Scorers : Jess Walklin 59, Barry Mason 74 / Craig Feeney (pen) 88
Date : Saturday 27th December 2014 - 3:00pm kick off - Evo-stik League Southern, South & West Division 1
Sholing : Lee Webber, Kevin Brewster, Taurean Manders, TJ Cuthbertson, Dan Miller, Jack Smith, Barry Mason [c], Alex Sawyer, Dan Mason (Sam Wilson 75), Byron Mason, Nick Watts (Tobi Adekunle 35 (Jess Walklin 58)). Unused Subs: Macaully Smith, Jordan Brooks.
Yellow Card : Jack Smith 94
AFC Totton: Steve Mowthorpe, Liam Hibberd [c], Andrew Bridge, Stuart Mott, Rob Flooks (Ellis White 76), Billy Lowes, Zac Mouland (Taylor Edwards 68), Nathan Hurst, Craig Feeney, Nathaniel Sherbourne, Michael Gosney (Kyle O’Brien 73). Unused Subs: James Jennings, Jamie Blackburn.
Yellow Card :
Attendance : 309
Man of the Match: TJ Cuthbertson
Match Sponsor: Industrial Boiler Systems Ltd
Referee : Sam Ogles. Assistants: Derek Pratt & Richard Cutts
After the Silverlake arena passed a morning pitch inspection, Sholing capped off an amazing year with a 2-1 win in the Southampton derby against old rivals AFC Totton. All the goals were scored in a Sholing dominated second half, Jess Walklin scored with his first touch and Barry Mason’s bullet header helped to see of the lacklustre Stags in a freezing cold festive game at the Silverlake arena.
Team News: Lee Webber continued in goal with Rory Anderson still injured. Young keeper, Jordan Brooks was included again in the first team squad with a place on the bench. Dan Miller returned, playing through the pain barrier to partner TJ at the back. Totton included former Boatmen, Stuart Mott in their lineup.
Totton got the derby off to a flying start with Michael Gosney whipping in a delicious ball, which was then rolled back to Nathaniel Sherbourne who smashed his effort a yard over. Totton dominated the early minutes and threatened to ruin Sholing’s festivities, but a few half chances were seen away to keep the score at 0-0. Michael Gosney was making a good impression on his return to the away side making chances for himself as well as others.
Sholing started to push forward more, Alex Sawyer and Byron Mason had a good exchange on the edge of the Totton area before Brewster drifted a lofted ball towards Nick Watts who lost out the aerial contention with goalkeeper Steve Mowthorpe. Barry Mason powered a strike over the bar and few minutes later a Sholing corner was headed over the bar.
Totton nearly took the lead in unbelievable fashion. Sherbourne ran at the Sholing defence and looped an extremely high ball goalwards, and it looked to be dipping just under the bar had TJ Cuthbertson not miraculously nodded to ball to half safety, a goalmouth scramble followed but luckily the Boatmen defence stood firm.
Sholing came right back, Nick Watts saw his effort following a corner fly just too high. Then Dan Mason skillfully controled a high ball into the box, turned and shot in one-motion, but his effort hit the foot of the upright. The game became unproductive as Micky Travers broke out the chocolates and offered them around all the fans in the packed seating stand. Then Sholing had a great chance, Mason’s Byron and Dan went 2 on 2 towards the Totton goal, the former continued down the left before finding Dan in the box, his shot was blocked and Nick Watts’ follow up effort was again well over the bar. Watts left the field soon after that and didn’t appear to be walking too comfortably (Later he revealed he jarred his knee).
Byron Mason, who had won nearly everything in the air, then wasted a golden opportunity to take the lead. He powered through the last Totton man and went 1 on 1 with the keeper, and instead of simply slotting the ball home Byron tried to beat the keeper and lost out during the act to waste a glorious opportunity to open the scoring. The fans groaned in disbelief as the large Totton contingent cheered ironically. HT 0-0
Sholing got the second half underway, upping the tempo from the first 45 and it wasn’t long before the first chance came about. Brewster flung in an in-swinging free kick which found Byron Mason, who fired a shot only just over the bar. Barry then became the second Mason to fluff an amazing opportunity. Alex Sawyer crept into the Totton box unchallenged and found Barry Mason who just had to tap home, but his touch wasn’t neat and the ball was scuffed wide.
The Boatmen's injury jinx continued to strike as Tobi Adekunle pulled up clutching his hamstring whilst surging down the left wing. Whilst slowly making his way to be the sidelines, the ball then arrived at his feet 20 yards out, but his snap-shot was saved. It was to be his last act, as he made way for Jess Walklin, who made an instant impact!
Dan Mason did really well to keep the ball in at the byline before sending it into the middle to the wide open JESS WALKLIN to sweep into the far corner with his first touch of the ball. The Totton goalkeeper got a hand on it, but could do nothing to stop it nestling inside the post. Sholing had been the team on top for most of the second half, so deserved to lead.
Totton had a brief rally, but there wasn't much craft behind it and the Sholing defence was able to block and clear their attacks. Sholing continued on top and won a corner on 74 minutes. Brewster whipped the ball in and BARRY MASON produced an incredible leap to powerfully nod the ball high past the keeper. The goal reminded me of Didier Drogba’s thumping header in the 2012 champions league final (But Barry’s was better obviously).
The home side were looking comfortable and Totton's heads started to drop. Then in the last few minutes, Totton had a lifeline, former Sholing man Stuart Mott was hauled down inside the area following a corner and Craig Feeney dispatched the penalty past Lee Webber to give the Stags hope. The clock had ticked down to 90 minutes, but from somewhere, another 6 or 7 minutes was found by the Referee, allowing Totton a wave of frantic attacks, that required some frantic defending. The Stags hit the side netting and then with the last chance of the game, in a crowded penalty area, a blue shirt hammered the ball over the frame and finally the ref ended the game. It didn't deserve to be that close in the end, Sholing had played the better football and created the most chances, but as we've seen this season, we've sometimes not got our reward, but today we thankfully did. FT 2-1
Report by Ollie Maskell