Sholing0 1AlresfordL

Scorers : Steven Hall 78

Date: Saturday 23rd March 2019 - 3pm - Sydenhams Wessex Premier

Venue: Universal Stadium

Sholing: Ryan Gosney, Owen Royl, Marvin McLean, TJ Cuthbertson, Dan Miller, Alex Sawyer (Bradey Norton 88), Jake Hoole (Jamie Bulpitt 61), Bryon Mason (c), Dan Mason, Lee Wort, Bradley Targett. Unused Subs: Kevin Brewster, Jack Smith & Jack Nicholas

Yellow Cards: TJ Cuthbertson

Alresford Town: Jordan Tewkesbury, Liam Hibbard, Sam Burt, George Farrelly, Lukas McCartney, Adam Pearson, Aaron Blaxall, Chris Mason (c), Paul Coventry (Louis Russell 75), Luke Rae, Steven Hall (Jack Nicholls 90). Unused Subs: Jay Jenkins, Luke Pothecary & Dan Sayers

Yellow Cards: Chris Mason & Lukas McCartney

Attendance: 172

Referee: Michael Taylor Assistants: Chloe-Anne Anderson & John Bungay

Sholing suffered their first League defeat of the season after narrowly losing 1-0 to Alresford Town.  It was a tired performance from the Boatmen as they passed up the opportunity to mathematically secure the Wessex Premier Title, despite other results going their way in a game that was probably one too many in recent weeks.

Team News : Owen Roundell missed out on an appearance on his Birthday due to injury. Pete Castle was also injured, so TJ moved across into central defence. Many of the team were digging deep to play on with knocks that would otherwise see them rested.

The away side started brightly in overcast but mild conditions and appeared to have a lot more energy than the home side, which is not surprising due to Sholing playing their 9th game in 22 days. Sholing created the first chance of the match in the third minute. Marv McLean broke past a couple of players and into midfield to feed Dan Mason, who clipped a nice pass into the path of Lee Wort on the corner of the box, but his angled shot was straight at the away goalkeeper Jordan Tewkesbury who comfortably collected the ball at the second attempt.

In response Alresford had a spell of possession and they hit the post with the best chance of the first half for either side. A throw into the penalty area was cleared but fell to Luke Rae on the edge of the box, who connected with a thunderbolt of a volley that rattled the post with Gosney beaten.

Despite Alresford having a lot more possession for the majority, the Boatmen stood firm and restricted the away team to half chances throughout the first half. However due to the pressure of the away side, the attacking opportunities for Sholing were limited as they sought to keep a clean sheet for as long as possible.

Jake Hoole then had a shot blocked after cutting into the area, before he had a tame shot bobble through to Tewkesbury in the Alresford goal. The half time whistle blew on an underwhelming first half with few attacking opportunities for both sides. HT: 0-0

Sholing started the second half with a more attacking mindset, firstly Tewkesbury cleared the ball out from a corner with Dan Mason and Dan Miller lurking in the penalty area, before quick interplay between Mason and Bradley Targett left the young striker through on goal. However, the away keeper denied Targett with his feet after the striker tried to slot into the near bottom corner in the 54th minute.

The Boatmen continued to have more of the ball in the second half but were struggling to create clear-cut chances or test Tewkesbury despite a number of set pieces. Sholing pushed more men forward to get the winner with fresh legs from Jamie Bulpitt pulling the strings. The visitors seemed less adventurous than in the first half, concentrating on keeping Mason & Wort quiet whilst waiting for a chance to come their way.  It duely arrived in the 78th minute.

With Sholing bodies in attacking positions, Marv Mclean was left with three defenders around him on the half way line. His loose pass forward was picked up by an away attacker who played the ball forward to Steven Hall. The home defence seemed to stand still appealing for offside and the Alresford attacker made no mistake, neatly chipping the ball over a stranded Gosney and into the net.

Sholing piled everybody forward in an attempt to keep their unbeaten league record but it was clear their was nothing left in the tank as the strong Alresford defence were able to comfortably mop up attacks.  So, it wasn't to be for the Boatmen today, but they still only require 2 more points to secure the title.  Even possible that if Hordean slip up on Monday, that Sholing will already be Champions before they run out in their local derby at Hamble on Wednesday. FT 0-1

Report by Connor Steel

Dave Diaper said after the game : "Ahh, so that’s what it feels like to lose a league game. Still, not bad with the last league defeat being back in April 7th 2018. We now move on to Wednesday night to another tough game against the Monks. Still been a great season which has been full of highs and not too many lows and based on hard work and commitment on and off the field. Also I hate to say it but we must give Alresford some credit as they stuck to a game plan"

Skipper Byron Mason added : "When people asked me if I think we would go the season unbeaten, I gave them my honest opinion which was... NO! Our squad is thin and we were in too many quarters and semi finals and that takes it's toll. The loss has been coming for weeks but we’ve been banging in goals for fun & getting away with it. The run of games this month was way too much and anyone we played yesterday probably would have got the result.  But takes nothing away from the great season as a whole."

Next Game :  Hamble Club v Sholing - Wednesday 27 March 7:45pm - Wessex Premier

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