Scorers : Dan Miller 59

Date : Saturday 31st January 2015 - 3:00pm kick off - Evo-stik League Southern, South & West Division 1

Sholing : Rory Anderson, TJ Cuthbertson, Liam Golding, Peter Castle, Dan Miller, Alex Sawyer, Marvin McLean, Jess Walklin, Dan Mason (Mike Byrne 85), Barry Mason [c], Tobi Adekunle (Nick Watts 77). Unused subs : Jack Smith, Matt Brown.

Yellow Card :  Jess Walklin 8, Nick Watts 77, Rory Anderson 80

Cinderford Town : Alex Harris, Elliott Keightly, Joe Donaghue, Lorcan Sheehan [c], Spencer Hamilton, Nick Rhodes, Kieran Thomas, Joe Turley, Ethan Moore, George Lloyd, Jacob Morgan (Jack Camm 52). Unused subs: Josh Nelmes, Charlie Mason, Liam Thomas, Garyn Preen.

Yellow Card : Kieran Thomas 57

Attendance : 131

Man of the Match :  Dan Miller

Referee :  Adrian Tranter.  Assistants: Brian Channing & Chris Mannering.

Dan Miller struck the only goal of a tight, wind effected game, as Sholing claimed their first 3 points since beating Totton in late December.

Team news: Matt Brown returns, but Rory Anderson keeps him out of the stating 11, Kevin Brewster is away and Byron Mason sits out resting an injury. Jack Smith was due to start but pulled up during the warm up, and was made way for Jess Walklin.

Sholing got the game underway, the first few minutes were “handled” well by both sides, and there was a strange sight with some confusion about the game ball following a new one coming into play. Tobi Adekunle won the first corner of the game after seeing his shot deflect behind. Cinderford got the ball clear and subsequently broke. But the move was ended just after it broke into the Sholing half by a cynical Jess Walklin challenge on Ethan Moore to stop to attacker in his tracks. Walklin received a booking for his efforts.

Rory Anderson then showed why he was keeping Matt Brown out of the starting line-up. Ethan Moore was found with acres of space down the left hand side, he held up the ball before picking out Joe Turley just outside the area, Turley’s driven strike was well saved by Anderson, but the ball fell to George Lloyd who to his surprise and the fans, was again denied from point blank range by the sprawling Boatmen keeper. Lloyd was judged to be offside anyway. A few minutes later Moore was off again, and looked like the key threat to Cindeford’s attack.

Sholing then had a sniff at goal Alex Sawyer did well to win the ball close to the Cinderford goal, he took it to the by-line before finding Tobi Adekunle on his own, but Adekunle’s header was straight at the grateful away keeper. Neither side was really making any meaningful drives towards goal, Cinderford were trying to feed off clearances while Sholing looked to work their way downfield. Marvin McLean got his pacey legs going after being played through by a 1-2, but his cross/shot sailed way over the bar.

There could have been a costly slip for Alex Harris in the Cinderford goal had Alex Sawyer seen the keeper go over, but the Boatman wasn’t able to react to the mishap and Harris got back to his feet. Barry Mason tried a speculative 35 yard pile driver that had the legs but flew wide of the far post.

Alex Sawyer then had a fantastic opportunity to open the scoring after stealing the ball off of Spencer Hamilton, again close to goal, but as Sawyer crusaded towards goal the ball ran away from him and rolled out of play.

The final action of the first half saw a botched McLean clearance picked up by Moore, who swerved an effort on goal, the bending effort wasn’t curling enough though and was watched past the post by Rory Anderson to bring an end to first half of little entertainment for the freezing fans. HT 0-0

The away side started the second half but 40 seconds later, Sholing had a corner, but again it came to nothing.7 minutes in and the second half wasn’t threatening much entertainment, Cinderford were the first to blink and changed personnel. Jess Walklin was hurt by a damaging tackle from Kieran Thomas, which saw him booked.

The game looked to be staggering towards a 0-0 draw, but TJ Cuthbertson picked out DAN MILLER brilliantly, Miller was alone at the back of the area and hit a vicious half-volley strike that swerved towards the top corner of the net. To the complete bemusement of the otherwise tight Cinderford defence, the big number 5 had opened the scoring.

Cinderford responded by pushing forward more, which was being matched by the deeper sitting Sholing. Their efforts came to nothing and both teams were now exchanging spells of pressure. The Sholing defence refused to give up. Rory Anderson pulled off another miracle to palm a wind-effected strike by George Lloyd, the ball bounced down onto the line and TJ Cuthbertson did brilliantly to put Jack Camm off and send the ball out for a corner.

Nick Watts came off the bench and less than 20 seconds later had a yellow card to his name and Rory Anderson followed soon after for handling outside of the area when trying to claim a floating ball. It looked as though he had been pushed out the box, but the ref cautioned him, with the Cinderford bench screaming for a Red.

Just as we entered the final 5 minutes Nick Watts tried chip the keeper from inside the box, but the man between the sticks just got his finger tips to it.  Dan Miller then showed why he was man of the match by coming up with an outstanding tackle to stop George Lloyd in his tracks. A frantic few moments saw some more heroic defending as Cinderford tried to get something from the game. But cheers came from around the ground as the referee blew to seal Sholing’s first league win since 27th December FT 1-0

Match Report by Ollie Maskell

Photos by Ray Routledge (click on an image to enlarge)