Bedfont Sports 3-3 Sholing
Scorers : Darryl Sanders 3, Joe Jackson 32, Ricky Wellard 34 / Stu Green 56 & 90+2, Brad Targett 70
Date: Saturday 2 October 2021, 3pm – Emirates FA Cup Third Round Qualifying
Venue: Bedfont Rec
Bedfont Sports: Dimitrios Kyriatzis, Kevin Diomande, Jonathan Tadafe, Ethan Kaiser, Joe Jackson, Max Webb, Ricky Wellard, Michael Dwayne-Holden (Charlie Postance 80), Jordan Esprit, Darryl Sanders, Connagh Wilks. Unused Subs : Owen Cartwright, Lewis Flatman, Tom Brunton, Ethon Archer, George Gay
Sholing: Ryan Gosney, Brad Targett, Marv McLean, Rob Nicholls, Dan Miller, Joe Adams (Charlie Wagstaffe 46), Claudio Herbert, Byron Mason ©, Dan Mason, Stu Green, Jake Cope (Mitch Byrne 46). Unused subs : Martin Buckland, Yumo Wan, Tomasz Gruzweski, Nathan Gray, Luke Deacon
Yellow Card :
Referee: Jack Oxenham Assistants: James Kiers & Nigel Owen
Attendance: 151 (Approx 40 Sholing fans)
Man of the Match : Stu Green
Boatmen came from 3 goals down to force a replay with a dramatic stoppage time equaliser. The home side were ruthless in front of goal in the first half as Sholing struggled to contain them. A change in formation and two substitutions for the second half, saw a better performance and Stu Green nodded in our first, followed by Brad Targett scoring and 2 minutes into stoppage time, Greener swept in the equaliser and there was still time left for us to hit the post with the last kick of the game!
Our first ever visit to Bedfont Sports and a very nice clubhouse was matched by a neat ground with plenty of cover, which was handy considering it was to be yet another game played in a monsoon. Also, just like Tuesday, it was to be on a 3G pitch. The most striking feature of the ground was it's proximity to Heathrow, with loud take-off roars every few minutes and the spectacular sight of giant planes such as the Airbus A380 soaring into the sky from behind the clubhouse. Mind you, the noise from the 25 local kids behind the goal, armed with vuvuzela horns, was probably even louder than the planes.
Team News : Marv returned to the team at left back, with Brad switching to right back with Ryan Cluett missing out with an injury. Stu Green started in place of Charlie Wagstaffe who dropped to the bench. It left Sholing with a very attack minded line-up, with just Rob Nicholls sitting in midfield.
Bedfont got off to a flying start, taking the lead after just 3 minutes, Darryl Sanders firing a shot from the edge of the box across Gos and into the far corner. It didn't seem to faze Sholing, who were to have the majority of possession and chances for the next 25 minutes or so. A flurry of corners came to nothing, but on 23 mins, Brad Targett skinned the left back to cross towards the near post where Stu Green attempted to flick the ball in, but the keeper just got enough on it to slow the progress of the ball, so despite it getting past him, a defender had time to clear away. Boatmen then hit the woodwork on 27 mins, a Joe Adams freekick was shovelled onto his upright by the keeper. This was followed by Jake Cope having a curling shot go into the side netting.
It was going ok for Sholing, until two quick goals by Bedfont gave them what looked at the time, a place in the next round. On 32 mins, Bedfont exposed large gaps on the right of Sholing's defence and some swift interplay allowed Joe Jackson to finish from a narrow angle. The home side swarmed forward from the restart, overwhelming the Boatmen midfield and on 34 mins, it was all too easy for "Sports" to get to the edge of the Sholing area once again, where Rickie Wellard hit a shot that matched his surname and the former AFC Wimbledon & Salisbury striker buried the ball beyond Gosney. It left Sholing in all kinds of trouble at half time. HT 3-0
Dave Diaper made changes for the restart, bringing on Charlie Wagstaffe & Mitch Byrne and changing the formation to three at the back, with Charlie joining Rob in centre midfield. Off went Jake Cope and Joe Adams, the latter had played 90 mins the night before in the FA Youth Cup. Immediately, Sholing were on the front foot, with Dan Mason about to shoot, when he was kicked from behind in the area, but perhaps his honesty for not going down screaming, worked against the striker, as the referee waved away penalty appeals.
The home side were denied putting the game to bed when Ryan Gosney pulled off an incredible save to stop a freekick that looked bound for the top corner. On reflection, that was a huge moment in the match. On 55 mins, the Boatmen pulled a goal back. A left wing corner was swung in, with a Sholing head winning the challenge and knocking it goalward, where STU GREEN made sure by nodding it on past the keeper. The home side were not as clinical as they were in the first half, missing two more decent chances.
Sholing's belief kept them pushing forward and we were rewarded on 70 minutes. A freekick was blocked by the wall, with the ball falling for Claudio, who set the ball back for Rob Nicholls to put in a cross to the far post where it was met with a thumping header by BRAD TARGETT. Game definitely on ! Soon after, Claudio beat several players on a powerful run forward before putting over a cross that Stu Green met with a diving header that beat the keeper, but went inches wide of the far post.
The clock seemed to be racing to 90 minutes for Sholing fans watching the electronic scoreboard and then the referee indicated a minimum of 3 minutes of added time. Sholing weren't lumping it forward aimlessly, instead continuing to play football and in the 92nd minute got the dramatic equaliser! Claudio did really well to win possession and feed Marv McLean, who found himself over on the right edge of the area, he teased a cross a couple of times, before putting the ball into STU GREEN who had got in front of his marker to sweep the ball in on the half volley inside the near post to spark wild celebrations by players, the bench and Sholing supporters. Incredibly, the Boatmen then almost won it, when Claudio just beat the keeper to the ball and in slow-motion, the ball struck the base of the post and just sat there, before the home defence were able to hack it clear as the final whistle blew.
A remarkable comeback from the Boatmen, huge spirit to claw ourselves back into the game and get a replay. But we will need to be fully on our own game on Tuesday to finish the job against a good Bedfont Sports side. It's FA Cup football, so anything can happen! FT 3-3
Dave Diaper’s thoughts: "Well, that game today had everything! A full range of emotions and goes to show that if you want something so much and are prepared to work for it, you can achieve the impossible. Not getting carried away though, it’s only half time. You won’t want to miss Tuesday.
Next Game : Sholing v Bedfont Sports - FA Cup Replay - Tuesday 7:45pm
Photos courtesy of HR Media & Jakub Czekalski (swipe to view pics)