Scorers : Lee Wort 9, Dan Miller 40, Alex Sawyer (pen) 60, Dan Mason 87
Date: Monday 23rd April 2018 8pm - Sydenhams Wessex Premier Division
Venue: Universal Stadium
Sholing: Ryan Gosney, TJ Cuthbertson, Marvin Mclean, Owen Roundell, Dan Miller, Jack Smith [c], Alex Sawyer, Jamie Bulpitt, Dan Mason, Lee Wort, Jake Hoole. Subs not used: Pete Castle, Marlon Mason, Jamie Bray
Yellow Cards: Jack Smith
Portland United: Sean Lillington, Ashley Smith, Che Curran, Aston Butcher, Lewis Whyton [c], Sean Bessant, Lee Sharpe, Sam Buckler, Tom Bearwish, Billy Mitchell, Jacob Reid. Subs : Robinson Okuma & Lance Wilson
Yellow Card: ?
Referee: Bruce Waymark Assistant Referees: Dominic Cunliffe & Ryan Thomas
Man of the Match: Alex Sawyer
Sholing's 8th game in 3 weeks and their 6th win, 25th goal and 4th clean sheet during the manic climax to the season. However, playing nearly every other day appears to suit the team, as they put in a very high tempo performance, littered with entertaining football and created many chances, taking 4 of them.
Team News: Byron missed out through injury with Jack Smith taking the Captain's armband. Owen Roundell came back in for Pete Castle. Owen Royl's season is over as he rests his shin splints injury. Marv was making his 599th appearance for the Boatmen.
First chance fell to Portland when a shot in a good position skewed wide of the far post. It was to be Portland's last meaningful attack for somewhile as Sholing took control of a surprisingly high-tempo game. Boatmen grabbed an early goal on 9 minutes when Alex Sawyer's left wing corner was flicked on by Dan Mason to LEE WORT who guided the ball home with his head from close range.
Sholing were playing some nice stuff, with a couple of lovely crossfield passes by Wort that split the visitors defence to find TJ on the overlap. The right back almost got himself a goal when a right sided freekick was swung in and TJ got in a powerful header that looked to be destined for the back of the net, but Lillington threw up a hand to make a very good save.
Boatmen had a flurry of chances on 40 minutes, eventually doubling their lead through DAN MILLER. Three corners in succession caused chaos in the Portland defence, who struggled with set pieces all game. Firstly Wort was denied by a point blank save and Dan Mason went close also, but when the ball came out to Sawyer, his cross found Dan Miller rising higher than the defender to head in his 8th goal of the season.
Was almost a third goal just before half time when Jake Hoole ran across the face of the area before firing in a low shot that smacked against the base of the upright. HT 2-0
Lee Wort was stretching the Portland defence time and time again, getting on the end of things he had no right to and from one of those lung-busting runs, his cut back found Hoole arriving, but on the stretch, his poked effort went just wide. Portland had a good chance on 58 minutes, when a shot from outside the area was helped by a lively bounce off the pitch, but Gosney did well to adjust in his dive and palm it away.
Dan Mason has probably been pushed and pulled in the area more than most players this season, for little reward, but on 60 mins, a push in his back was spotted by the ref, who pointed to the spot. Maybe a soft penalty, but we've seen a lot worse not given this season. ALEX SAWYER coolly slotted the ball into the bottom corner for his 13th goal of the season.
For the first time in the match, the tempo dropped and the game got a bit scrappy, but in the dying minutes, Sholing put together some more good football and scored their 4th with 3 minutes remaining. The two subs, Brewster & Frazer McLean were involved as Brewy passed to TJ, whose cross was helped on by Frazer to DAN MASON in the 6 yard box and he fired a low shot through the keeper's legs for number 32 of the season. Another entertaining win and just the one game left to play on Wednesday. FT 4-0
Last game of the Season : - Sholing v Cowes Sports (Wednesday 8pm)
Photos by Ray Routledge (click an image to enlarge)