Blackfield & Langley 2-5 Sholing
Scorers : Ruben 35, Makhloufi 87 / Stu Green 9 (pen), Brad Targett 20, Dan Mason 30, Jake Cope 78, Rafa Ramos 90
Date: Saturday 24 July 2021, 3pm – Pre-Season Friendly
Venue: Gang Warily
Sholing: Luke Deacon, Yumo Wan, Marv McLean, Mitch Byrne, Byron Mason [c], Robin Nicholls, Charlie Wagstaffe, Joe Adams, Stu Green, Brad Targett, Dan Mason. Subs used : Nathan Gray, Rafa Ramos, Jake Cope, Jo Smith, Martin Buckland, Jack Barnes, Tom Gruzewski, Michael Kurn
Attendance: Approx 70
Boatmen won a high scoring entertaining friendly at Blackfield, creating a lot of chances with a mixed team of the young and the experienced.
There was the very welcome sight of Byron Mason, Marv McLean & Dan Mason all pulling on the red & white shirt for the first time in pre-season. However, the challenges of the current times, did mean that Dan Miller, Ryan Cluett, Claudio Herbert & Conor Whiteley were unavailable, as was Dave Diaper. Marc Diaper took charge, assisted by Barry Mason.
Took only 2 minutes for Sholing to threaten the Blackfield goal, as Mitch Byrne headed a corner against the crossbar. A few minutes later and Targett released Green, but he didn't get the connection he wanted with his shot and the keeper saved. Some nice passing opened up the hosts on 9 minutes, allowing Yumo Wan space to run into the right side of the area where he was tripped for a penalty. STU GREEN fired low into the left corner for his 3 pre-season goal in as many games.
Sholing continued to dominate and repeatedly get in behind Blackfield, but it was some sharp play by BRAD TARGETT on 20 mins to rob a defender and his shot across the keeper found the net via the inside of the far post. Dan Mason thought he'd scored when he was picked out by Greener's cross and chested the ball from close range towards to bottom corner, but the Blackfield keeper pulled off a remarkable save. He couldn't deny DAN MASON two minutes later, with D-Dan showing great skill to bring an awkward ball down and in one motion finish with aplomb.
Blackfield had been guilty of overplaying when in good positions, but on 35 mins they grabbed a goal back as they worked in from the left wing to set up Ruben to sweep into the net. Boatmen could have scored more goals before half time, Dan Mason again denied by a good save and a couple of headers were put wide. HT 1-3
The sun wasn't as baking as it had been earlier in the week, but it was still a hot afternoon as the tempo slowed in the second half, although the young Boatmen were consciously looking to keep possession and control the game. Chances were still being created and there was clever link up between Yumo Wan & Stu Green on the edge of the area, allowing Stu to get in an angled shot that was well saved.
On 78 minutes, Sholing had their fourth goal as 16 year old right back Tom Gruzewski won the ball wide on the right and put over a great cross where trialist, JAKE COPE, got something on the ball to send it spinning up into the top corner. Blackfield scored again on 87 minutes when a dinked cross was nodded in at the far post by Makhloufi.
The scoring wasn't over as in the final minute, RAFA RAMOS chased a long ball, shrugging off a defender and winning the race with the outrushing keeper to poke the ball past him and roll it into the empty net. FT 2-5
Thank you to Blackfield & Langley for hosting and good luck for the season. Thanks also to the Sholing fans who made the trip.
Next Game : Basingstoke Town v Sholing - Tuesday 7:45pm
Photos & Match Highlights courtesy of HR Media (Harrison Read)