Wimborne Town 1-2 Sholing

Scorers : Charlie Gunson 69 (pen)  /  Stu Green 31 (pen), Rafa Ramos 87

Date: Saturday 15th August 2020 - 3:00pm - Pre-Season Friendly

Venue: Cuthbury

Wimborne Town: Trialist, Strugnell, Chugg, Trialist, Maybury, Kellaway, Trialist, Gunson, Young, Sinclair, Lovell. Subs used: Arnold, Adwell, Trialist, Penny, Shepherd, Smith

Sholing: Ryan Gosney, TJ Cuthbertson, Marv McLean, PJ McLean, Dan Miller, Jamie Bulpitt, Nick Watts, Alex Sawyer, Josh Carey, Stuart Green, Brad Targett.  Subs used : Aidan Radford, Barry Mason, Charlie Wagstaffe, James Lauder, Joe Smith, Jamie Kaffo & Rafa Ramos

Attendance: 0

Sholing played their first game for 157 days and got pre-season underway with a good performance against Southern Premier side, Wimborne Town. Stu Green won and converted a first half penalty, before the home side scored a penalty of their own on 69 mins.  The late winner came via an error by the Wimborne keeper, who presented new signing, Rafa Ramos, with the ball to score.

Team News : Boatmen were without Byron Mason, Dan Mason, Owen Roundell & Liam Crook, but there was a good turnout of players and some new and old (familiar) faces.

Thankfully, the heatwave had given way to an overcast, cool day with light drizzle, although the pitch was still very hard from the long hot summer.  Wimborne will soon be moving to a new stadium on the other side of town, so it's understandable they have kept maintenance of Cuthbury to a miminum, especially as with all Non League clubs, they are currently unable to earn any income by opening up the ground to spectators.  However, there was a warm welcome from the Wimborne committee for the handful of Sholing officials who were kindly given permission to attend.

The "new normal" of football was in evidence with limited use of the changing rooms, 1 in 1 out in the toilets, sanitised matchballs placed around the pitch & the Wimborne designated Covid Officer was spraying the goalposts before kick off.  No supporters were allowed in, but a couple of spectators watched the match from a mound of earth in the construction site next door.

This was Wimborne's 4th pre-season friendly and Sholing's first, so it was a bit of a surprise to see the Boatmen look on a par energy wise with the the home side in the early stages and in fact, throughout the game.  Sholing had the first chance when Brad Targett rode a challenge on the half way line and sped forward before finding Stu Green, but his left foot effort in on goal lacked the pace to worry the keeper.  Wimborne had a couple of attacks end with some wayward shooting as the first half settled down.

Barry Mason, playing at right back, floated in a teasing freekick into the area, that was missed by everyone, but had to be palmed round the post by the keeper.  On 31 mins Sholing took the lead via a penalty.  STU GREEN had been upended as he shot and Greener confidently fired the spot kick past the dive of the keeper and into the far corner.  At the back, PJ McLean was looking impressive on his return to the Sholing side, winning some thumping headers and timing his tackles nicely.  The only awkward moment for Gosney, saw a tame looking shot take a strange bounce in front of him, but the ball was cleared before Wimborne could pounce.  HT 0-1

Boatmen had a great chance to double the lead when Charlie Wagstaffe, making his debut, lifted the ball into the middle of the box to find Aidan Radford, but he didn't connect as he would have wanted and was an easy save for the Wimborne keeper.   With more substitutions taking place, the game lost any flow and became scrappy with some questionable decisions from the officials as well.   On 69 minutes, Wimborne were awarded a freekick on the edge of the area that they thumped straight at PJ in the wall, with the rebound put back over the defence for a home player to fire wide from the angle, with Gosney's momentum making contact with him long after the ball had gone, but the ref pointed to the spot.  Charlie Gunson slotted the ball home for the equaliser.

Home side were lifted by the goal and had a good spell of pressure, but couldn't trouble Gosney with any effort on target.  Boatmen might have scored again when Barry Mason's deep freekick was met with a freeheader at the far post by PJ, who put it back across goal, but wide of the far upright.   The game was petering out to a draw, but with 3 minutes to go, Sholing were gifted the winner.   The Wimborne keeper's weak goalkick was intercepted by RAFA RAMOS on the edge of the area, who did a little stepover before dinking it left foot just inside the post.   A nice way for the former Brockenhurst & Andover New Street striker to mark his first appearance for the Boatmen.  Gosney did very well as a Wimborne player went clean through to time his dive perfectly to grab the ball at the striker's feet.

The final act of the game was a red card for the Wimborne manager, Mark Gamble, for arguing with the referee, which seemed a bit unnessecary by both parties.   For Sholing, it had been an encouraging display with several players doing the full 90 mins and everyone showed good energy considering there were no match minutes in the legs prior to today.  Many thanks to Wimborne Town for hosting the game.  FT 1-2

Video Highlights courtesy of TBTV Sport

Photos by Keith Legg (click an image to enlarge)