Scorers : Blu Boam 94 / Byron Mason 12, Dan Mason 52
Date : Monday 1st May 2017 - 3pm - Sydenhams Wessex League Cup Final
Venue : Blanchard Wells Stadium - AFC Portchester
Baffins Milton Rovers : Tony Male, Josh Maddison, Olly Watts (Josh Dean), Tyler Yates, Danny Audin, Shane Cornish, George Thomas (Callum Dart), Blu Boam, Tyler Moret, Ryan Pennery, Jamie White (Connor Saunders). Subs not used: Joel Jackson, Sam Willett
Yellow Card : Olly Watts & Josh Dean
Sholing : Ryan Gosney, TJ Cuthbertson, Marvin McLean, Owen Roundell, Dan Miller, Kevin Brewster (Owen Royl, 69), Barry Mason (Lee Wort, 64), Byron Mason, Dan Mason, Jake Hoole (Nick Yeomans, 85), Jamie Bulpitt. Subs not used : Zac Mouland, Bradey Norton
Yellow Card :
Attendance : 415
Man of the Match : Byron Mason
Referee : Rob Ablitt Assistant Referees : Stuart Carter & Carl Rooney 4th Official : Jake Topp
Sholing won the Sydenhams Wessex League Cup for the second time with a 2-1 win over Baffins Milton Rovers in a match that the Boatmen dominated from minute one. Goals from man of the match Byron Mason, who ran the midfield, and striker Dan Mason, set the Boatmen on their way, while Blu Boam grabbed a consolation for Baffins with the last kick of the match.
Team News : Micky Hubbard & Luke Dempsey were cuptied so in came Kev Brewster & Owen Roundell. Barry Mason partnered Dan Mason up front, with Lee Wort returning from injury with a place on the bench.
The forecast rain showers stayed away, so a very large crowd with about equal numbers of Sholing & Baffins supporters, as well as quite a few neutrals, were able to watch in comfort the 31st Wessex League Cup Final.
Sholing started the brighter and in what was to become a feature of the first half, Kevin Brewster’s devilish deadball was almost met by Dan Miller on ten minutes. Three minutes later a defensive error allowed Barry Mason to set his brother Dan free down the left, but he elected to pass instead of shoot and it was cleared for a corner.
From that corner Sholing took the lead. Another excellent delivery from Brewster found BYRON MASON 10 yards out, who got to the ball ahead of his marker to steer a header into the far corner for his first goal since September.
Ten minutes later and Sholing should have had another goal from corner, as Kevin Brewster’s right wing delivery was met by Dan Miller with a thumping header that appeared to go well over the line before being cleared by a Baffins defender. Sholing appealed loudly to the officials, who waved played on.
Sholing looked like they might score with every set-piece as yet another Kevin Brewster pin point free-kick on 30 minutes caused the Baffins defence headaches and yielded another chance, with TJ this time the man to have his head in his hands as he nodded over from six yards at the far stick.
Dan Mason then flicked over after Owen Roundell had bicycle-kicked the ball back into the mix after another Kevin Brewster set-piece.
Baffins first decent chance arrived on 40 minutes, as Ryan Pennery, their leading marksman and most lively player, ran at the Sholing defence and curled an effort just wide of the far post. HT 0-1
It was business as usual at the start of the second half as on 52 minutes, DAN MASON had a strong shout for a penalty turned down before picking himself up to score. After the initial incident Sholing quickly won the ball back, with TJ Cuthbertson crossing from the right flank, where Jamie Bulpitt nodded the ball into the path of Dan Mason, who first time sidefooted the ball back past the wrong-footed keeper from 15 yards.
D-Dan's 44th goal of the season gave Sholing a deserved cushion and mindful of playing on Wednesday at St Mary's, the team visibly eased off.
Wessex League 1 side Baffins, didn't let their heads drop and went in search of a goal to bring the game back to life. A freekick was fizzed into the chest of Ryan Pennery, who controlled and volleyed wide from distance.
Lee Wort had come on to replace Barry Mason and with his first touches, he cut past a couple of players, but he dragged his shot past the post. Baffins felt that they had a case for a penalty with twenty minutes left as Callum Dart was felled by Owen Roundell, but to their fury the referee waved played on.
A slick move from the Boatmen ended with Jake Hoole and Dan Mason combining with the former seeing a low shot saved by Tony Male. It could have been 3-0 as Dan Mason was found by Lee Wort, but he dragged his shot wide of the left post before Baffins got their consolation goal deep into added time. Some neat interplay saw Baffins manoeuvre into the Sholing box and Blu Boam finished low past Ryan Gosney. The referee blew the final whistle straight from the restart and Sholing celebrated their first piece of Silverware since winning the Vase in 2014. FT 1-2
Dave Diaper reflected on part one of a hopeful cup double: “That’s half the job done,” smiled victorious boss Dave Diaper. “We didn’t go overboard with the celebrations because we’re mindful of Wednesday”. “I think this is the harder Cup to win because all the Wessex Premier teams in it, but the centre stage has got to be St Mary’s we now assess the players and get refocussed for Wednesday’s encounter”.
“At 2-0 up we conserved some energy and that’s why we dipped a bit. But it was important to focus on one game at a time and I’m glad we went with a strong team today.” “We’ve kept 25 clean sheets this season and the lads don’t like conceding. They're a bit disappointed with that," said Diaper. “But you can see why Baffins have done so well in their league. They work very hard for each other."
"Thanks to all our supporters for coming here in big numbers to back us today. Hope to see you all and a few more at St Mary's on Wednesday"
Report by Jack Prentice
Thanks to the Wessex League Committee and to AFC Portchester for hosting a well organised Final.
Southampton Senior Cup Final : Wednesday 3rd May 7:30pm - Sholing v Team Solent - At St Mary's Stadium - £10 Adults, £5 Concessions
Photos by Ray Routledge (click on an image to enlarge)