Scorers : Byron Mason 1 & 75, Marlon Mason 14, Dan Mason 34, Alex Sawyer 71 / Sam Argent 68
Date: Wednesday 11th September 2019 - 7:45pm - Southern League Challenge Cup Preliminary Round
Venue: Mackoy Stadium
Sholing: Ryan Gosney, Tobi Falodi (Marv McLean 60), Jake Hoole, Owen Roundell, Dan Miller, Jamie Bulpitt, Marlon Mason, James Lauder (Aidan Radford 83), Dan Mason (Alex Sawyer 43), Byron Mason [c], Brad Targett. Unused subs : Jack Nicholas & Michael Okubote
Gosport Borough: Patrick O'Flaherty, Rory Williams (Charlie Kennedy 37), Mike Carter [c], Ryan Woodford, Liam Robinson (Matt Paterson 46), Alex John, Sam Argent (Dave Jerrard 77), Matt Partridge, Marley Ridge, Joshua Huggins, Nestor Shako. Unused subs : Sam Roberts & Lewis Watch
Referee: Niall Clinton Assistants: Jonathan Pike & Nick Whittington
Sholing caused a spectacular five-star cup upset in the Southern League Challenge Cup by comprehensively beating Southern League Premier South side, Gosport Borough. Byron Mason scored twice, including a goal after just 40 seconds and he was joined in the scoring stakes by brother Dan and cousin Marlon, to make it a "Triple Mason". Alex Sawyer also contributed to the fun with his first goal of the season.
Team News: TJ wasn't available, so Tobi Falodi was given his first start for Sholing (right back), as was James Lauder (midfield). Dean Faithfull & Owen Royl watched from the sidelines with Dean hopeful of being fit for Saturday, but Owen is still a little away from being fully fit. Jake Hoole was making his 150th appearance for the Boatmen. Gosport had former Sholing favourites, Mike Carter & Liam Robinson in their side, along with a host of players who have played at National League and even football league level. They also gave debuts to two Yeovil Town players (Alex John & Nestor Shako), brought in on loan this week.
The Boatmen opened the scoring after just forty seconds of the match, playing a fine passing move from the kick-off that eventually found Dan Mason setting the ball into the path of BYRON MASON. The captain side stepped one defender and lashed the ball past Patrick O’ Flaherty with a 20 yard sweet strike into the far corner. It was a great finish that was missed by some spectators still making their way into the ground.
Although Boro' had a brief spell of possession, it was Sholing who doubled their lead in the fourteenth minute. A long ball from the home defence seemed to be headed back to the Gosport keeper by Ryan Woodford. However, Patrick O’Flaherty misjudged the bounce of the pitch under pressure from striker MARLON MASON and as the ball sailed over the keeper, Marlon gleefully ran onto the loose ball to knock it into the empty net for his first senior goal for the Boatmen.
Gosport looked stunned and threw bodies forward in hope of a goal, creating some chances, but not able to put the ball in the net. Their first chance saw Liam Robinson strike an effort that beat Ryan Gosney, but also the wrong side of his post in the 26th minute. Moments later a set piece led to a goal-mouth scramble, with Dan Mason doing well to clear off the line and there was also blocked shots by Argent, Woodford and Ridge and Gosney tipped a shot over the bar.
Gosport were looking more capable going forward than dealing with the pace & movement of Sholing's attack and the Boatmen had their third on 34 mins. DAN MASON sensed hestitation between a defender and his keeper and forced his way between the two of them. Despite the ball heading away from goal, he cleverly angled a stretched foot as the ball dropped and directed it past the keeper and it rolled into the goal. For only the second time in Sholing first team history, the "Triple Mason" (or Three-Masons as Micky T's flag says) was achieved. Before it was Barry, Byron & Dan in January 2015 against Shortwood Utd (BBC Website reported it).
Gosport had no other choice but to attack and although they had the possession and a couple more half-chances, it was the home side who had the goals and commanding lead. HT: 3-0
The visitors best bit of play after the restart came when Marley Ridge played a delightful swirling pass into the feet of Nestor Shako who nicked the ball passed Ryan Gosney, but the attempt rolled just wide of the past. Gosport did pull a goal back on 68 minutes when Alex John’s floated free-kick landed on the head of Sam Argent who guided the ball home into the corner of the net.
Any hopes of a Gosport comeback were quickly ended when Sholing scored their fourth goal on 71 mins. Some quick play out of defence saw Jake Hoole given a chance to drop the shoulder, beat his man and drill a left sided cross into the 6 yard box. It wasn't properly cleared by the visitors, who presented ALEX SAWYER with the ball, 10 yards out and he coolly took a touch and side footed inside the post.
It was two goals in four minutes for the Boatmen with Jake Hoole again turning provider. His freekick between the back line and the keeper evaded everyone except for BYRON MASON, who dived forward to head in his 99th goal for the Boatmen. Extra sweet for Byron, against the club he briefly joined in 2014, but who never gave him a chance to play. With the match won and the dominant Sholing defence not wanting to concede another goal, Gosport had the look of a team wanting the final whistle to be blown well before the 90 minute mark. There wasn't anymore goalmouth action, but Brad Targett showed flashes of skill and pace to stretch a weary defence.
Sholing showed a clinical edge in front of goal that has been missing in the League campaign thus far, so hopefully the last two impressive cup performances will give the Boatmen a confidence boost as they go looking for three points on Saturday. FT 5-1
Report by Connor Steel & Keith Legg
Next Game : Sholing v Cirencester - Saturday 14 September 3pm - Southern League South Div 1