Scorers : Shaw 22, Deabill 34 / Wilson 32, Mott 75, Barry Mason 77

Date : Saturday 4th October 2014 - 3:00pm kick off - Southern League South & West

Wantage Town : Lee Farrow, Arnau Amadeli, Jake Johns (Sam Barder 80), Robbie Sadler, Jon Steedman, Danny Lachacz, Ryan Pearce, Tom Melledew (c), Jimmy Deabill, Bedemi Afalabi (Adam Lovegrove 64), Bradley Shaw.  Subs not used: Richie Guy, George Reid

Yellow Card : Tom Melledew 75

Sholing : Matt Brown, TJ Cuthbertson, Taurean Manders (Kevin Brewster 74), Stuart Mott, Mike Byrne, Alex Sawyer, Marv McLean, Barry Mason (c), Sam Wilson (Jude Nwachukwu 71), Nick Watts (Nathan Lynch 60), Jack Smith.  Subs not used: Jess Walklin, Stuart Hussey

Yellow Card : Nick Watts 43, TJ Cuthberton 59

Attendance : 60

Man of the Match :  Jack Smith

Referee :  Gary Nowak.  Assistants: Wayne Chalmers & Sam Anderson

Team news: Two changes were made following the home defeat to Clevedon Town last week Byron Mason was away for weekend. Meanwhile, Dan Mason stepped down to lead the reserves along with sub Tobi Adenkunle. Barry Mason stepped up to take the captain’s armband & Taurean Manders filled in at left-back. Jess Walklin & Nathan Lynch were on the bench. On the injury front Alex Baldachinno returned to reserve team action.

Sholing kicked off and the early action resulted in a free kick to Wantage which Matt Brown dealt with easily. Sholing’s first effort on goal was good work between Barry Mason & TJ Cuthbertson, who set up Alex Sawyer but was deemed offside by the assistant referee. Captain Tom Melledrew had his shot just clear Matt Brown’s bar.

Sam Wilson was looking busy and the midfield worked the ball well when TJ Cutbertson set up Sam Wilson who had his header saved by Farrow. On nine minutes good work between Mike Byrne, Taurean Manders & Nick Watts put Sam Wilson in and he appeared to be pulled back, but nothing was given. However, the referee got in the way of the Wantage clearance resulting in a quick throw in from Alex Sawyer to Marvin McLean who put the ball into Sam Wilson but he shot over the bar. Good work again won Sholing a corner and Barry Mason found Stuart Mott’s head on the far post but was adjudged to be out of play.

On eleven minutes Jon Steedman hit a shot over the top and two minutes later Ryan Pearce did exactly the same. Bradley Shaw saw his tame shot easily saved by Matt Brown. On twenty two minutes, Wantage took the lead when Shaw cut in from the right and hit a low shot that eluded Matt Brown.

On thirty two minutes Sholing were deservedly back on level terms when Nick Watts worked the ball into Sam Wilson who himself found Marvin McLean inside the penalty area, he squared the ball back to Sam Wilson on ten yards for him to coolly open his Sholing account. Sholing committed the cardinal sin of switching off after scoring and Wantage hit back when an unchallenged cross by Brad Shaw’s was deftly headed home by Jimmy Deabill.

Boatmen responded well and called Lee Farrow into action and had to make a good save low down from Sam Wilson. On forty three minutes Nick Watts was cautioned by referee Nowack. The half finished with a superb free kick from skipper Tom Melledew brilliantly tipped around by Matt Brown in the Sholing goal. The referee didn’t even allow Wantage time to take the corner  HT 2-1

Wantage came out for the 2nd half struggling to make much headway and apart from a couple of efforts from Xapi Arnau and a Brad Shaw shot pushed aside on the hour, little was forthcoming. TJ Cuthbertson was fouled and the referee allowed play to continue when the ball eventually went out of play the referee cautioned TJ for his protests! A minute later Nathan Lynch was introduced in place of Nick Watts. Good work between Nathan Lynch, Sam Wilson and Jack Smith resulting in Marvin McLean being fouled. Barry Mason’s free kick was well held by Farrow. Nathan Lynch tried an acrobatic effort flick up & overhead kick, that went wide of Farrow’s upright.

Sholing made their second substitution with Sam Wilson being replaced by Jude Nwachukwu. Brad Shaw’s excellent cross was headed towards the top corner by Lovegrove, but Matt Brown in the Sholing goal pulled off another outstanding stop. The Boatmen made their final substitution when the hard working Taurean Manders was replaced by Kevin Brewster.  He was only on the pitch a minute when his deadball skills were called upon and an incurling free kick caused panic in the Wantage goalmouth and Stuart Mott tapped home to level it up. This spurred Sholing on and they knew they were finishing the stronger especially with Jack Smith working tirelessly in the middle of the park.

Jake Johns went down just outside his own penalty area and we took full advantage. The ball was played through the midfield and Barry Mason was excellently found twenty yards out and he fired the ball hard and low into the back of the net to spark wild celebrations from the whole team & dugout.  A Kevin Brewster corner found the head of Stuart Mott but he headed over the bar with six minutes left. The travelling Ultras were in fine voice throughout the whole of the match and they were made to work harder as well as the referee managed to find an additional six minutes leaving them baying for the final whistle. When it finally came, it was clear to see how important the first away win had been, with all of the squad and management gathering in a circle before leaving the pitch.  FT 2-3

View from the terraces: It was a solid team performance with players encouraging each other and remaining positive even when going behind twice. It's a more positive outlook for the coming weeks knowing that we have a good in-depth squad allowing us to rotate the team as necessary. With no injuries reported it is good that we go into Wednesday’s match at home to Didcot Town with every squad member available apart from Barry Mason who is unavailable due to his 30th Birthday (Happy Birthday Baz!). We are now hopefully moving in the right direction

Report by Greg Dickson.

Photos (click an image to enlarge)