Scorers :  Dan Mason 80 

Date : Saturday 14th March 2015 - 3:00pm kick off - Evo-Stik League Southern South & West Division 1

Sholing : Matt Brown, Kevin Brewster, Joe Griggs, Jack Smith, Dan Miller, Les Mwenze, Marvin McLean (Nick Watts 74), Alex Sawyer, Barry Mason, Byron Mason [c], Tobi Adekunle (Dan Mason 77)  Unused subs : Rory Anderson, TJ Cuthbertson, Peter Castle.

Yellow Card : 

Bridgwater Town : Ben John, Alex Grimshaw, Jack Allward, Craig Allan, Nathan Rudge, Andy Robertson [c], James Byrne (Ross McNab 88), Ollie Chamberlain (Jack Welling 67), Tom Knighton, Joe Bushin, Kyle Tooze  Unused subs : Scott Thomas, David O’Hare, Richard Fey

Yellow Card :

Attendance : 110

Industrial Boiler Services Man of the Match :  Dan Miller

Referee :  Referee: Martin Bloor  Assistants: Tom Moisey & Barrie Small

Sholing ground out a win on a cold day against Bridgwater Town. Everything seemed to be against the Boatmen but super-sub Dan Mason was on hand to score the winner only a few minutes after he had come on. 

Team News: Dave Diaper stayed with mostly the same 11 that overcame Bournemouth on Wednesday in the Hampshire Senor Cup. The only change being Les Mwenze returning (on the day he celebrates his 24th birthday) meaning Jack Smith drops into defence and after playing every game this season TJ Cuthbertson was rested on the bench.

Sholing got the game underway, having been welcomed onto the pitch by a guard of honour from the victorious Sholing under 15 team, Hampshire FA Winners. The first few moments was an open affair with Bridgwater getting the better of the play, Sholing were denied a good chance when a tight offside decision was given against Barry Mason, who had been played through by brother Byron. Sholing did then have a better chance, Marvin McLean was played 1 on 1 after a spot of luck and a decent flick on, but McLean’s shot was wide if the far post when he should have scored.

The tide had turned and all of a sudden Sholing were on the front foot. Barry Mason took the ball with a good flick over the challenging player, his long range effort was deflected wide for a corner. At the other end Kyle Tooze skipped challenges to get into a crossing position, but his ball into the area wasn’t met by captain Andy Robertson. The match wasn’t just being played on the pitch either, both sets of fans were making themselves heard on opposite sides of the ground.

Marvin McLean, found himself presented with a lucky bounce and managed to get behind the Bridgwater line. McLean composed him, controlled the ball in the corner and picked out Barry Mason, whose first time effort was smacked wide. Bridgwater were struggling to make chances, the best Joe Bushin could come up with was a scuffed effort with rolled harmlessly into the arms of Matt Brown.

Dan Miller had the keeper sweating from a Brewster corner, the tall man’s header was an issue at first for Ben John, who took two attempts to claim the ball. The Mason brothers were making a nuisance of themselves up front with their movement and understanding of each other. Tobi Adekunle wasn’t having much luck with the officials as the third dubious decision went against him.

Overall Sholing were not getting much luck as another brilliant chance presented itself to Barry Mason from a Brewster cross, but the ball took a flick up off the turf just before it reached Barry and inevitably the strike was scuffed and hit the hand of a defender, although didn’t know enough about it to be judged intentional.

The final 5 minutes of the first half summed up the rest of the game perfectly, some half-chance breakaways, a few strong challenges and Dan Miller had a good opportunity with a header at the back post. But as was the way with the first half, a lot of promise but nothing to cheer about HT 0-0

The second half almost got underway to a flying start at Bridgwater made forward progress. Kyle Tooze played a neat one two, before finding a teasing cross which zipped across the face of goal, and it was almost turned in by the diving Joe Bushin, who looked to just be a whisker away. Sholing just couldn’t get going in the first few moments and as a result Bridgwater enjoyed the better of the play, and Matt Brown was called into some (although easy) catches. Kyle Tooze then hit the near post for the visitors although he was lucky to have the chance as he looked to infringe Kevin Brewster in the build up. The referee looked to be on poor form as he turned down yet another clear cut decision for the Boatmen.

Marvin McLean was then let down by something he has never been let down by before, his pace. He lost out in a foot race with 2 centre backs after a lucky bounce saw it behind the line of yellow shirts, and as Marvin to run through he was clean tackled.

Neither team could grab hold of the game as Sholing brought on Nick Watts. Bridgwater had been reduced to hit and hope and Sholing were struggling to play their way forward.

DAN MASON had just been bought off the bench and instantly he made an impact. In his first involvement in the game was the chest down a long ball to brother Byron, who worked his way up-field before returning the ball the Dan who had space in front of him, which he utilised before placing the ball past the keeper to give the fans something to cheer about on a largely uneventful day.  Dan almost got in again soon after when a weak backpass allowed him to get to the ball before the keeper, but the ball ricocheted between them and despite Dan looking to be the one impeded, the ref blew it the other way.

The game looked like it was just fizzling out, especially when Sholing took the ball into the corner, but a Bridgwater break was on and Kyle Tooze powered clear of everyone but Dan Miller, who slipped off balance leaving Tooze to strike the ball well clear of the far post.

The referee finally blew the fall time whistle (after a fair few minutes added on) to bring an end to a not brilliant game. Events were few and far between but the Boatmen did well to grind out a result in difficult conditions (both the temperature and the officiating) FT 1-0

Report by Ollie Maskell

Photos by Ray Routlege (click an image to enlarge)