Scorers : Stuart Green 20 & 90+4, Brad Targett 69 / Saddam Bello 8 (pen)
Date: Saturday 16th November 2019 - 3:00pm - Betvictor Southern League South Division One
Venue: Mackoy Stadium
Sholing: Ryan Gosney, TJ Cuthbertson, Marvin Mclean, Dan Miller ©, Owen Roundell, Jamie Bulpitt, Alex Sawyer (Owen Royl 72), Stuart Green, Lee Wort, Dan Mason, Brad Targett. Unused Subs: Jake Hoole, Jack Nicholas, James Lauder & Tobi Falodi
Barnstaple Town: Steven Oliver, Steven Holland (Kieran Jewell 92), Brian Levien, Jordan Aghiste, Michael Humphreys ©, Kuagica David, Vincent Wright-Harper Inniss (Jordan Hector-Smith 92), Evarito Kitoko, Saddam Bello, Jack Langford, Yohan Rutty-Smith. Unused Sub: Kevin Darch
Yellow Cards: Michael Humphreys & Vincent Wright-Harper Inniss. Red Card: Michael Humphreys
Referee: Alex Blake Assistants: Graham Matthews & Steven O'Neil
Dansach Man of the Match : Marv McLean
In what's becoming a familiar pattern, Sholing fell behind to an early goal, but then went on to dominate the game, come from behind and pick up a deserved win. Stu Green took his goalscoring tally to 6 in just 5 games with another brace and Brad Targett also found the net as the Boatmen move up to 14th in the table.
The win also marked the club's 999th win in all league competitions since it first played a league game in 1961.
Team News: Captain Byron Mason picked up a rib injury in the midweek win over Barton Rovers and handed the Captaincy to Dan Miller with Alex Sawyer stepping into midfield. Brad Targett was preferred over Jake Hoole. Owen Roundell was making his 200th appearance for the Boatmen.
It was an attacking start for Sholing who created the first opportunity in the opening minute. Brad Targett broke free down the left flank and advanced towards the penalty area, but his angled shot hit the side netting when well placed. Two minutes later Dan Mason saw an effort blocked at source from Jordan Aghiste as the home side dominated the opening period.
However, it was the visitors that scored the opening goal in the eighth minute. Owen Roundell's attempted head back to Gosney lacked the power needed to reach the keeper and was capitalised upon by a Barnstaple attacker who was then fouled by Gos just inside the penalty area. Saddam Bello stepped up and sent a powerful spot-kick high to the right, despite the Sholing keeper getting a hand to the ball.
The Boatmen responded well and nearly equalised just sixty seconds later. Stuart Green was played into space down the left side and went on a run that saw the recent arrival beat two defenders. Sadly, the brilliantly curled effort over the advancing keeper hit the base of the far post and bounced away. Moments later Owen Roundell headed over an Alex Sawyer corner as Sholing pushed for their first goal.
Persistence finally paid dividends for the Boatmen as they levelled the scores in the twentieth minute. A left wing cross into the box was missed by everybody, with the ball spinning out to the arriving TJ Cuthbertson, who sent a powerful 22 yard shot towards the far corner. It appeared to be arrowing into the net, but STU GREEN made sure by guiding the ball home from inside the 6 yard box. Barnstaple appealed for offside and their keeper continued to moan loudly about the decision (and pretty much everything else) for the rest of the half.
Sholing should have taken the lead in the twenty-fourth minute when Dan Mason went through on goal. D-Dan drew the keeper and slipped the ball past him towards the empty net, but on a heavy pitch it didn't have the power to reach the goal and was comfortably cleared by Humphreys, who would soon after be booked for dissent.
Barnstaple had a spell of possession, but their build-up play wasn't matched by much threat around the box, with nothing to worry the Sholing defence. In the thirtieth minute Stuart Green was played clean through on goal by a Ryan Gosney kick, but his shot was comfortably smothered by Steven Oliver from close range. Sholing's pace and movement up front continued to open up the visitors defence time and again, although the Boatmen were less able to find a killer final ball as the half finished all square. HT: 1-1
It took eight minutes after the break for Sholing to create their first decent opportunity when some quick passes found Dan Mason with his back to goal. The striker turned his marker and sent an effort towards the bottom corner that was brilliantly tipped away at full length by Oliver. Soon after, Lee Wort ran into space on the right side of the area and his shot back towards goal deflected off a defender and thudded against the upright. From the corner, it was Brad Targett's turn to put an unmarked header over the bar. On the hour mark, Targett had just the keeper to beat, but the ball wouldn't sit down for him and his scuffed effort was pushed away by Oliver as frustration seemed to build around the stadium.
After Saddam Bello cut inside and fired over the bar from twenty yards for a rare Barnstaple attack, Sholing finally took the lead in the sixty-eightieth minute. Marv Mclean went on a lung-busting run down the left and into the area where his cutback from the line was on a plate for BRAD TARGETT to side-foot into the middle of the net. Sholing had their reward at last and it seemed to calm down both players and supporters alike.
Substitutions for both sides meant there was a slight lull in proceedings, with the Boatmen dominating possession and controlling the game. Sholing’s task was made easier with ten minutes left as the visitors were reduced to ten men. Brad Targett had already rode a heavy challenge with the referee waving play on, but as Brad advanced towards the edge of the penalty area, he was clattered from behind by Michael Humphreys. The Barnstaple captain was shown his second yellow card and nobody seemed to have any complaints (not even the keeper).
Barnstaple showed good spirit to keep plugging away at trying to force a late equaliser, but Sholing dealt with multiple crosses into the box without any dramas and with the last kick of the match, scored a third. A clearance by Owen Roundell found Dan Mason on his own running through on goal. Dan rounded the goalkeeper and poked a shot goalward that was half blocked by a desperate last lunge by a defender. The still prone striker was just able to stretch a foot towards the loose ball to prod it into the path of STU GREEN who stroked the ball into the empty net, with the ref blowing the final whistle as the Sholing players celebrated.
A deserved 3 points for Sholing, who have now won 6 consecutive home games in all competitions, scoring 17 goals in the process. It's another cup game next, with a trip to Blackfield in the Southern League Cup, with Dave Diaper confirming he'll be rotating the squad for that fixture. FT: 3-1
Report by Connor Steel
Next Game : Blackfield & Langley v Sholing - Tuesday 19 Nov 7:45pm - Southern League Cup
Next Home Game : Sholing v Bedfont Sports or Paulton Rovers - Saturday 23 Nov 3pm - FA Trophy (if there isn't a replay or postponement in their game on Tuesday)