Sholing2 0Andover

Scorers : Micky Hubbard 23, Dan Mason 30

Date : Tuesday 3rd January 2017 - 7:45pm - Sydenhams Wessex Premier

Venue : Universal Stadium

Sholing : Ryan Gosney, Corey Cherrett, Marvin McLean, Luke Dempsey, Dan Miller, Micky Hubbard, Zac Mouland (Barry Mason 75), Byron Mason [c], Dan Mason Lee Wort, Jamie Bulpitt (Nick Yeomans 75). Unused Subs: Jake Hoole, Owen Roundell, Kevin Brewster

Yellow Card:  Dan Miller

Andover Town : Lloyd Thomas, McAulie Stubbs (Mitch Hunt 59), Craig Blakeman, Dylan Knight (Carlo Santoro 57), Ross Gregory, Liam Gilbert [c], Shane Lock, Javier Santafe-Vivo, Lerone Plummer, Harrison Faye (Aaron Nesbeth 80), Adam Grange. Unused Subs: Kane Fitzgerald, Jarid Hixon

Yellow Card: Ross Gregory, Craig Blakeman, Lerone Plummer, Harrison Faye

Attendance : 75

Man of the Match : Micky Hubbard

Referee: Josh Osofa  Assistants: Geoff Skillen & Gary Pratt

Boatmen got 2017 off to a winning start, beating Andover, mostly down to an impressive first half performance.

Team News : After recent games were called off, the two new signings, Luke Dempsey & Micky Hubbard, finally made their debuts. For Luke, it happened to be against the team he had just left.  Zac Mouland joined Lee Wort & Dan Mason in the forward line.

Before kick off, a minute's silence was observed in memory of Darren Burdle. Was a nice moment as close friend & ex-Sholing player and Andover assistant manager, Zach Glasspool, presented a wreath on behalf of his club.

Was an even first five minutes of end to end football, but Sholing soon took a grip of the game, dominating midfield and knocking the ball around at pace. Jamie Bulpitt was his usual lively self and he was set free beyond the last man on 6 minutes, but he shot off-balance and it went high & wide of the goal. 

On 12 minutes, Lee Wort skipped past a couple of challenges and dinked a superb pass into Dan Mason inside the box, but with just the keeper to beat, the ball got stuck under his feet and he prodded wide.  Dan had another chance a minute later, but he flashed a shot on the angle a yard wide of the far post.   Then became a quickfire hat-trick of chances to the striker, this time denied by a save.

You felt a goal was coming and on 23 minutes, it duely arrived.  The referee blew for handball against an Andover player, giving Sholing a freekick in a central position, 25 yards out from goal.  Up stepped debutant MICKY HUBBARD, who curled his shot over the wall and down against the base of the far post and in.  A great way to mark your first appearance.

Andover were frustrated by the award of that freekick and a couple of other decisions saw tempers rising amongst their players.  To make matters worse for the visitors, they found themselves two down on 30 minutes.  Zac Mouland collected the ball on the left edge of the penalty area and got off a snap-shot that surprised the keeper, who spilled it and right to the feet of DAN MASON, who knocked into in the net from 8 yards. Was Dan's 29th goal of the season.

Sholing continued to dominate up to half time. Lee Wort had a shot go wide and there were couple of other close-calls as the Boatmen showed no ill effects of the Christmas festivities. HT 2-0

Sholing couldn't recreate their dominance in the second half, as Andover improved their game, but weren't able to trouble Ryan Gosney into a serious save.  A couple of good openings by the visitors ended with shots put well over the bar and a cross saw Gosney's punch not clear the area, but the Sholing defence were able to tidy up.

Boatmen seemed content with their lead, although Lee Wort did twice sting the hands of the keeper with low shots that he pushed round either post.   Really, the biggest danger was to the hardy fans who turned up, as the temperature continued to drop to bone chilling levels.

Perhaps the most noteworthy event of the half was a yellow card given to Dan Miller.  Was only his second ever caution in 183 games for Sholing. Quite incredible stat for a centre half, and it's fair to say, he was possibly unlucky to receive this booking tonight. 

Sholing saw the game out, picking up the three points and an impressive 10th clean sheet in the last 12 home games.  FT 2-0

Next Home Game : Sholing v Fawley - Saturday 7th January, 3pm