Scorers : Dan Mason 21, 70, Nick Watts 31 / Radford 82

Date : Saturday 30th August 2014 - 3:00pm kick off - FA Cup Preliminary Round

Sholing : Brown; Cuthbertson, Olaofe, Byrne, Miller; Mott (Brewster 74), Barry Mason, Byron Mason (capt); Dan Mason, Watts (Hamilton 77), McLean (Adekunle 68). Unused subs: Manders, Nwachukwu, Crisp, Anderson. 

Yellow Cards : McLean 14

Bristol Manor Farm : Clark; Wiltshire, Downes, Loader (Radford 63), Payne; Mills (Brimson 55), Metters (capt), Durrant, Ingram, Hailstone, Sheppard (Hodgeson 80). Unused subs: Purnell, Rich, Parsons, Greaves. 

Ultras Man of the Match : Matt Brown

Referee : Matthew Lee. Assistants : Richard Sargeant, Stephen Massey

Attendance : 128

Sholing were given a hard game against Bristol Manor Farm, but came out 3-1 winners at the Silverlake arena to progress in the FA cup.

Team news : Sholing made 3 changes to the team that was beaten on bank holiday Monday, Nathan Lynch was suspended following his red card in the Totton game, Kane Crisp dropped to the bench and Alex Sawyer was also missing, Sam Olaofe returned from injury to start, Dan Mason was again in the starting 11 after a sub appearance on Monday, and Mike Byrne came into the defence pushing Stuart Mott into a midfield role.

Lewis Fennemore, Alex Baldacchino and Jack Smith remain out injured, but there was good news for the Boatmen as defender Pete Castle took part in his first light session since surgery.

It took just 5 minutes for Sholing to fashion the first great chance, Nick Watts and Barry Mason broke clear of the Bristol Manor Farm defence, but Barry Mason lost his footing as he tried to slide the ball home after being fed by Nick Watts. And a few minutes later Nick Watts had an attempt of his own after finding a pocket of space just outside the area, but he couldn’t keep the shot down and he saw it sail over.

From the resulting goal kick, Sholing were given a reprieve after Ashley Clark’s long kick put Will Hailstone through 1 on 1 with Matt Brown, but the Bristol striker was unable to find the target despite the odds being in his favour. Hailstone tried to make amends less than a minute later, but could only find the side-netting after sublimely spinning away from 2 defenders to create the chance. Bristol were now more into the game.

But it was Sholing who struck first, Nick Watts was again involved in the action heading down a defensive error to Dan Mason, who took one touch into the area before clinically dispatching the ball into the far side of the goal, Mason could have then doubled the lead a couple of minutes later, but like his brother Barry had previously done in the game, Mason lost his footing trying to turn in Marvin McLean’s low cross allowing the goalkeeper to claim the ball.

Sholing then dispayed some fantastic last ditch defending to keep out Bristol Manor Farm, producing sliding blocks and tough tackles to keep out the men in yellow.

Nick Watts had again been a key performer in the game, and on 34 minutes he had his reward, producing a beautiful finish unchallenged, after being found from a cross from the right which left the defence standing like statues. Bristol responded straight away, but Sholing somehow managed to keep them out again, clearing the ball from a frantic scramble inside the area.

The final action of the first half saw TJ Cuthbertson unleash a dazzling strike which looked to be sailing in the far post until it was met by a diving Bristol ‘keeper. HT 2-0

There was early drama in the first minute of the second half as Kane Ingram, already unpopular with the Ultras, was hauled down in the penalty area to give the away side a chance of getting back into the game, But Matt Brown got down low to keep out Billy Downes unusually poor penalty, and then collect the rebound, taking a kick or two in the process.

The game was now more open, a succession of corners from both teams had been dealt with and it wasn’t until the 57th minute that Matt Brown was tested again, with the Sholing keeper making two saves in as many minutes to keep the visitors out. This set the tone for the second half really as Sholing were able to meet and deal with everything the away side had to throw at them, but still looked threatening themselves, but no one was able to meet TJ Cuthbertson’s low teasing cross, after the defender found his way down the right.

But the game was settled in the 72nd minute as Dan Mason was able to grab his second, simply tapping in from his own header that softly bounced off the post, with even the Bristol goalkeeper stopping having believed the ball into Mason left the number 9 offside, but the calls were turned away.

After the goal the game continued as normal, both teams again making nothing from corners and Sholing drew another save out of keeper Clark who was at full stretch to deny captain Byron Mason’s equally full stretched header from a long ball from the midfield.

Bristol Manor Farm had battled valiantly all game and deserved their goal as substitute Ryan Radford fired in fantastically off the post after Captain Jordan Metters had hit the opposite post with an equally good strike.

Matt Brown was solid for Sholing between the sticks, his man of the match performance saw him make a string of important saves, catches and clearances which kept the game in Sholing’s favour throughout and the game could have been very different had Brown not been at his best.

Bristol had more corners turned away, including one which saw their goalkeeper come up, but Sholing refused to sit back, Tobi Adekunle had efforts saved and fly narrowly wide, and deep into added time, away keeper Ashley Clark had a nervous moment nearly spilling the ball into his own net. FT 3-1

Sholing will now play Southern League Premier side, Chippenham Town, at the Silverlake on Saturday 13th September in the Qualifying First Round. 

Report by Ollie Maskell 

Photos by Terry Miller (click an image to enlarge)