Scorers: Cameron Pirie (OG) 17, Dan Mason 32, Alex Sawyer 63  /  Chris Taylor 22, Luke Hopper 29, Connor Walden 73, Ryan Stanners 77, 82

Date : Saturday 21st February 2015 - 3:00pm kick off - Evo-Stik League Southern, South & West Division 1

Sholing : Matt Brown, TJ Cuthbertson, Liam Golding, Mike Byrne, Dan Miller, Jack Smith, Marvin McLean, Alex Sawyer, Dan Mason, Byron Mason [c], Tobi Adekunle (Nick Watts 76). Unused subs : Barry Mason, Peter Castle, Declan McCarthy, Rory Anderson.

Yellow Card :  Alex Sawyer 52, Byron Mason 83

Swindon Supermarine : Sam Warrell, Sam Morris (Ryan Stanners 70), Scott Bevan, Cameron Pirie, Ross Adams [c] (Joe Shepherd 43), Chris Taylor, Bradley Gray, Ryan O’Hara, Luke Hopper (Aaron Ferris 70), Connor Walden, Josh Morse. Unused subs : Harry Etheridge, Jake Simpson.

Yellow Card : 

Attendance : 147

Man of the Match :  Alex Sawyer

Referee :  Andrew Dine.  Assistants: Daniel Austin & Nigel Baker

A frantic and exciting game finished with 8 goals as Sholing lost to Swindon Supermarine 5-3 in the Southern League South and West at the Silverlake Arena. The result leaves Sholing rooted in 17th place.

Team News:  Jack Smith returned from injury as did Byron Mason. With an eye on Wednesday's cup game, Barry Mason & Nick Watts dropped to the bench.

Swindon got the game underway, and less than 20 seconds later had a corner. The ball was delivered and a game of pinball broke out, all of a sudden the ball was flicked onto the bar, and thankfully the ball dropped to safety. Then Sholing were on their way. Dan and Byron Mason worked together to get the ball up field until one of them was upended and the free kick was given, Alex Sawyer put the effort on target but it was clawed away.

Then a moment of real madness for the Swindon keeper Sam Warrell as he mugged off the ball by Dan Mason after having a good 5/10 seconds to get the ball away. Dan put the ball into the mixer twice from a dangerous position, but both times the ball was scrambled away by the haphazard looking Swindon defence.

Marvin McLean got on his bike in the 11th minute and raced away past the sluggish Scott Bevan, but as the ball needed to be delivered Marvin lost his footing and ended up in a heap on the floor. After a frantic first 15 minutes, the game began to slow down as the wind increased.

Then Sholing took the lead on 17 minutes. Liam Golding threaded a ball between two Swindon players to release Tobi Adekunle down the left wing and his low cross was toe poked into the bottom corner by Swindon defender, Cameron Pirie.

But not long after Swindon were level. An aimless punt downfield saw a slip by TJ Cuthbertson, which allowed Connor Walden to break into the Sholing penalty area where he was brought down by Liam Golding. The resulting penalty was initially saved by Matt Brown low to the keeper’s right, but the ball was eventually turned in by penalty taker Chris Taylor.

Another mistake by Sholing, this time by Dan Miller, allowed Connor Walden to have another effort but it was claimed by Matt Brown. A few minutes later Walden again found himself running into space, and after a stand-off between him and Miller, the number 10 picked out Luke Hopper who dispatched the ball past Matt Brown to give the visitors the lead.

But Sholing refused to let their heads drop, and they were level soon after. Alex Sawyer punted a ball into the box from the right which was poorly dealt with by a Swindon defender. That benefited DAN MASON who took a touch up before hammering a beautiful 20 yard strike past the flying Swindon keeper and in via the post to put Sholing level again.

The heavens opened with rain & hail and the fans ran for the covered areas. The final few minutes saw Swindon lose their captain to what looked like a rib injury. HT 2-2

Sholing restarted the game, with mercifully tamer weather. Substitute Joe Shepherd wiped out Byron Mason and was possibly lucky to avoid a booking for a cynical challenge. Alex Sawyer instead took the accolade for the games first booking as he went into a tackle hard and late. Connor Walden wiggled his way into the Sholing area and looked to set to hit the target. But instead the Marine striker hammered his effort skywards. Sholing were being forced to share possession with their guests in a very open, exciting game.

Sholing then retook the lead. Byron Mason split the defence to find Tobi Adekunle down the left and his cross was dummied by Dan Mason to the arriving ALEX SAWYER who finished crisply into the bottom corner with his left foot. Swindon had appealed for a foul in the box during the build-up, but the referee was right to not give it as the defender took a dramatic fall.

Sholing then came close to opening up a 2 goal lead with another fantastic Adekunle cross. The ball found its way past 2 dilly-dallying 'Marine defenders and to the feet of Marvin McLean, who in the surprise of the moment lashed the ball over the bar from just 6 yards out.  Was this to be a turning point in the game?  Sadly for Sholing, it was.

Swindon Town loanee, Connor Walden was having a good game and got his reward in outstanding fashion to re-level the game. With little of chance of scoring the Marine forward hit the ball wide out from around 30 yards. It was the most perfect strike possible and even from the unlikely range, Matt Brown looked always second favourite, and the strike was unsavable.

Then Swindon lead. And true to the day it was another costly defensive error. Mike Byrne lost his footing and the ball presented itself to Ryan Stanners about 6 yards out, and the made no mistake. Stanners then looked to kill off Sholing once and for all with an exquisite looped ball past Matt Brown into the top right hand corner of the net.

The referee appeared to have lost control of the game and booked Byron Mason, before reaching for his red after the Boatmen skipper showed his dissatisfaction at being booked, fortunately the latter wasn’t produced.

Dan Mason came close to relighting the Sholing fire with an effort that just scraped over the bar. A flurry of late Sholing corners was not enough to turn the result around and as the rain & hail began to pour again the referee blew the final whistle FT 3-5

Report by Ollie Maskell

Photos by Ray Routledge (click an image to enlarge)