Christchurch0 1Sholing

Scorers : Brad Targett 90+4

Date: Tuesday 7th May 2019 - 7:45pm - Hampshire FA Russell Cotes Cup Final (Sponsored by Harold G Walker Solicitors)

Venue: Hurn Bridge Sports Club

Christchurch: Max Frampton, Grant Cormack, Harvey Wright, Billy Walker, Kieran Douglas [c], Brad Cherrett, Nick Swann, Dan Haynes, Ashley Pope, Max Wilcock, Josh Kirkham.  Subs : Tom Cooper, Brad Gale, Alex Whitehouse, Ben Slatterley, Callum Butler

Yellow Card: ?

Sholing: Ryan Gosney, TJ Cuthbertson, Owen Royl, Pete Castle (Owen Roundell 67), Dan Miller, Jamie Bulpitt, Brad Targett, Byron Mason [c], Dan Mason, Alex Sawyer, Jake Hoole. Unused subs : Marv McLean, Kevin Brewster, James Johnson & Josh Carey

Yellow Cards: Jamie Bulpitt, Brad Targett, TJ Cuthbertson

Attendance:  214 (Approx 60 Sholing fans)

Referee:  Alex James   Assistants:  Steve Currie & Andy Jones. 4th Official : Sean Jenkins

Harold G Walker Man of the Match : Alex Sawyer

Boatmen lifted their second Trophy of the season, in their final game, with an injury time winner. The drama took place in the 94th minute as Jake Hoole's excellent cross was headed in by Brad Targett, to enable Sholing to win the Russell Cotes Cup for the first time in their history and put the seal a wonderful, record breaking season for the club.

Team News: Dave Diaper was without Lee Wort, Jack Smith and Bradey Norton, with Marv McLean only just about fit enough to be on the bench in case of an emergency. 

Sholing hadn't played for 2 weeks and it was a week longer for Christchurch and it showed in the opening stages of the game, as both teams looked very rusty and finding it difficult on a dry pitch with an irregular bounce.  Christchurch, who were the underdog, but did have home advantage, were edging the possession, but were restricted to shots that went well wide. Their best chance was when a ball was played into the box, but a heavy touch meant the ball rolled through to Gosney when the striker was in on goal.

The play was very stop start, with a bizarre spell of several matchballs being deemed under-inflated, which wasn't much entertainment for the decent sized crowd as balls were being pinged around from touchline to touchline in a rather desperate attempt to find some that were fit to use. Several stoppages for injuries to Christchurch players, also meant no flow to the game.

Sholing, playing their 65th game of the season, finally created something going forward in the last few minutes of the half, with first Brad Targett cutting in from the right, but was closed down as he shot, with the ball being cleared for a corner.  On the other flank, Jake Hoole ran past two defenders, but his angled shot was saved by Frampton. 5 minutes of added time were played, but the sides went in level in a half to forget. HT 0-0

Boatmen were sharper from the restart, with Dan Mason cutting past a defender near the byline to cut the ball back towards the near post for the arriving Brad Targett, but his first time effort blazed high over the bar from close range.   Targett was certainly causing the Christchurch defence problems and his tricky run past a couple of defenders ended with a scuffed effort that was half cleared only to Dan Mason, who offbalance, prodded the ball goalwards and past the keeper, but somehow a defender on the line managed to stretch his foot backwards to stop the ball going in.

The game reverted to the pattern of the first half, with niggly fouls, lots of stoppages for injuries and the home side slowing the game down, whilst putting pressure on the referee for every decision.  Christchurch going forward were still wayward with their shooting, although a freekick from the left wing had to be ushered round the post by Gosney.  The keeper also was careful to watch a couple of shots that took a lively bounce off the pitch before claiming. Christchurch appealed for a penalty as Royl went in to shepherd the ball out of play, but the ref waved away their appeals.

Jake Hoole had a snap shot tipped over the bar by Frampton, but the general feeling amongst the crowd was the game was headed straight to penalties.  However, as we entered the 4th minute of added time, a winner was found and Sholing who got it.  Jake Hoole picked up a clearance out of defence on the left wing, he took on the defender, beat him for pace and whipped over a brilliant cross that picked out BRAD TARGETT at the far post, who guided a downward header just inside the upright and beyond the dive of the keeper to spark wild celebrations.  It hit Christchurch hard, with many of their players flat on their backs.  They had 2 minutes to get an equaliser, but the Boatmen saw out the match and Byron Mason lifted his second trophy of a record breaking season for the Sholing.  FT 0-1

Many thanks for all the support the club has received this season from fans, sponsors & volunteers.  Have a good summer and see you all in July & August as we start a new adventure in the Southern League

Video Highlights Courtesy of TBTV :

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