Scorers : Dan Mason 12 & 21, Lee Wort 32 / Alex Perry 81
Date: Saturday 2nd February 2019 - 3pm - The Buildbase FA Vase Fifth Round
Venue: Universal Stadium
Sholing: Ryan Gosney, TJ Cuthbertson, Marvin Mclean, Pete Castle, Dan Miller, Alex Sawyer (Jack Smith 92), Owen Royl, Byron Mason (c), Dan Mason, Lee Wort (Brad Targett 85), Jake Hoole. Unused Subs: Owen Roundell, Bradey Norton & Nick O’Donnell
Yellow Cards: Jake Hoole
Sporting Khalsa: Sam Arnold, Carlo Franco, Alex Woodhouse, Leon Miles, Tes Robinson (c), Dave Meese, Liam Armstrong (Alex Perry 59), Mykel Beckley, Dan Westwood (Jay Holdcroft 59), Rico Taylor, Josh Thomas. Unused Subs: Menesh Kinch, Shawn Boothe & Adam Osborne
Universal Plumbing Supplies Man of the Match : Pete Castle
Referee: Marc Whaley Assistants: Harry Scott, Luis Nunes Fourth Official: James Robinson
Sholing booked their place in the FA Vase Quarter Finals thanks to an all familiar display of first half clinical finishing. There was also no surprise that the three goals came from the deadliest duo in Non League Football, Dan Mason & Lee Wort, who took their tally to 83 as the Boatmen move another step closer to Wembley. However, the game was tougher than the scoreline would suggest, with Sporting Khalsa playing their part and going away wishing they had finishing power that Sholing possess.
Team News: Jamie Bulpitt continued to watch on from the sidelines ahead of getting a scan on a suspected trapped nerve next week. Dave Diaper went with the tried and trusted line-up that has been setting local football on fire all season.
After snow covered the pitch on Friday, the sun, along with a lot of hard work by club volunteers, cleared the white stuff off on Saturday morning to allow the game to go ahead. There was a bumper crowd of 441 in attendance in the bright winter sunshine, with a good number of travelling fans from the Midlands, who added to the big match atmosphere and were a credit to their club.
Sporting Khalsa, who after being reinstated into the competition after Godmanchester were removed by the FA, started the game on the front foot and their pace on the flanks appeared to catch Sholing by surprise, with a couple of runs and crosses flashing into the box, the best opportunity falling to Robinson, who headed just wide. With Sholing's first decent foray into the visitors half, they won a corner on 12 minutes, from which they would open the scoring. Alex Sawyer's inswinger, skimmed off the head of a Khalsa defender and was heading in, but DAN MASON made sure with a touch into the net from right on the goalline.
The visitors were failing to pick up Sholing players at set pieces and were made to pay on 21 minutes as the Boatmen doubled their advantage. A throw-in was flicked on into the box where Byron Mason & Pete Castle got in each others way as they both tried to get an effort in on goal, but the ball fell nicely to DAN MASON 12 yards out and he drilled through a crowd of players and into the net for his 46th goal of the season.
Sporting Khalsa once again struggled to contain the movement of Sholing at a freekick, but the ball across the 6 yard box was just inches in front of the outstretched leg of Pete Castle at the far post. The Boatmen were in full flow now and scored their third just past the half hour when LEE WORT was put clear to outpace the defence and smack a fierce shot that the keeper parried straight back to him and Wort showed all his striker instincts, to coolly nod the ball up and over the keeper and defender and inside the post for his 37th strike of the season.
Jake Hoole went on a long left wing run which ended with a low cross into the box where it looked like Dan Mason would grab his hat-trick, but he appeared to be fouled from behind as he was about to sidefoot in, however, the referee waved away the strong appeals for a penalty. Up from his right back slot, TJ Cuthbertson couldn't get a clean connection as the ball dropped to him 10 yards out and his scuffed effort went wide as the Boatmen went into half time with a commanding lead. HT 3-0
Sholing appeared to be content to defend their lead and hit on the break as the second half got going as Sporting Khalsa looked to get a foothold back into the game. They did create some good chances to do so, with a flick header on 51 mins going straight into Gosney's midrift. A few minutes later, Gosney dived down to his right to palm a shot round his upright.
Up the other end, Sholing could have grabbed their 4th when Lee Wort was twice denied by a combination of a defender and keeper's blocks, but his best chance was from a corner, where he met the ball at the far post, but his downward header from inside the 6 yard box went past the post. TJ Cuthertson did well to clear a shot off the line after Gosney at full stretch failed to claim a cross, but overall, the result of the game didn't feel in doubt and Sholing were playing within themselves and making sure not to make any silly mistakes to gift the visitors a lifeline.
Jake Hoole had another decent left wing run that saw him dash towards goal, but a very good last ditch challenge denied him as he entered the penalty area. Dan Mason forced the keeper into a good save after running onto a midfield flick-on, but as the game entered the last 10 minutes, Sporting Khalsa got a deserved goal. A right sided cross was awkward for Gosney, as it looked like it might dip under his crossbar, it didn't do that, but it did find Alex Perry at the far post with stooping header into the empty net. There was a brief flurry as Sporting pushed everyone forward, but no more clear cut chances were created against a typically strong Sholing backline. FT 3-1
It was the Boatmen who deservedly advanced into the Vase Quarter finals, and will now be eagerly awaiting the draw on Monday lunchtime. Sholing extend their unbeaten run in all competitions to 29 games, with today's victory their 10th in a row. Credit to Sporting Khalsa for a hard fought but fair game, played in the right way, with a good atmosphere off the pitch. All the best to them for the remainder of the season.
Many thanks to the Sholing Ultra's for loudly getting behind the team and for everyone who attended. Special thanks to club volunteers for their hard work before and during the game.
Cliff Pledge of BBC Radio Solent summarised the match and interviewed Dave Diaper : Click here to listen
Next Game : Sholing v AFC Bournemouth U21's - Tuesday 5th Feb 7:45pm - Hampshire Cup
Photos by Ray Routledge (click an image to enlarge)