Sholing2 1Thatcham

Scorers : Dan Mason 32, Lee Wort 39 / James Tennant 53

Date: Monday 16 July 2018 7:45pm - Pre Season Friendly

Venue: Universal Stadium

Sholing players used: Ryan Gosney, Owen Roundell, Pete Castle, Dan Miller, Marv Mclean, Owen Royl, Jamie Bulpitt, Byron Mason, Jake Hoole, Dan Mason, Lee Wort, Kev Brewster, Brad Targett, Harry Edmondson

Thatcham Town players used: Luke Cairney, Josh Maddison, Josh Stockwell, Tom Browne, Connor Waldon, Andy Jenkinson, Michael Miller, Matt Scott, Josh Howell, Matt Benham, Callum Parsons, Harrison Bayley, Ben Cook, Shane Cooper-Clark, Ekow Elliott, Lamin Sankom, James Tennant 

Attendance:  94

Referee: Derek Pratt  Assistant Referees: Brian Francis & John Shepherd 

Sholing edged the victory between the two FA Vase winning clubs, in an entertaining and high tempo pre-season friendly at the Universal Stadium.  Two impressive first half strikes by Dan Mason & Lee Wort were the highlight of a good team performance by the Boatmen.

Despite the best efforts of groundsman Trevor to water & care for the pitch over the past few weeks, the ground was as dry & hard as I can recall seeing at Sholing as the unrelenting heatwave continues to bake the grass.   The game was quite even for the first 20 minutes, but being played a surprisingly good tempo in the hot evening sun.  The visitors created three good chances in the space of 5 minutes. Firstly a breakaway saw a shot go wide of the far post, then Gosney saved well at his near upright.  Gos did even better soon after as he stood tall to a Thatcham striker put clear and denied him with a dive to his left.

On 32 minutes Sholing took the lead with a classically simple build-up, but a high quality finish. Gosney's drop kick deep into the Thatcham half was headed on by Jake Hoole into the path of DAN MASON who as it dropped, hit it first time from 20 yards with superb dipping volley over the advancing keeper.

Lee Wort was denied by a very good low save by Cairney, but the Thatcham stopper could only watch on after 39 minutes as LEE WORT beat him with a low 30 yard shot that found the bottom corner.  HT 2-0

Thatcham increased the pressure in the second half and it paid off after 53 minutes when the ball was swept into the net from the middle of the penalty area by James Tennant.  It was end to end stuff as Sholing were next to go close when a good move ended with Wort squaring to the arriving Dan Mason, but a last ditch interception denied an almost certain goal. A minute later, D-Dan tried to hook a shot goalwards, but just got underneath it to send it spinning over the bar.

On 78 minutes, Thatcham had strong appeals for a penalty turned down with the follow up shot cannoning off the inside of the post and was hacked clear.  Thatcham were cranking up the pressure, but in added time, Sholing went closest to adding to the score-line when an angled shot by Lee Wort was tipped onto the post by the keeper in the final action of a very entertaining game.  FT 2-1

Dave Diaper said after the match : "Excellent win tonight against Thatcham. We started the game as a Wessex Prem Team with a Wessex Prem mentality and could have been 2 down within the first 20 minutes. However, we grew into the game and started to match Thatcham‘s physicality and got on the front foot and raised the tempo. Thatcham were well organised and we had to raise the bar in the 2nd half and both teams deserve credit for making this friendly into a very competitive match."

"My thanks go out to Danny and his players for coming down to play us and I think we both learnt things about our players tonight, good luck to Thatcham this season."

Next Friendly is on Friday when we are home to Winchester City. 7:45pm

Photos by Ray Routledge (click an image to enlarge)