Sholing 2-1 Stratford Town

Scorers : Mott 48, 78 / Fagin 74

Date : Saturday 16th August 2014 - 3:00pm kick off - Southern League South & West

Sholing : Brown, Fennemore, Olaofe (Manders 62), Mott, Cuthbertson, Sawyer, McLean, Byron Mason (c), Dan Mason (Lynch 75), Barry Mason, Watts (Brewster 69). Subs not used: Cox, Hamilton.

Yellow Cards: Fennemore (61)

Stratford Town : Kemp, Recci, Stringfellow, Clark (Fagin 64), Burgess, Price (Braithwaite 83), Sheldon, Adkins, Gregory, Sterling, Tulloch.  Subs: Fagin, Roggero, Hedley, Braithwaite, Moran.

Yellow Cards: Recci (23), Adkins (44)

Ultras Man of the Match : Stuart Mott

Referee :Antony Foster. Assistants : Connor Farrell, Rob Ablitt

Attendance : 120

Match Report Sponsored by :  bsaregallogo

Two goals from Stuart Mott was enough to see Sholing beat opponents Stratford in front of a home crowd in a scrappy affair at the Silverlake Arena.

The game started with Sholing getting the first chance early on as Dan Mason ran through on goal chasing a lofted pass which was eventually claimed by Stratford goalkeeper Andy Kemp, who looked unsettled in the early stages of the first half. But the first real save came from Matt Brown who got down well to keep out Jamie Sheldon’s effort, after the number seven cut into the box to create the chance.

The game was an open affair straight from the off, with a mix of long balls and well worked moves creating the chances for both side, but it was another chased down long ball that drew the first save from the Stratford ‘keeper as Nick Watts surged in from the left to draw a low save from deep inside the area. 2 minutes later Stratford’s number 8 Sam Adkins hit the first of many wild strikes for the away side as they began to get frustrated by a solid and resolute Sholing back line, who threw bodies in front of everything that came at them.

Then just 13 minutes into the game Stratford manager Carl Adams lost his cool with referee Antony Foster after a 50/50 decision was given against his side in a show of frustration that set the tone for his teams attitude towards the officials throughout the game.

From that point the game started to swing Sholing’s way but remained slow and scrappy, a couple of threatening passes and surging runs, notably by Marvin McLean, carved open the Stratford line, but the Boatmen failed to find the end product. Then another moment of open frustration as 3 Stratford players surrounded the referee again, unhappy with some of the decisions the Fareham man was making, it resulted in a booking for captain Loyiso Recci, who’s arguments far exceeded what is acceptable on the field.

Stratford now had the bit between their teeth and took control of the game, but were constantly rebuffed by an impressive Sholing defensive setup marshalled by Stuart Mott, who himself made a couple of impressive interceptions and clearances. Free kicks, crosses and slick passing all came to nothing as Stratford were forced to shooting woefully from range in a desperate attempt to go in at half time one up. Just before half time, the referee was once again faced by two angry Stratford players, with this little outburst resulting in Adkins getting himself booked, before hitting yet another wild strike that flew out of the ground. HT 0-0

The second half started in concerning fashion for the home side, as Barry Mason was hurt lunging for a delicious low cross that evaded all the diving Sholing men and was eventually cleared, Mason was able to continue.

And a couple of minutes later Barry Mason delivered the teasing corner which Sholing took the lead from, the initial cross was knocked down amongst the diving heads for number four Stuart Mott to tap into the roof of the net to reward Sholing for their early second half pressure.

Stratford thought the lead was not justified and as the pressure of losing became very real, they again surrounded the referee unhappy with yet another decision. Stratford then responded by playing more attacking football, forcing Matt Brown into a brilliant single handed reaction save after the Stratford man had wormed his way into a shooting position. But Sholing’s impressive defence held firm and still Stratford were restricted to long distance strikes that were rarely on target.

Just as the onslaught began to lighten, Sholing left back Sam Olaofe went down injured and 2 minutes later he was replaced by Taurean Maunders. Pressure continued to mount on the referee as the home crowd were unhappy with the booking of Lewis Fennemore for a challenge in which the Sholing man appeared to win the ball.

Stratford continued to come forward and their frustrations peaked as substitute Tyrone Fagin failed to hit an open target after Matt Brown’s headed clearance fell straight to the embarrassed Stratford man.

Sholing then thought they should have had a penalty after Fennemore burst into the box and was bought down, only for referee Foster to wave away the Boatmen’s appeals and from the next Stratford attack the score was levelled as a rare defensive mistake meant Tyrone Fagin could make up for missing the open goal by slotting the ball past Brown low into the corner of the net.

Sholing knew they had to respond, making an attacking change by bringing on Nathan Lynch for the midweek hero Dan Mason and they were reward just 5 minutes after losing the lead. Stuart Mott was again lurking at the back post to tap in substitute Kev Brewster’s cross which had been neatly knocked down for Mott’s second of the game.

The final action of the game was the most concerning for Sholing as Barry Mason was unable to continue as he limped off the field with 5 minutes of added time left on the clock, but 10 man Sholing were able to see out the danger that the Stratford attacks were posing to claim their first win of the new campaign. FT 2-1

After the game Dave Fear said “It wasn’t a very good game of football, but, I think we had the better chances and thoroughly deserved the win to be fair. Just pleasing to get the home win, get the three points and remain unbeaten.”

Report by: Ollie Maskell 

Photos by Ray Routledge (Click a Thumbnail to Enlarge)

Video of Stuart Mott's second goal