Portchester1 3Sholing

Scorers : Steve Ramsey 79 (pen) /  Dan Mason 5, Alex Sawyer 48, Bradey Norton 74

Date: Saturday 2nd March 2019 - 3pm - Sydenhams Wessex Premier

Venue: The Crest Finance Stadium

AFC Portchester: Charlie Searle, Matt Simm, Adam Cripps, Luke Middleton, Craig Hardy, Olly Searle, Joe Bye, Steve Ramsey [c], Mike Turvey, Jack Breed, Stuart McConnachie. Subs : Joel Jackson, Harry Bedford, Charlie Cooper, Harry Birmingham

Yellow Cards: Harry Birmingham

Sholing: Ryan Gosney, TJ Cuthbertson, Jack Smith, Owen Roundell, Dan Miller, Owen Royl, Alex Sawyer (Jack Nicholas 66), Byron Mason [c], Dan Mason (Pete Castle 80), Bradey Norton, Jake Hoole.  Unused subs : Marv McLean, Kev Brewster, Nick O'Donnell

Yellow Cards: Alex Sawyer & Jack Smith

Attendance: 168 (approx 30 Sholing fans)

Referee: Antony Smith   Assistants: Cashel O'Neill & Justyn Leonard

Dan Mason hit the half century of goals as Sholing returned to winning ways after two disappointing cup defeats. D-Dan smashed in a volley and there were second half strikes by Alex Sawyer & Bradey Norton as the Boatmen remained unbeaten in the Wessex Premier, with 23 wins and just the 1 draw.

Team News: With a hectic schedule of 4 games this week, Dave Diaper rotated his squad a little, but was forced to make changes anyway with Lee Wort suspended and Brad Targett on holiday.  Jack Smith came in at left back and Owen Roundell returned to his more accustomed centre back position, with Owen Royl going to centre midfield. Bradey Norton & Jake Hoole flanked Dan Mason up top.  Jack Nicholas was promoted from the Reserve side to take a place on the bench. Dan Miller was making his 300th appearance for Sholing. Remarkably for a centre back, he only has a handful of bookings and has never been red carded in his career.

The early spring appeared to disappear just as the game got underway, with a gusty cold wind blowing across the ground, but Sholing were quickly on the attack with Byron Mason having a header cleared off the line. On 5 minutes, the Boatmen took the lead as a throw by Jack Smith was flicked on by Dan Miller towards DAN MASON who let the ball bounce across him before lashing an unstoppable volley into the net from 16 yards.  A fitting quality strike to take him to 50 goals for the season in his 44th game.

Sholing were causing Portchester all sorts of problems at set pieces and an inswinging freekick by Sawyer got a touch and bounced off the post.  The home side had a spell of pressure around the 20 minute mark, but the first effort was skied way over the bar when well placed and then a close range header forced Ryan Gosney into an excellent reaction save. 

Up the other end and both Bradey Norton & Byron Mason were possibly guilty of being too generous when well placed. Both tried to set up others to score when they probably should have had a shot.  HT 0-1

Sholing doubled their advantage quickly after the restart when on 48 minutes, Jake Hoole's low cross from the left found ALEX SAWYER in the middle and he spun before prodding past the keeper from 6 yards.  Byron Mason looked to have scored with a header on 55 minutes, but it flashed inches wide.   Jack Nicholas came on for his first team debut and was quickly into the action when his cross-come-shot beat the keeper, but also the insliding Dan Mason and the far post, as it went across goal.

Dan Mason appeared to be pulled back a couple of times as he attempted to run through on goal. The ref played an advantage to allow him to get a shot away, but off balance, Dan skewed his effort wide as he tried to go round the goalkeeper.

The Boatmen made the game safe on 74 minutes as Byron Mason played BRADEY NORTON into space, 20 yards from goal and his firmly struck effort was too powerful for the keeper as it found the bottom corner.  Was Bradey's first goal on his return to the club.  Despite the game being quite sedate, out of no where it got a bit niggly towards the end, with a few challenges flying in and the home side loudly appealing for everything. It appeared to work on 79 minutes when Owen Roundell appeared to win the ball to put it out for a corner as the Portchester player went down.  The referee decided it was a penalty and Steve Ramsey slotted it just inside the post, past Gosney's dive to deny the Boatmen a deserved clean sheet.

Last ten minutes saw the travelling Sholing support treated to the sight of Pete Castle coming on to play up front.  Dan Miller thought he had capped his 300th game with a goal when he stretched to reach Castle's header to divert it into the net, but the linesman flagged him offside.

Another good win for Sholing in a game they controlled without too many alarms. Was the Boatmen's 6th consecutive win at AFC Portchester as it remains a happy hunting ground.  As well as Dan Mason hitting the 50 goal mark, the whole team's tally this season went beyond 150.  FT 1-3

Next Game : Fleet Town v Sholing - Tuesday 5 March 7:45pm - Russell Cotes Cup Semi Final
Next Home Game : Sholing v AFC Bournemouth U21 - Thursday 7 March 7:45pm - Hampshire Cup Quarter Final

Photos courtesy of Ray Routledge (click an image to enlarge)