Scorers : Michael Hopkins 59

Date : Saturday 18 April 2015 - 3:00pm kick off - Evo-Stik League Southern South & West Division 1

North Leigh : Matt Bulman, Jon Else, Michael Hopkins, Stuart Hole [c], Zak Westlake, Andy Caton, Brian Bowles, Elliott Osbourne-Rickets (Wayne Turk 85), Jamie Cook, Keiran Sanders (Rory Linford-Pill 45), Callum McNish. Unused sub: Andy Gunn

Yellow Card :  Andy Caton 30

Sholing : Matt Brown, Kevin Brewster, Joe Griggs (Liam Golding 60), TJ Cuthbertson, Owen Roundell, Jack Smith, Nick Watts, Alex Sawyer (Declan McCarthy 71), Barry Mason, Lewis Blackmore (Dan Mason 81), Marvin McLean.  Unused subs: Rory Anderson, Tobi Adekunle

Yellow Card : 

Attendance : 88

Man of the Match : TJ Cuthbertson

Referee :  Simon Wales.  Assistants : Graham Pugh & Josef Madaras

Our penultimate game of the 2014/15 campaign saw the eleventh occasion of us losing by an odd goal. A disputed free kick resulted in the only goal in a game that defined "end of season affair".

Team News: With Sholing having no first team game midweek players were able to rest injuries however the game came around too quick for Pete Castle & Sam Olaofe to feature, also Byron Mason rested his Achilles problem Les Mwenze was unavailable. Tobi Adekunle returned to the bench with Liam Golding, Rory Anderson & Dan Mason stepping down to join Declan McCarthy. Having made his debut at home last week Owen Roundell was playing his fourth game in eight days having featured for the Reserves on Monday and Wednesday as well. Today saw four changes from last week’s final home match, Matt Brown and Kevin Brewster both returned from holiday and Lewis Blackmore along with Marvin Mclean stepping into the starting line up.

North Leigh kicked off down their considerable slope against the wind on a sunny afternoon. Sholing made their first assault up the North Leigh slope but Marvin Mclean was flagged offside. TJ was on hand to clear the Millers next attack, then a minute later a mix up between TJ and Joe Griggs going for Keiran Sanders cross fell to Jamie Cook who blasted his shot wide of Matt Brown’s upright.

On twenty five minutes pressure from Marvin McLean won Sholing their first corner, Kevin Brewster found skipper Barry Mason but his header went over the Millers crossbar.  Marvin McLean and Barry Mason end up winning a corner Kevin Brewster’s deep corner finds Marvin McLean and sets up Nick Watts but his effort is easily collected by Bulman. Andy Caton is cautioned for his foul on Barry Mason, Kevin Brewster finds Barry Mason but his header is cleared for a throw in and the resulting deep cross is over hit to Nick Watts. 

With the game still at deadlock Keiran Sanders fouled Owen Roundell, Matt Brown took the free kick to Joe Griggs then Alex Sawyer found Barry Mason who appeared to be fouled on the edge of the area but nothing was given by the referee. Sholing still continued to press towards the end of the half but Joe Griggs over hit a free kick then Marvin McLean won a corner which was easily dealt with by the Millers defence. HT 0-0

The second half started with North Leigh replacing Keiran Sanders with Rory Linford-Pill. North Leigh appealed in vain when Jamie Cook stumbled in the area following a coming together with Jack Smith. Callum McNish had the first effort of the second half but his shot off target didn’t test Matt Brown. North Leigh took a different approach in the second half relying on one-twos up the slope rather than their long ball approach in the first half.

On fifty six minutes came the pivotal moment in the game when Owen Roundell tussling for the ball on the edge of the Sholing box was adjudged to have fouled Jamie Cook. However there was a delay while Owen Roundell lay prone on the pitch the referee gave him time to recover without treatment, during this time referee Simon Wales called in skipper Barry Mason while he reprimanded Marvin McLean over comments he made to Wales this gave Owen a little longer to recover. Michael Hopkins lined up the free kick and his left footed contact went over everyone and nestled into to the top right hand corner of Matt Browns goal. It looked more like an intended cross to the far post than a shot at goal, but North Leigh were more than happy to take it.

Two minutes later Dave Diaper introduced Liam Golding in place of Joe Griggs. Michael Hopkins thought he had doubled the Millers lead when his deep cross landed on top of Matt Browns net. On seventy one minutes supporter’s player of the Alex Sawyer was replaced by Declan McCarthy.

Barry Mason collected a long ball but was pushed out wide and just inside the area the Sholing skipper hit his shot wide with Lewis Blackmore free at the back of the six yard box. With nine minutes to go Dave Diaper replaced Lewis Blackmore with leading goalscorer Dan Mason to try and hunt down an equaliser.  With the clock ticking down Sholing were pressing for the equaliser and good work between Kevin Brewster and Nick Watts set up Barry Mason but his shot was blocked then Owen Roundell found the Sholing skipper but his shot went over the Millers crossbar. FT 1-0

Photos by Ray Routledge (click an image to enlarge)