Sholing 0-0 Larkhall Athletic
Date: Monday 16 August 2021, 7:45pm – Pitching In Southern League South Division One
Venue: Mackoy Stadium
Sholing: Ryan Gosney, Ryan Cluett, Brad Targett, Mitch Byrne, Dan Miller, Byron Mason © (Claudio Herbert 64), Rob Nicholls, Joe Adams, Jake Cope, Conor Whiteley (Stu Green 69), Dan Mason. Unused subs : Yumo Wan, Martin Buckland & Luke Deacon
Yellow Card :
Larkhall Athletic: Shaun Semmons, Jack Camm, Alfie Clarke, Matthew Britton, Michael Baker ©, Josh Jones, Alex Lambert, Sam Crumb (Geraint Bater 78), Harry Simons, Tom Fry, Dan Demkiv. Unused subs : James Byrne, Joseph Hillard & Dale Evans
Yellow Card: Michael Baker, Jack Camm
Referee: Paul Barber Assistants : Adrian Knight & Declan Skehan
Man of the Match : Brad Targett
Deadlock at the Mackoy Stadium, but an entertaining, keenly fought nil-nil as two strong defences kept scoring opportunities to a minimum. Larkhall did hit the post and Sholing's best chance saw BradTargett's shot saved.
Thankfully, the registration issus effecting Dan Mason & Martin Buckland were sorted and they were available for the game with D-Dan coming into the starting line-up, replacing Yumo Wan. It meant that Brad Targett went into an unfamiliar left wing-back role as the Boatmen went with 3 at the back. Stu Green & Claudio were back in the squad, but had to make do with a place on the bench as Marc Diaper stuck with the majority of the side who did well on Saturday. The Sholing players warmed up in t-shirts to promote Epilepsy Research UK A cause that Stu Green has been involved in for a number of years
There was a decent sized crowd enjoying the summer evening, although it quickly turned a bit colder as soon as the sun set. Was the first game under the new floodlights and what an improvement they are. Larkhall were on the front foot from the off and on 7 minutes a hooked shot went wide as they settled the quicker. Boatmen had a half chance on 11 mins when Cluett's corner found Dan Miller beyond the far post, but his header was cleared away near the line.
Larkhall continued to force corners and freekicks, but struggled to threaten Gosney with a clear opening. On 27 minutes, the Larkhall keeper fumbled a straight pass into the box, but was just able to knock the ball away from the incoming Whiteley. Conor was flattened on 35 mins and a yellow card shown to the Larkhall captain. Just before half time, both sides exchanged chances, with Brad Targett breaking forward into the left side of the box to hit a firm shot that the keeper pushed round his upright. Jake Cope then exchanged passes before firing a 20 yard effort just over. The visitors had the ball in the net following a corner put back into the box, but the linesman's flag was up instantly. HT 0-0
It was more of the same in the second half, lots of endeavour by both sides, but were still cancelling each other out. Byron Mason slid in for a well timed challenge in the area and soon after he went down when an awkward challenge left him winded and holding his ribs. He tried to carry on, but had to come off with Claudio coming on and the defence reverting to a back four.
Dan Demkiv, a former Saints Academy graduate, continued to look lively for Larkhall and he's a player who has a nasty habit of scoring goals against us. Larkhall had probably the best chance of the game as a setpiece saw the ball arrive at the far post with the player having a lot of the goal to aim at, but he smacked the ball against the post to Sholing's relief.
Stu Green replaced Conor as the Boatmen began to dominate the final 10 minutes of the game. There was a bizarre incident on 81 mins when the referee showed a yellow card to Larkhall right back, Jack Camm, and then followed it with a red. At first the crowd thought it must have been for verbals, but after the ref went across to one of his assistants, he just carried on with the game with Camm still on the pitch. So, we must presume it was mistaken identity, although the only other Larkhall player booked was Baker, who differed greatly in height & appearance from Camm!
Sholing piled on the pressure as the game entered added time, with a couple of corners not finding the heads of players in red & white as Larkhall continued to defend well. The final action of the game saw Sholing awarded a freekick 25 yards out. Ryan Cluett took it and his shot at goal appeared to strike the hand of someone jumping in the Larkhall wall, but the ref wasn't interested and at great length gesticulated something about ball to hand or hand to ball or whatever on earth the rules are for handball these days.
A fair result and another clean sheet for Sholing. Many thanks to everyone who came out to watch. FT 0-0
Next Game : Baffins Milton Rovers v Sholing - FA Cup - Saturday 21 Aug 3pm
Photos courtesy of HR Media (swipe to view pics)