Scorers : Dan Mason 35, Lee Wort 59 / Ibra Sekajja 8 & 26, Jordan Rose 24
Date: Tuesday 19th March 2019 - 7:45pm - Hampshire Senior Cup Semi Final
Venue: Universal Stadium
Sholing: Ryan Gosney, TJ Cuthbertson, Owen Roundell, Pete Castle (Owen Royl 88), Dan Miller, Alex Sawyer, Jake Hoole (Jamie Bulpitt 78), Byron Mason [c], Dan Mason, Lee Wort, Brad Targett. Unused subs : Marv McLean, Kev Brewster, Jack Nicholas
Havant & Waterlooville: Oliver Eyres, Dan Strugnell [c], Lee Molyneaux, Ryan Woodford, Jordan Rose, David Banjo (Mike Carter), Josh Huggins, Ibra Sekajja, Chris Paul, Matt Paterson (Joe Quigley), Hassan Jalloh (Alfie Rutherford). Unused subs : Theo Lewis, Tyler Cordner
Referee: Gary Parsons Assistants: Louis Marks & Thomas Copping Fourth Official: Matt Russell
Sholing came within inches of an amazing comeback against National League, Havant & Waterlooville, but go out of the Hampshire Cup in the Semi Final after an impressive display of character and ability. With the "Hawks" 3-0 up after 26 minutes, it looked like a thrashing could be on the cards, but never write the Boatmen off. Goals by Dan Mason & Lee Wort pulled Sholing back into the game and for long periods, they were on top of the side from 4 leagues above. It took a spectacular goal line clearance in added time to deny the Boatmen taking the game to penalties.
Team News: Marv was only fit enough for the bench and was unlikely to be used as he nursed an ankle injury. The game was also too soon for Jack Smith to be involved, so Owen Roundell went to left back as Sholing put out an attacking line-up with both Brad Targett & Jake Hoole starting. Havant gave a debut to a young keeper, but the rest of the squad were all first team regulars and the bulk of the starting line-up had played in their league game on Saturday. On the bench was former Sholing favourite, Mike Carter.
Havant started the game strongly and soon took the lead on 8 minutes, but it was an avoidable goal from a Sholing perspective. Two Boatmen went for the same ball and the mix up allowed Ibra Sekajja to chest the ball on and rifle the ball across Gos and into the far corner. Sholing had a chance to equalise on 13 minutes when Pete Castle rose highest to head a freekick, but over the crossbar. Then Alex Sawyer's 20 yard freekick took a slight flick off the wall, which was enough to take it just wide.
The visitors were showing a lot of pace & power in their play and two goals in as many minutes, gave them a comfortable lead. Again, Sholing were annoyed with their defending as Jordan Rose was unchallenged to head in an inswinging corner at the far post. Almost straight from the restart, Ibra Sekajja rode a tackle and from the edge of the box, hit a half-volley into the bottom corner.
Most teams would have probably gone into damage limitation at this point, especially considering the amount of games played in a short space of time and a lot more upcoming... but most teams aren't Sholing. Driven forward by an immense display by skipper, Byron Mason, the Boatmen went on the attack and on 35 mins got their reward from an all too familiar source. After a period of pressure, the ball came to DAN MASON on the edge of the area to control and blast a vicious shot through a crowd of players and beyond the keeper for his 53rd of the season.
Boatmen went looking for another and came agonisingly close on 3 occasions before half time. Firstly, Roundell's long throw into the box caused chaos with the ball finding Dan Mason and it was a real shock that his close range shot went the wrong side of the upright. It was a similar story soon after, with Lee Wort this time in space in the box, but his effort back past the advancing keeper went inches wide. Then right on the whistle, TJ hit a 20 yarder that Eyres did well to push round the post. HT 1-3
Straight from the restart, Havant hit the base of the post with an angled shot, but from then onwards, Sholing took control of the half and reduced the arrears further on 59 minutes. LEE WORT latched onto a flick-on to advance in the left channel and drill a shot that the keeper half saved with his legs, but the ball spun through him and into the net. It took the strike duo's total to an incredible, 95 goals this season.
On 62 mins, Alex Sawyer lined up another freekick on the edge of the area. This one beat the wall, but went narrowly wide. Dan Mason tried his luck from distance as the ball sat up nicely for him, smashing a volley that dipped a little too late as it cleared the bar. Sholing had a good shout for a penalty when Brad Targett burst past the defender and was tripped from behind right on the corner of the area, but the ref gave the freekick, literally an inch outside the box.
Sholing continued to push forward, keeping possession well and were clearly rattling the visitors. Was probably a compliment to the Boatmen that Havant were doing all they could to slow the game down and also brought on more experience from the bench, including 3 time Sholing player of the season, Mike Carter. Ryan Gosney was a virtual spectator for much of the half, but was still on his guard to push a shot from a Havant attack over the bar as the game entered the closing minutes.
On 88 mins, Lee Wort pulled away from his marker and was found with an angled pass. Wort tried to steer the ball first time back past the keeper, but Eyres was able to claim. The young keeper also did well to parry a piledriver from TJ and claim it at the second attempt. In the last minute of the 5 minutes of added time, Sholing went oh so close to completing a remarkable comeback. A deep cross from the right saw the keeper go up with Miller, with the ball dropping to Lee Wort to hook goalwards, but Woodford cleared off the line with a diving header to ensure the current Hampshire Cup holders go through to another final.
A great game to watch and full credit to the Sholing players for a terrific display of character. The Boatmen can also be proud of the way they played entertaining, attacking football to give the side from the National League a real scare. Good luck to the Hawks in the final. FT 2-3
Next Games :
Sholing v Hamworthy United - Thursday 7:45pm - Wessex Premier
Sholing v Alresford Town - Saturday 3pm - Wessex Premier