Sholing Reserves 0-1 Winchester City Reserves

Scorers : Rusher 44

Date : 20 August 2014 - Wyvern Combination Premier Division

Sholing Res : Matt Fredericks, Mcaulie Stubbs, Rhys Ferguson, Owen Roundell, Lewis Fear, Serge Fon, Leslie Mwenze, Coby Wilson, Terry New, Cain Prentice, Macaully Smith.  Subs: Josh West, Callum Parker, Jess Walklin

Winchester Res : Tom Donaldson, Zach Glasspool, Liam Green, Stuart Green, Lee Hayes, Ryan Holloway, Rhian Jima-Otero, Christopher Manning, Darren Nicholson, Reece Rusher, Adam Smith. Subs: Daniel Bapty, Sam Burt, Darren Knox 
Match Officials : Jason Peters, Ben Eeles, Ross Murphy 

Attendance : 58
Our reserves started their season on Wednesday night with a predominately new young squad, with many of last seasons squad having moved to various clubs mainly in the Wessex league. We entertained a very strong Winchester City team which was always going to be a tough encounter for our first game.
The boys started rather tentatively and gave Winchester the upper hand early on however as the half progressed the whole team not only grew in stature but started to create chances mainly from the wide positions of Terry New and Coby Wilson. Quality crosses were a plenty however we couldnt quite get a final touch to them despite the excellent workrate and strength of Cain Prentice who had an excellent game leading the line all night.
With the strength of the Winchester team, especially going forward with the experience of Zach Glasspool, our young defence of two seventeen year olds and two eighteen year olds were always going to have a competitive night however they dealt with the threat very well supported with some excellent goalkeeping by 19 year old Matt Fredericks.
We nearly took the lead on the 27th minute through Cain Prentice when he turned his marker well inside the area but just couldnt quite get his shot away with the power to score. Macaully Smith then produced a superb move on 34 minutes starting and finishing a slick move with Terry New unfortunately his final shot just went over the bar. As the half went on we also failed to convert crosses with far post headers sending them over the bar which unfortunately was to be a recurring theme.
Our resolute defence was undone on 44 minutes by a pass that put Reece Rusher in on goal, despite appeals for offside, he calmly converted past the oncoming Fredericks to give Winchester a 1-0 half time lead.
Despite the half time deficit we felt that if we could continue with the same positive manner and attitude we would win the game in the second half. 
Apart from the first few minutes of the half the boys took the game to Winchester and created chance after chance with, again, great crosses just failing to be converted at the far post by Macaully Smith and substitute Callum Parker. In the 79th minute a great move on the left involving Coby Wilson and Jess Walklin put Terry New in on goal around the penalty spot with only the keeper to beat but he unfortunately couldn't convert the gilt edged opportunity. Great efforts from Cain Prentice, Leslie Mwenze and the ever creative Macaully Smith were either blocked or cleared off the line.
Substitute Josh West was introduced with 15 minutes remaining as the game became more stretched and we looked for the elusive equaliser and winning goal. His speed began to cause further problems for the Winchester defence and had another one on one in the final minutes well blocked by the Winchester keeper. In fairness by this point both sides were creating chances and going forward with our defence also having to handle good Winchester attacks.
Winchester managed to complete the half without conceding solely down to us rueing many missed chances throughout the game enough to have won 2 or 3 games.  FT 0-1
"Despite the disappointment of the result we were delighted with the performance of our young side and the attitude , commitment and team spirit displayed on the night. We played at a great tempo, created numerous chances which on another day we will convert and our passing was excellent all over the pitch. We must also mention our opponents, who paid us a massive compliment of fielding 5 or 6 recognised first team players, and played their part in an excellent game of football which can only help our young players in their overall development. I have no doubt that having now set ourselves a high standard of performance to build on we can now hopefully have a successful season." - Mark Stupple