Fleet2 3Sholing

Scorers : Bradley Wilson 5 & 79 /  Owen Roundell 55, Dan Mason 59, Byron Mason 72

Date: Tuesday 5th March 2019 - 7:45pm - Russell Cotes Cup Semi Final

Venue: Calthorpe Park

Fleet Town: Harvey White, Layton Avenell, Daniel Framp, Ed Plackett, Stuart Derry [c], William Boye, Eoin Kirwan, Kieran Ngale-Kelly, Bradley Wilson, Billy Oram, Matthew Pearse.  Subs : Callum Abraham-Barlow, Enow Ojong, Sam Williams, Danny Barham

Yellow Cards:

Sholing: Ryan Gosney, TJ Cuthbertson, Marv McLean, Pete Castle, Dan Miller, Owen Royl, Alex Sawyer, Owen Roundell, Dan Mason (Jack Nicholas 76), Byron Mason, Jake Hoole.  Unused Subs : Kevin Brewster, Jack Smith, Bradey Norton, Nick O'Donnell

Yellow Cards:

Attendance: 111 (approx 35 Sholing fans)

Referee: Steve Hawkes   Assistants: Chris Gunnell & Mark Millard

Sholing came from behind to make it to the final of the Russell Cotes Cup. After dominating the first half, the Boatmen found themselves behind at the break, but two goals in 4 minutes after the restart, turned the game on its head. Owen Roundell & Dan Mason's goals were later followed by Byron Mason heading in. Fleet made the final 10 mins interesting with a 25 yard freekick strike, but Sholing kept control to make it through to their first final appearance in this competition.

It was 4 years since Sholing's last visit to Southern League Div 1 South, Fleet Town, and not much had changed as they were met with a familiar sloping pitch that was heavy underfoot from the rain, especially the half that Sholing attacked first up.  A good backing of Boatmen fans were peering through the gloom of a pitch that wasn't illuminated too well by the floodlights.  They did see Sholing have the first chance as Owen Roundell volleyed over the bar, but a minute later, Fleet Town took the lead.  Ryan Gosney's poor clearance went straight to Bradley Wilson and he advanced to fire low into the far corner.

On 13 mins, Pete Castle met a corner with a header that went over as Sholing dominated the possession and pressure, winning a number of corners and freekicks, but some good defending by Fleet kept the away team at bay as the rain lashed down heavily to make the pitch even more of a challenge for both teams.  A Fleet defender almost directed a corner into his own net but was relieved to see it skim the post. Then the Fleet keeper, White, did very well to tip over a cross that appeared to be dipping under his bar. Marv was beating the right back for pace several times, but the slippery conditions often got the best of accurate crosses into the middle.  Fleet did put together an impressive move down the left wing at pace, which ended with a shot going just wide as the half came to an end.  HT 1-0

Second half started with Sholing once again on the front foot and they got their reward on 55 minutes when Owen Royl put in a cross from the left wing that found an unmarked OWEN ROUNDELL, 10 yards out and his carefully placed downward header beat the keeper to equalise.  4 minutes later and the game was turned right around as a throw from the left side was flicked on and skidded through to DAN MASON in the area, he took a touch and drilled it low back past the keeper for his 51st of the season, before celebrating with the Sholing fans behind the goal.


Sholing were in control and after a wave of more attacks, got their third goal on 72 minutes when Jake Hoole's corner was met with a typical thumping header by the skipper, BYRON MASON.   The game appeared to be petering out, but from a rare attack, Fleet got a goal back on 79 minutes after being awarded a freekick 25 yards out. Bradley Wilson beat the wall with his effort, leaving Gosney unmoved as the ball curled into the right side of the net.    Sholing went straight up the other end, or more specifically, TJ Cuthbertson did, on a solo run where he went past a couple of tackles before his shot from 20 yards pinged the outside of the upright.

Fleet pushed for a late equaliser, but couldn't create a chance to threaten the Sholing defence, so the Boatmen made it through to the final of the Russell Cotes Cup.   The other semi final between Christchurch & Paulsgrove was postponed, to they try again next week.  Both the date and location of the final is yet to be decided by Hampshire FA.

Many thanks to the brilliant Sholing supporters for making the trip and loudly backing the lads.  FT 2-3

Next Game : Sholing v AFC Bournemouth U21 - Thursday 7 March 7:45pm - Hampshire Cup Quarter Final

Photos courtesy of Ray Routledge (click an image to enlarge)