Scorers : 

Date : Saturday 11th April 2015 - 3:00pm kick off - Evo-Stik League Southern South & West Division 1

Sholing : Rory Anderson, Liam Golding, Joe Griggs, TJ Cuthbertson, Owen Roundell, Jack Smith (Les Mwenze 66), Barry Mason, Alex Sawyer, Dan Mason (Marvin McLean 72), Byron Mason [c], Nick Watts (Lewis Blackmore 80).  Unused subs: Declan McCarthy, Jamie Mansell

Yellow Card :  Liam Golding 85

Wantage Town : Gareth Tucker, Sam Barder, Tai Thomas-Hulbert, Stuart Cattell [c], James Glover, Jared Jones, Rocky Whiting (Michael Bird 45), Jake Johns, Ben Whitehead, Adam Bruce (Johnny Haist 66), Nicholas Thorne (Reece Bayliss 88).  Unused sub:  Ian Lovegrove

Yellow Card : Sam Barder 22, Ben Whitehead 43

Attendance : 140

Man of the Match :  Owen Roundell

Referee :  Tony Foster  Assistants: Sean Jenkins & Wayne Thomas

A 0-0 draw saw an end to a season of Southern League football at the Silverlake Arena as a sunny but largely uneventful game disappointed the home crowd. Rory Anderson saved a penalty but that was the pinnacle of a poor game at the Silverlake Arena.

Team News : Yet more injuries to Sam Olaofe, Tobi Adekunle & Pete Castle, along with the absent Dan Miller, Matt Brown & Kev Brewster meant yet more shuffling of the pack and dipping into the reserve team.  A first team debut was handed to Owen Roundell at centre half, whilst Liam Golding slotted in at right back.

Barry Mason’s thumping right footed attempt at a volley meant the game was definitely underway, alas the goal of the season elect didn’t get further than the closing down man in front of Barry. The game was a much quieter affair following the Easter Monday bonanza at the Silverlake, but this wasn’t reflected on the play early on. Although good play doesn't guarantee chances and the only chance of the opening 10 minutes was when a Sholing clearance nearly when horribly wrong, fortunately the rebound sailed over the bar as well as Anderson. On 10 minutes however, Joe Griggs got his skates on to just about scoop a certain goal off the line, denying Ben Whitehead who would have had a goal had the effort had more power to it.

Barry Mason then gave that right foot another swing, as he connected with Byron Mason in the box to fire narrowly over, which was fortunate as new nets are expensive and that effort wasn’t going to be stopped. Then again, he was nowhere near as off target as Tai Thomas-Hulbert was with his 30 yard space mission. Sam Barder had a yellow card to his name when he stopped sent Barry Mason tumbling as the Boatman attempted to break into the Wantage half. The referee didn’t appear to be a popular, with a few dubious calls going against Sholing.

Nick Watts forced the first save of the day after he sent Gareth Tucker sprawling with a low effort guided towards the far post, and from the corner Byron Mason connected with a bouncing ball, but the shot was straight into the keeper’s arms. Byron Mason was denied again this time by a fantastic last ditch tackle by Sam Barder. The Sholing man was put clean through thanks to the resilience of brother Barry, but Byron seemed to coast his way goal-wards and his complacency came back to haunt him and the ball was put out for a corner. From that corner Jack Smith got a decisive head to the ball and sent it home, only for it to be stopped by the curly haired Jared Jones on the line.

The last action of the first half saw Byron Mason head goal-wards from another corner, but the direction was off. HT 0-0

The second half got off to a slow start... a very slow one that was true to the game. 6 minutes in Byron Mason played a clever back-heel to Nick Watts close to the by-line, who managed to win a corner from the situation. Byron Mason had yet another great chance but yet again made a mess of it, Nick Watts, Barry and Byron Mason all managed to forge a Sholing attack, and when Barry headed to ball down to Byron, the captain snatched at it and put it so wide I was able to be put back in as a cross. The attack continued through 3 more phases before being finally snuffed out.

As the game progressed Wantage started to get a better hold of play and looked to exploit the inexperienced Sholing back-line, but both teams were making silly mistakes and it made for a frustrating game to watch.

Finally a breakthrough! Jack John’s was apparently bought down by Owen Roundell in the Sholing area and the referee (contentiously) gave the penalty. But the dismay of the fans was short lived as Rory Anderson saved Ben Whitehead’s poor penalty, and then got down again to help stop the loose ball, and was hurt in his efforts.

Liam Golding had so far no had the best of games in a red and white shirt but made up for it with one sliding block, around the same area as the penalty was given, as the defenders around him were floating around aimlessly, not able to make a tackle.

As the game entered the last 10 minutes, Marv McLean had a trademark run to the byline and his excellent cutback found Nick Watts, but he summed up the game by failing to make a clean connection, in fact, no connection at all from 6 yards out. Liam Golding was booked with five minutes to go following another debatable challenge. FT 0-0

Report by Ollie Maskell

Photos by Ray Routledge (click an image to enlarge)