Fairford Town 0-3 Sholing

Scorers : Ross Langworth 90+1 (pen)  /  Dan Mason 58 (pen), Nick Watts 81

Date: Tuesday 22 September 2020 - 7:45pm - FA Cup First Qualifying Round

Venue: Cinder Lane

Fairford Town: Sam Ayres, John Watson, Kyle Parker (Christian Turner-Williams), Nathan Hawkins, Robbie James ©, Ian Herring, Nick Stanley (Danny Gudger), Dan Bailey, Ross Langworthy, Harvey Scholes, Bed Lodge (Charlie Bailey).  Unused subs : Sam Farr, Joe Hiscock, Jody Bevan, Ben Mitchell

Yellow Card :

Sholing: Ryan Gosney, TJ Cuthbertson, Marv McLean, Owen Roundell, Dan Miller, Charlie Wagstaffe, Claudio Herbert, Byron Mason ©, Dan Mason, Stu Green, Brad Targett (Nick Watts 59).  Unused subs : Luke Deacon, Joe Smith, Rafa Ramos, Martin Buckland.

Yellow Card : Claudio Herbert, Nick Watts

Referee: Stephen Oakey  Assistants: Mark Loughlin & Mark Shapland

Man of the Match: Dan Miller

Attendance: 150 (approx 25 Sholing fans)

Sholing made hard work of advancing in the FA Cup, but advance they did against a decent Fairford Town side.  Goals came in the second half with Dan Mason converting a penalty and with 9 mins to go, it looked like the tie was safe when Nick Watts scored a stunning curling dipping shot. A penalty for Fairford in stoppage time meant some twitchy moments for the Boatmen to survive, but into the hat we go.

Team News : PJ, Bulpitt & Sawyer were unavailable, so Roundell went into central defence with Charlie Wagstaffe joining Byron in central midfield.

Our first visit to Cinder Lane, where we found a nice set-up, good pitch and excellent floodlights at the Step 5 Hellenic Premier Division side.  Pitch was slicked up by some drizzle ahead of kick off as the Boatmen wore their new black & white kit for the first time in a competitive match.  Sholing looked bright in the opening few minutes, with Herbert collecting a TJ cross, spun to make space, but fired his shot across the face of the goal.  After that, Fairford came more into it, playing some good stuff and from a right sided cross, a first time flick towards the near post had to be dealt with by Gosney.

Sholing won a freekick on the edge of the area, but Claudio fired it straight into the wall.  Big moment of controversy on 23 mins when Claudio Herbert over-ran the ball out of defence and lunged into the tackle, leaving Parker in agony and having to be carried off.  It could have been a red, but the referee elected for a yellow, much to the anger of the home bench.  On 28 mins, Wagstaffe fed Stu Green inside the box and his attempt to slot under the keeper saw Ayres get a slight touch, which was enough to divert it past the post.   Fairford created a couple of good shooting opportunities, but were let down by wayward finishing.  Just before half time, Dan Miller won a header at a corner, which D-Dan just failed to connect with as it looped across goal.  HT 0-0

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Fairford forced Ryan Gosney into a great save after 55 minutes when a run & cross by Lodge was met with a first time sweep towards goal by Scholes, but Gos reacted well to claw out the effort.  Boatmen then took the lead 3 minutes later when TJ put in a right wing cross that Dan Mason was about to chest down, but before he could that, the Fairford defender had a chunk of his shirt, pulling Dan over, with the assistant referee spotting the foul and the referee giving the penalty.  DAN MASON fired his spot kick low into the corner to put us in front. 

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Nick Watts came on straight after the goal to replace Brad Targett. Sholing looked a bit more like our usual selves, although the final ball was still lacking from promising build ups.  There was another clash in midfield to spark some handbags when Wagstaffe went into a 50/50 with both players coming off badly and it unclear if either had got any of the ball.  The referee appeared to be of the same opinion, deciding against a booking for either.

Fairford were still a threat going forward, but some good claims by Gos and good blocks by Miller & Roundell appeared to have the game under control.   Then on 81 minutes, the match looked to have been won, when NICK WATTS collected the ball wide on the left, cut past the right back and from 22 yards, hit a superb curling dipping shot that beat the keeper all ends up.  Fairford didn't let their heads drop and after Marv saw the ball flicked over his head, his clumsy challenge saw the home side given a penalty in the 91st minute, which Ross Langworthy rolled in.  This sparked a frantic 5 more minutes of end to end action, with Sholing fluffing chances to kill the game dead andt Fairford creating a couple on target, but Gosney was there to save and withstand the late bombardment before the final whistle blew.

Sometimes you just have to grind out a result in Cup matches, avoid the banana skin and get your name in the hat. Boatmen did that in a tough match against a good Fairford side, who on this showing, should have a good season in their League.   Thanks to them for their hospitality and good luck.   Draw for the 2nd Qualifying Round is due to be released by the FA on Friday at 1pm.  Boatmen can now at last look forward to a couple of home games after 4 on the road.  FT 1-2

Next Game : Sholing v Slimbridge - Southern League - Saturday 3pm

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