Sholing0 1Alresford

Scorers : Paul Coventry 25

Date: Tuesday 26th February 2019 - 7:45pm - Southampton Senior Cup Semi Final

Venue: HP Arena - AFC Stoneham

Sholing: Ryan Gosney, TJ Cuthbertson, Owen Royl (Jake Hoole 45), Pete Castle, Dan Miller, Owen Roundell, Alex Sawyer (Bradey Norton 79), Jack Smith [c] (Byron Mason 45), Dan Mason, Lee Wort, Marv McLean.  Unused subs : Ryan Mackney & Nick O'Donnell

Yellow Cards: Jake Hoole

Alresford Town: Jordan Tewkesbury, Liam Hibberd, Sam Burt, Aaron Blaxall, Luke Dempsey, Adam Pearson, George Farrelly, Lerone Plummer, Paul Coventry, Luke Rae, Steve Hall.  Subs : Gowan Stares, Conor Whiteley, Jack Nicholls, Louis Russell, Sam Doswell

Yellow Cards: Lerone Plummer

Attendance: 254 (approx 75 Sholing fans)

A tired looking Sholing side went out of the Southampton Senior Cup at the Semi Final stage in a game to forget.  Alresford scored the only goal of the match in spectacular fashion in the first half and were able to keep the Boatmen at bay in the second half to progress to the Final.

Team News: Diapes brought in Jack Smith for Byron and pushed Marv onto the wing with Owen Royl going to left back.

Game got off to a slow start on not the best of surfaces at the neutral venue of AFC Stoneham, although Sholing had the first effort on target when Marv connected well with a right foot shot, but was a comfortable save for the keeper.  Alresford had a better chance on 10 minutes when the ball was lifted over the advancing Gosney, but TJ was back to mop up before Alresford could force the ball home.

It was already evident that Sholing were looking off the pace, both physically and mentally, but not surprising considering how much Saturday's Vase game at Northwich took out of the players.  Alresford were the more lively side and took the lead on 25 minutes with a spectacular goal.  The ball sat up nicely for Paul Coventry, 25 yards out and his vicious dipping volley smashed into the top corner.

Boatmen were struggling to keep any sort of possession, with set pieces their most likely way of getting back into the game.  Pete Castle went close from two corners, hitting a first time shot from a low delivery, just wide and then heading over. Alresford got themselves into good shooting positions a couple of times, but were wasteful with the final effort. HT 0-1

Dave Diaper made two changes at half time, with Byron Mason coming on for Jack Smith and Jake Hoole for Owen Royl. Marv went back to left back.   Most of the second half was being played in the Alresford half, who seemed happy to try to hit on the break as their defence was doing well to not give Dan Mason or Lee Wort any openings of note.  Byron didn't appear to be moving too freely and treatment was needed for Wort, Dan Mason & Gosney as Sholing continued to struggle.

Byron put over a header from 10 yards that he would normally gobble up, but Sholing's best effort on target was a blistering 25 yard shot by Jake Hoole that looked set to burst the net, but Tewkesbury did well to divert it over the bar via a fingertip save.  Alresford had a couple of breakaways with men over, but couldn't take advantage.  The ball just didn't seem to want to drop for a Sholing player from several scrambles in the Alresford penalty area and the one time it did, Dan Miller shot wide from close range.  Despite a lot of stoppages in the 2nd half, less than 3 minutes were added, with the referee blowing for full time as Sholing were on the attack. 

Alresford were the better team on the night, so deserved the win.  No lack of effort from the Boatmen players, many of whom were playing with knocks, but another disappointment and with at least 17 games to play in less than 2 months, there will be next to no time for Sholing to give players much needed rest.  It may force Dave Diaper's hand into bringing in some youngsters or make some signings before the deadline.  FT 0-1

Next Game : AFC Portchester v Sholing - Saturday 2nd March 3pm - Wessex Premier