Sholing 0-1 Chesham United

Scorer : Jordan Edwards 54

Date: Saturday 17 February 2024 - 3pm – Southern League Premier South

Venue: Imperial Homes Stadium  Attendance: 325

Sholing : Ryan Gosney, Brad Targett, Marv McLean, Owen Roundell, Dan Miller (Luka Chalwell 70), Byron Mason ©, Charlie Davis, Karlos Gregory, Dan Mason, Lee Wort (Destiny Ojo 64), Jake Hesketh (Alex MacAllister 70). Unused subs : Noa Prestel, Leon Baker

Chesham United : Zaki Oualah, Lewis Rolfe, Alex Lafleur, Steve Brown ©, Eoin Casey, Callum Adebiyi, T-Sharne Gallimore, Ryan Upward, Ricardo German (Ogo Obi), Brad Clayton, Jordan Edwards (Roddy Collins).  Unused Subs : Kieran Murphy, Zak Joseph, Jack Connors

Man of the Match:  Charlie Davis

Sholing matched the runaway league leaders for large parts of the game, but couldn't find the net when on top and went down to a second half strike.

Team News : Dan Miller returned from injury and on the bench were the new(ish) faces of Leon Baker & Destiny Ojo. Keane Anderson & George Milner-Smith were both suspended. Before kick off, Ryan Gosney received an award to mark is 400th game for Sholing, joining 5 other current players beyond that landmark.

An overcast day saw the game get underway on a heavy pitch, but all things considered, it was the result of hard work to get the game on at all.    Sholing started brightly and a defence splitting pass by Jake Hesketh released Dan Mason to beat the keeper to the ball and go down claiming there was contact. The ref was unimpressed and for the first time in all the games I've watched this season, a yellow card was produced for simulation.

Boatmen were looking dangerous from set pieces and a left sided freekick by Davis picked out Roundell, who had more space than he thought, opting for a nod back than going for goal and the ball was cleared.  After a corner, Dan Miller headed the ball back into the middle of the box where it found Charlie Davis, but he couldn't get a strong contact on the high bouncing ball and the keeper saved.

There were flashes of what has put Chesham 9 points clear, but the Sholing defence were snuffing out the league leaders and the division's leading scorer, Ricardo German. Hesketh was seeing a lot of the ball in midfield and getting fouled just as much, with his frustrations getting the better of him as he picked up a yellow, while the Chesham no 17 escaped unpunished.

Hesk intercepted a ball out of defence and from 35 yards tried a first time lob, but it drifted wide.  Boatmen continued to be on top and went close to scoring twice just before half time. A Davis corner was met by a powerful header by Owen Roundell, but he grazed the crossbar.   Then a freekick 22 yards out was curled past the wall by Charlie, but just cleared the bar.  HT 0-0

Chesham started the second half after changing their formation and they immediately looked a different side, flashing a shot just wide and then taking the lead on 54 minutes.  A reaction shot from the edge of the box cannoned back off the post, falling kindly to JORDAN EDWARDS to clip the ball past the exposed Gosney.

The goal knocked the wind out of the Boatmen for a period and Dos then made some changes, bringing on Destiny Ojo, Luka Chalwell & Alex MacAllister.  The visitors, with an experienced and strong defence seemed comfortable with their lead and as the game went on, could have extended it after hitting the post and having Marv clear off the line.  A world class save by Ryan Gosney to tip at full stretch a curling effort towards the top corner, kept Sholing in the game.

A succession of corners to the Boatmen caused a few nearly moments, but when the ball dropped nicely to Byron just inside the box, his volley went over.   Destiny Ojo ran with the ball from the centre circle and let fly with a left foot shot that went wide. Marv McLean sped past the left back and into the box and appeared to be brought down, but the referee pointed for a corner.  

Despite 5 subs, two lengthy stoppages for injuries and a minute or so wasted by the official in talking with the Chesham bench, only 4 minutes were added on and the visitors saw it out to increase the likelyhood of them going up as Champions this season.   FT 0-1

Next Game : AFC Portchester v Sholing - Tuesday 20 Feb 7:45pm - Russell Cotes Cup

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