 53), Billy Walker, Ben Slattery, Max Wilcock, Will Prior (Nathan Wildish 71) Unused Subs: Callum Butler, Josh Kirkham
Yellow Cards: Max Wilcock
Referee: Dave Morey Assistants: Brian Francis & James Colley
The Mason brothers earned Sholing their 17th league win of the season with second half goals to defeat a resolute Christchurch side. Dan Mason scored a brace to take his goal tally for 2018 beyond 50 goals and skipper Byron Mason was also on target as the Boatmen ended the calendar year with yet another victory.
Team News: Jack Smith was selected to start, but pulled up before kick off, with Owen Royl taking his place. Pete Castle partnered Miller at the back and Jake Hoole started in a three pronged attack.
A reasonably mild dry winter's day saw a healthy crowd at the Universal Stadium as the game got underway on a bobbly pitch that wasn't going assist either team's passing. It was an even start with most of the play in midfield where the visitors were quick to close down Sholing and it took until the 16th minute for any action in either penalty area when the Christchurch keeper sliced his kick, with Dan Mason getting to the ball first, but his cross into the centre saw Bulpitt's header claimed by the grateful Frampton.
Sholing had very strong claims for a penalty when Marv McLean sped past the right back and as he cut the ball back, he was clattered into from behind, but the referee waved play on. The game got increasingly scrappy and physical, with a couple of wasted corners by Sholing and a few clashes in midfield. Byron Mason received treatment for a cut lip after being on the receiving end of a flaying arm and then Lee Wort picked up a yellow for a late tackle that had the visitors bench demanding a red.
Neither side could muster a chance on goal, so it was left to "Spud" to provide some entertainment as he retrieved a stray ball from the pitchside tree. HT 0-0
Second half started where the first had left off, but the turning point in the game came when on 59 minutes, Dave Diaper made a double substitution, bringing on Alex Sawyer for Jamie Bulpitt and Brad Targett for Lee Wort, perhaps with one eye on next Saturday's Vase game as the already booked Wort, was down to a final warning from the ref. Sawyer made an instant impact with his corner delivery, putting in an inswinger from the right that was hacked off the line at the near post.
The other sub, Brad Targett, was also quickly into the game, making a run that ended with a corner that would see Sholing make the breakthrough. Sawyer's cross into the 6 yard box saw Frampton not get a clean connection with his punch, the ball went straight up in the air and after another challenge between a host of players, DAN MASON managed to get his head to it before anyone else and it just crossed the line before being kicked away. The referee immediately gave the goal, but there were players in the net and on the ground, with goalscorer Dan Mason on the floor needing attention, so it took a while for a lot of the crowd to realise a goal had been given as the two teams lined up for the re-start, although Christchurch were still in the officials face claiming the ball hadn't gone over.
It may have been one of his most messy goals, but it was the 400th goal scored by the combination of Dan Mason & Lee Wort for Sholing.
The goal lifted Sholing and seemed to deflate the high energy play that Christchurch had been displaying and on 79 minutes, Sholing doubled their lead. TJ Cuthbertson lifted a cross from just inside the visitors half into the penalty area where an unmarked BYRON MASON met it first time with a deft header to wrong foot the keeper as it bounced down beyond him and into the net. On 81 minutes, Christchurch had their first and only effort on target, although it was a good one, with Wright hitting a curling effort from the edge of the box that looked to be destined for the net until Ryan Gosney dived full length to push it round the post with an excellent save that earned him a 19th clean sheet of the season.
On 84 minutes the crowd were treated to a wonderful goal by DAN MASON as he controlled a ball into his feet, but with his back to goal around 12 yards out. "D-Dan" flicked the ball up and in one motion hooked it over his shoulder and into the corner past the keeper who didn't move a muscle, not that I think any keeper would have been able to react in time to stop such a clinical finish, his 36th goal of the season. It rounded off a great first half of the season for Sholing and a calendar year where they won an incredible 79% of games played. The Boatmen have a host of great stats, but perhaps the most impressive are they are now the only Step 5 team in the country still unbeaten and also have the best points per game of any club, anywhere in the UK (step 5 upwards). FT 3-0
Next Game : Cribbs FC v Sholing - Saturday 5 January 3pm - FA Vase - Coach leaves ground at 9:30am