Scorers :  Dean Faithfull 66, Alex Sawyer 84

Date : Saturday 11 July 2015 - 3:00pm kick off - Friendly

Liss Athletic : Simon Howard, Aiden Smallbones, Sean Oliver, Scott Cooper, Brad Johnson, Perry Easton, Lee Bedden, Stuart Maunder, Alex Miroy (c), Dan Sharpe, Alex Godwin.  Subs : James Hider, Ant Kirby, Reg Plumbley, Jack Clark

Yellow Card : Alex Godwin 61

Sholing : Ryan Gosney (Jordan Brooks 45), Jack Shiner (Liam Golding 45), James Davis, Peter Castle, Dan Miller, Jack Smith (Dean Faithfull 45), Tobi Adekunle, Alex Sawyer, Dan Mason (Barry Mason 45 (Byron Mason 74)), Lewis Kelly (Mike Spinney 40 (Les Mwenze 63)), Dan Dove (Owen Roundell 63)

Yellow Card : 

Attendance : Approx 35, (20 Sholing Fans)

Man of the Match : Dan Dove

Referee : Peter Lowe   Assistants: Declan Hellyer, Amy Robinson.

The first pre-season match was played at the picturesque, Norman Collard playing fields at Liss, on a hot humid day with a swirling wind and a rock hard pitch. New signings Ryan Gosney, Jack Shiner, Jamie Davis, Lewis Kelly started the game and Mike Spinney (former VT FC forward) started on the bench. Spinney was making a return to football after breaking his kneecap in 2013. Dean Faithfull was also on the bench returning from abroad and alongside him, was Jordan Brooks, Les Mwenze, Liam Golding, Barry Mason & Byron Mason. 

Liss started the game at a rapid pace but Sholing were keen to work the ball around and use Tobi Adekunle’s pace down the left wing, along with Lewis Kelly providing the outlets down the right side. Liss were getting into the Sholing defence early on, who looked a little unsteady at the back, but apart from one smart save, Ryan Gosney was not being fully tested.

The midfield trio of Jack Smith, Alex Sawyer & Dan Dove were marshalling the middle of the park looking to release the widemen.  Sholing were pressing Liss and won three consecutive corners but couldn’t penetrate a stubborn home defence. On 21 minutes it look liked Sholing would take the lead when Lewis Kelly received the ball wide on the right cut inside the box but saw his shot cannon back off the base of the post with Simon Howard stranded in the Liss goal.

James Davis was also delivering some testing balls in for the Sholing forwards but the Liss defence were content to clear the danger away for more corners. On 40 mins Mike Spinney returned to action replacing Lewis Kelly. Just before the halftime break Tobi Adekunle linked up well with Mike Spinney to put Dan Mason in on goal but saw his effort blocked.  HT 0-0

At the start of 2nd half Dave Diaper made 4 changes with Jordan Brooks, Liam Golding, Dean Faithfull & Barry Mason replacing Ryan Gosney, Jack Shiner, Jack Smith & Dan Mason. Barry Mason took the captain’s armband. Sholing won a freekick over on the left about 25 yds out, but Barry Mason had his effort tipped over the bar by Simon Howard. Sholing were happy to play short ball passing game in the heat. However on 52 mins it was nearly their undoing when Dan Dove misplaced a short pass and the Liss midfielder picked up the ball and took a snap shot but Jordan Brooks comfortably saved the effort.

On 55 mins link up play between Liam Golding, Dan Dove, Alex Sawyer, Tobi Adekunle ended with Simon Howard saving Mike Spinney’s goalbound effort.  On 61 minutes, Alex Godwin became the first player to give his name to referee Peter Lowe for his foul on Tobi Adekunle. With 63 minutes gone Owen Roundell and Les Mwenze were introduced in place of Dan Dove and Mike Spinney.

Finally on 66 mins Sholing took the lead with Liam Golding switching over to the right side, won a free kick. He took the kick and placed it deep into the Liss box the ball was cleared but headed back in to the far post where Barry Mason and DEAN FAITHFULL were, Dean got in ahead of Barry to hook the ball into the net. Liss undeterred by this still pushed forward but some wayward shooting only spurred the travelling Ultras into song with ‘How wide do you want the goal’

With 16 minutes remaining Byron Mason replaced Barry Mason becoming Sholing’s third skipper for the day. There was 6 minutes left on the clock when Sholing ensured they would take the victory. Tobi Adekunle linked up with Liam Golding on the overlap, Liam cut inside the box and fired a cross the six yard box for ALEX SAWYER to fire the ball home.  FT 0-2

Report by Greg Dickson

Photos by Ray Routledge (click an image to enlarge)