Scorers : Dan Mason (pen) 70 / Craig Harding 35, Aaron Blaxall 63
Date : Tuesday 30th August 2016 - 7:45pm - Sydenhams Wessex Premier
Sholing: Ryan Gosney, Owen Roundell, Pete Castle, Dan Miller, Marvin McClean, Alex Sawyer, Byron Mason [c], Jamie Bulpitt, Zac Mouland, Dan Mason, Marlon Mason. Subs not used: Sam Jenman, Liam Attrill, Kieran Winman, Owen Royl, Jordan Brooks.
Yellow Card : Byron Mason & Pete Castle
Alresford Town: Daniel Kempson [c], Tom Ashton, Arron Blaxall, Scott Munro (Jack Nicholls 71), Liam Hall, Sam Burt, Mo Nyang (Sam Doswell 62), Callum Drake, Geoff Dunn (Daniel Strange 88), Craig Harding, Babacarr Bojang, Sam Doswell. Subs not used: Jamie Nash, Will Barnett
Yellow Card : Tom Ashton, Babacarr Bojang
Attendance : 146
Man of the Match : Marv McLean
Referee: Jacob Wright Assistants: Adam Hillier and Jon Goodman
Sholing had a frustrating evening in front of goal, as the Boatmen lost at home for the first time in the league for over a year. The well organised & energetic Alresford side took their chances & took home all the points.
Team News: Was the familiar case of injuries and players on holidays as Dave Diaper had to shuffle his pack once again. The visitors had a large number of the now defunct Otterborne team & management, as well as several ex-Sholing reserve players amongst their ranks.
Sholing were on top in the opening half hour, creating opportunities, but the Boatmen couldn’t turn those chances into meaningful shots on goal. Dan Mason had a hattrick of chances within the opening ten minutes of the game. Firstly, he hit a scuffed shot straight at Alresford keeper Daniel Kempson from Zac Mouland’s through ball. The Sholing number nine then dribbled with the ball across the 18-yard box before he shot wide of the right hand post. His next opportunity was arguably the best of the lot. Linking up once again with Mouland, the striker smashed his effort over the cross bar.
Mouland himself had an effort from the edge of the box which curled towards the right corner, but Kempson saved comfortably.
The Boatmen continued to pile on the heavy pressure and the best chance fell to Dan Miller, who almost gave the home side a deserved lead, but his shot at the near post was parried away by Kempson from point blank range.
Alresford’s first real threat came in the 31st minute, with Craig Harding volleying wide from twenty yards. He then tried an ambitious long range strike, but the ball deflected comfortably into Ryan Gosney’s gloves.
The visitors were growing in confidence and opened the scoring ten minutes before half time. After a corner was half cleared, Ex Sholing Reserve winger Mo Nyang skipped past a Sholing challenge and crossed the ball across goal from the byline, a chance gobbled up by Craig Harding from close range.
It nearly went from bad to worse for the Boatmen, with Babacarr Bojang connecting with Aaron Blaxall’s cross but the header went over the bar. Alex Sawyer had Sholing’s final chance of the first half, but his long range shot was straight down the throat of the keeper. HT 0-1
Jamie Bulpitt almost got Sholing level seven minutes into the second half. The midfielder used his pace to nod the ball past the onrushing Alresford keeper, but his shot lacked power and was cleared off on the line.
Alresford defender Scott Munro nearly scored an own goal when his attempted clearance was going goalwards, but the agile Kempson clawed the ball away from the near post. Alex Sawyer hit a free kick over the bar as Sholing increased the pressure on the Alresford goal.
Alresford though repeated their first half antics of defending resolutely and breaking at pace and doubled their advantage on 63 minutes. A quickfire counter attack left Sholing three on one at the back. Gosney was forced into two full stretch saves, but with no defenders to help him, he could do nothing to deny Aaron Blaxall from firing into the empty net.
Sholing needed something to revoke some fire in the players, and that opportunity came when Zac Mouland was pulled down in the penalty area. DAN MASON stepped up and converted the penalty coolly, slotting the ball into the left corner with twenty minutes to go.
The goal led to another onslaught on the Alresford goal, and it wasn’t long until the woodwork was hit by Dan Mason. The striker connected with Alex Sawyer’s corner but the header thundered against the goal frame. Marlon Mason then fired in a cross that only needed a touch, but instead the ball spun agonisingly across the goal. Dan Mason had another opportunity, but his turn and shot hit the side netting. The last action of the game, summed it up as Pete Castle nearly equalised in stoppage time, but his header was clawed away from the top corner by the impressive Alresford keeper. FT 1-2
The defeat was the first at home this season and first in the league since Moneyfields beat us at the beginning of August 2015. It will leave the Sholing management pondering, not only on missed chances, but on only one clean sheet this season thus far. The Boatmen will have to up their game for a very tough FA Cup match at the weekend.
Match Report by Liam Richner
Next Game : Sholing v Havant & Waterlooville - FA Cup - Saturday 3pm