Sholing2 1Portchester

Scorers :  Jake Hoole 22, Byron Mason 49 / Steve Ramsey 51

Date: Saturday 29th September 2018 - 3pm - Sydenhams Wessex Premier

Venue: Universal Stadium

Sholing: Ryan Gosney, TJ Cuthbertson, Marvin Mclean, Pete Castle, Dan Miller, Jack Smith, Owen Royl (Frazer McLean 72), Byron Mason [c], Dan Mason (Bradley Targett 46), Lee Wort, Jake Hoole (Billy Connor 68).  Unused subs : Owen Roundell & Kevin Brewster

Yellow Cards: Lee Wort, Marv McLean

AFC Portchester: Tom Price, Olly Searle, Sean Wain, Steve Ramsey, Jamie Ford [c], Harry Birmingham (Philip Archibold), Jack Breed, Adam Cripps (Charlie Cooper 50), Dan Simmonds, Dale Mason (Simon Woods 62), Brandon Miller.  Unused Subs: Patrick Vera-Batten, Luke Middleton

Yellow Cards: ?

Attendance: 548

Referee: Sean Phillips Assistants: Mick Walsh & Chris Gunnell

Boatmen kept their 100% League record and returned to the top of the table with a hard fought win over AFC Portchester.  The visitors had overtaken Sholing to go top themselves whilst the Boatmen had been in Cup competition for the past month, but Byron Mason inspired the team to take all three points, despite withstanding a lot of second half pressure.

Team News : The effects of the two games versus Slough were evident as Alex Sawyer (Hamstring) and Jamie Bulpitt (ankle) missed out through injury.  In came Jack Smith & Owen Royl to replace them, with Jake Hoole joining Dan Mason & Lee Wort in a front three.

There was a big crowd at the ground, with almost 550 enjoying the Club's Community Day, the majority of them youngsters from the Sholing Youth teams & their parents & coaches.  Before the match, Dave Diaper received an award from club legends, Trevor Lewis & Bill Boyle, to mark his 1000 games in hand.  AFC Portchester kindly joined in with the guard of honour for Diapes.  The club also received the Wessex League August Club of the Month award.

Before the game got underway, there was a minute's silence for the tragic death of Hamworthy United's Goalkeepering coach, Ben Scott

In warm sunshine, the game got off to a sedate start, which was somewhat surprising as it was expected that Portchester would rip into the Boatmen after they had played such draining games in the FA Cup just a few days earlier.  Wasn't until 15 mins in, that the first effort on goal came when Jake Hoole whipped in a lovely left wing cross that was met by the head of TJ, but his header was comfortably saved.

Sholing had the breakthrough on 22 minutes as Byron Mason muscled past the defender on the right side of the 6 yard box and with the outside of his right foot, hit an effort towards the far corner that at full stretch, was pushed out by Price, but it landed at the feet of JAKE HOOLE, who coolly took a touch and guided the ball inside the far post for his 3rd of the season.

Took 30 minutes for "Porchy" to threaten the Sholing goal when a curling effort from the edge of the box went just wide.  The first half remained quite low-key, but with the Boatmen on top as Wort & Dan Mason both had shots go just off target.  HT 1-0

Dan Mason was taken off at half time to allow him to get ready for his Best Man duties at a mate's wedding, with Brad Targett coming on.  BYRON MASON was playing in a more advanced role and took full advantage on 49 minutes by scoring his first of the season and it was a goal that was worth waiting for.  Byron controlled the ball in his stride, bursting into the box past one defender, checking past another and with the keeper rushing out, slotted the ball with his left (wrong) foot past Price from 15 yards.

Portchester hit an instant reply, with a quality strike of their own as Steve Ramsey, arrowed in a shot into the corner from 25 yards. The visitors suddenly looked a different team, helped by substitutions that saw them pin Sholing back into their own half.  Portchester were creating several shooting opportunities, but each time, shots went straight down Gosney's throat or well wide.

The Boatmen had the ball in the net on 73 mins, with Dan Miller poking the ball over the line at the far post, but the ref had blown for a foul on the keeper.  Tired legs were evident in the Sholing team as the game entered the final 10 mins and in the 89th, Gosney did well to get down to a low shot towards the corner.  In the last action of the game, Portchester won a corner with their keeper going up, the ball was cleared to Lee Wort, who ran into the visitors half before shooting towards the empty net.  Wort's effort curled away from the target, but Billy Connor busted a gut to get there to knock it in, but the linesman's flag had gone up and the game was brought to an end.  FT 2-1

Dave Diaper was interviewed by Jamie Spoor afterwards : “The boys were mentally and physically spent after Tuesday, we had a few injuries as well which didn’t help matters, and we knew it was going to be a tough game. The performance wasn’t at the level we’ve come to expect, but that’s perhaps not surprising and we managed to grind out and battle our way to a result which is always pleasing. There were some tired legs out there but to come through that and get a win against a very good side and go top of the table says a lot about the spirit and character we’ve got here."

On his longevity at Sholing, Diapes added: “When I came here, the club were VT and had no floodlights, no changing rooms, no stands or perimeter fence, there was no identity in the place so it’s been an honour and privilege to witness how far we’ve come. I never thought I’d be here for so long, over 1,000 games, and we want to be able to push on and look to go for the league title and promotion this season, we’re certainly good enough for that and Sholing is a special club to be a part of.” 

Next Games : 
Sholing v Andover New Street - Tuesday 2 Oct 7:45pm - Wessex Premier
Sholing v Shaftesbury - Saturday 6 Oct 3pm - Wessex Premier

Photos by Ray Routledge (click an image to enlarge)