Sholing3 0Bradford

Scorers : Dan Mason 38, Owen Roundell 42, Jack Nicholas 58

Date: Saturday 7th September 2019 - 12:30pm - Emirates FA Cup First Round Qualifying

Venue: Mackoy Stadium

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Sholing: Ryan Gosney, TJ Cuthbertson, Jake Hoole, Owen Roundell, Dan Miller, Byron Mason [c], Jamie Bulpitt (James Lauder 86), Alex Sawyer(Marlon Mason 71), Bradley Targett (Aiden Radford 84), Jack Nicholas, Dan Mason. Unused subs: Tobi Falodi, Michael Okubote & James Johnson

Yellow Cards: Jamie Bulpitt

Bradford Town: Dan Worton, Matt Morris, Leon Greenland, Lee Davidson (captain), Tom Stocks, Dave Thompson, Charlie Maddison, Tyson Pollard (Josh Whitcome), Lewis Powell (Lewis Ellington), Niekell Plummer (Kieran Baggs), Gary Higdon. Unused Subs: Brandon Sawyer & Sean Keets

Yellow Cards:

Attendance: 201

Referee: Robert Cockle  Assistants: Alex Fear-Rush & Dominic Gregory

Imperial Cars Man of the Match : TJ Cuthbertson

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Spectators were treated to a lunchtime special as Sholing swept to a comfortable victory over Bradford Town to progress in the FA Cup. It was three goals either side of the break that saw the Boatmen advance to the Second Round Qualifying with a fine team performance that earned their first win in three games.

Team News: Dave Diaper had Alex Sawyer available for selection, but Dean Faithfull & Marvin McLean missed out. Owen Royl was set to take Marv's place at left back, but he pulled up before the game, so at the last minute, Jake Hoole slotted into defence.  Jack Nicholas coming in on the wing.

The "Bobcats" arrived at Sholing with a 100% record this season. They caused an upset in the previous round, beating Larkhall from the same division as Sholing and had further strengthened their squad with a couple of experienced signings this week, so were full of confidence and smelling another cup upset. They were backed in good numbers by some rather thirsty supporters. Bradford were sporting a "Man United" style grey kit (despite their home kit being all blue and not clashing) and much like United's infamous visit to Southampton, it wasn't going to end well for them.

Sholing started brightly, imposing themselves on the visitors right from the kick off and attacking at pace with good movement that the visitors struggled to deal with as they created a few half chances in the first twenty minutes of proceedings. Firstly a spell of attacking interplay down the left released Jake Hoole on the overlap in the fourth minute, whose looping cross was headed wide by Jack Nicholas at the back post. Just moments later a fine move saw the ball laid into the path of Alex Sawyer on the edge of the box but his shot was inches over the bar.

Sholing kept control of the proceedings and created their third opportunity of the opening spell in the 19th minute. A long ball found Jack Nicholas, but the high bounce deceived the youngster, who fired over the bar with an angled. The visitors grew into the game more as the half progressed, creating their first chance when Charlie Maddison connected with a volleyed effort that went over the newly installed ballstop nets and landed on the roof of the new clubhouse behind the goal.  They followed it up with Gary Higden going close with a shot saved by Ryan Gosney.

On 38 minutes, Sholing took the lead. Jake Hoole pinged a long diagonal from the left back position over the Bradford defence for DAN MASON to latch upon and he smashed a 15 yard low half volley past the keeper and into the bottom corner. The Boatmen were quickly 2-0 up when Jake Hoole took a freekick on the right side of the area, it curled into the 6 yard box, where the Bradford keeper, Worton, misjudged the flight, getting horribly underneath it as it went over his head to the unmarked OWEN ROUNDELL who made sure by nodding it in, virtually on the goalline.

Sholing nearly made it three-nil with the last kick of the first half, when Jack Nicholas tussled his way into the box and sent an angled shot across the goal. Worton was equal to the effort and blocked with his feet before the ball was cleared safely as the referee blew his whistle with the home side in control. HT: 2-0

On 50 minutes, a fine passing move found Byron Mason in space on the edge of the box, with the captain connecting well with a fierce shot, but it was straight at the keeper. The away side responded by maintaining possession that allowed Charlie Maddison to shoot low towards goal, but Ryan Gosney did well to push the ball round the post for a corner. Delivery of this particular away set piece was cleared away by Dan Miller to set up Sholing's third goal on 58 minutes. Miller found Bradley Target in space down the left. The youngster ran at pace to advance down the wing on the counter attack, before turning and playing a great cross into the penalty area. The delivery was inch-perfect and found the unmarked JACK NICHOLAS to glance the ball into the net from 6 yards, before celebrating his first senior goal for the Boatmen.

With the game arguably over as a contest and a flurry of substitutions made for both teams, it was little surprise that the proceedings lacked intensity and chances in the last thirty minutes after the third goal. Dan Mason showed great control in the 69th minute when he turned his marker and fired just over the bar with the away keeper beaten. However, this was to be the last decent chance for the home side as Bradford Town pressed for a consolation goal as they didn’t have anything further to lose.

A free kick taken by Gary Higdon went high and very wide, before the striker scuffed an chance after being fed down the right by Matt Morris. Ryan Gosney then had to dive low to save an effort at his near post after Charlie Maddison cut in from the flank. Sholing probably could have added to their total in the final minutes, but overplayed a bit around the box, with big gaps appearing in the Bobcats defence.  The final whistle blew to bring an entertaining game to an end, where Sholing looked more like their usual selves.  FT 3-0.

The draw for the Second Round Qualifying is revealed at 1pm on Monday by the FA.  Games will be played weekend of Saturday 21st September.

Report by Connor Steel & Keith Legg

Dave Diaper spoke to BBC Radio Solent after the match : https://twitter.com/i/status/1170413927521509376

Next Game : Sholing v Gosport Borough - Wednesday 11 September 7:45pm - Southern League Cup

Photos courtesy of "Hopping around Hampshire" (click an image to enlarge)