Sholing3 0Portland

Scorers : Dan Miller 2, Brad Targett 24, Dan Mason 55

Date: Tuesday 16th April 2019 - 7:45pm - Sydenhams Wessex Premier

Venue: Universal Stadium

Sholing: Ryan Gosney, TJ Cuthbertson, Owen Royl, Pete Castle, Dan Miller, Jamie Bulpitt, Jake Hoole, Byron Mason [c], Dan Mason, Lee Wort (Jack Nicholas 86), Brad Targett.  Unused subs : Kevin Brewster, Owen Roundell, Bradey Norton & Nick O'Donnell

Yellow Cards: Dan Miller

Portland United Mike Edgar, Ed Bastick, Chris Clarke, Sam Buckler, Lewis Whyton, Ross Doidge [c], Ryan McKechnie, Max Buckler, Sol Roche, Alex Halloran, Jamie Beasley.  Subs: Bailey Rowe, Emanuel Roche, Lance Wilson

Yellow Cards: ?

Attendance: 114

Match Sponsors Emerald Motor Company Man of the Match : Brad Targett

Referee: Carl Rooney  Assistants: Ade Skeates & Liam Twigg

It was an eventful night for Dan Miller as he picked up the Supporters Player of the season award, a goal and a very rare booking as the Boatmen rounded off their home campaign with win 18 out of 19 league games this season.  Brad Targett & Dan Mason were also on the scoresheet as Sholing played some lovely attacking football and probably deserved a few more goals.

Before kick off, Dan Miller received the player of the season award voted for by the fans from the original Sholing Ultra, Micky Travers.  It was a close run vote this season, reflecting the outstanding performances by so many players throughout the campaign. Dan Mason was a close 2nd, with Lee Wort & Byron Mason also high on the number of votes.

It was perhaps written in the stars that DAN MILLER would score tonight, but it came from Sholing's first attack, which won a corner and Jake Hoole's deep delivery found Dan beyond the far post with a downward header that bounced between several players and across the line to take him into double figures for the first time in his career.

Some great one touch football down the right side of the pitch between several players saw Jake Hoole collect the ball and cut across the edge of the box before getting off a shot back the way he came and everyone watched, including the keeper as it went narrowly past the post.   Sholing had their second on 24 minutes, with another good build up and finish. Owen Royl broke forward from left back, beat a player and fed the ball into the box for BRAD TARGETT to use his pace to burst onto past a defender before opening up his body to slot the ball across the keeper and into the far corner for his 18th of the season.

Spectators then witnessed a very rare sight of Dan Miller mistiming a tackle and picking up only his 4th booking in 314 games for Sholing.  Portland weren't here to make up the numbers and looked lively going forward and made it a competitive and entertaining game to watch.  United connected well with a couple of decent long range efforts, but each time they were straight at Ryan Gosney.

Sholing almost added a third just before half time when TJ released Lee Wort down the left channel with a lovely through ball. Worty cut the ball back into the six yard box where Dan Mason's first time effort was blocked and with him and the keeper on the ground, they both tried to stretch their legs get to the rebound, with Dan just unable to get enough purchase on the ball to knock it in from close range.  HT 2-0

In a remarkable 2 minutes just after the restart, Brad Targett was to hit both posts in consecutive attacks.  On 48 mins, Brad raced clear and beat the keeper to his left with his shot, but it rolled against the far post and was cleared.  Then straight after, Targett again outpaced the Portland backline, this time he thumped a shot towards to the keeper's right, but it smacked high off the near post and away.

On 55 minutes, Sholing did add to their lead and it was another excellent finish by DAN MASON.  Lee Wort sent D-Dan clean through down the centre, he rode a heavy challenge from behind just inside the area, but wasn't interested in going down for a penalty, instead keeping his balance to slot the ball past the advancing keeper for goal number 62. What a treat it's been to see Dan score so many excellent goals this season.

There was almost a goal of the season contender for the Boatmen on 61 minutes when from around 30 yards out, Jamie Bulpitt hit a first time, curling and dipping shot that appeared to be heading in, but the back peddling, Edgar, did very well to just get a finger tip on the ball to put it over the bar.  Once again, TJ linked up with Lee Wort to send him through down the right with his whipped in cross, finding Dan Mason to poke towards the near post with a deflection off the defender just diverting the ball the wrong side of the upright.

The final 20 minutes of the game was somewhat affected by the officials repeatedly stopping play and frustrating both sets of players and management with some questionable decisions.  Thankfully, the players didn't let their frustrations boil over and there were handshakes all round as the final whistle blew. 

Sholing finish their home league campaign with a record of 18 wins, no draws and just 1 defeat. Scoring 63 goals and conceding just 13. It's a very similar record to the one the club amassed in the title winning 2013/14 season. The Boatmen currently have a 28 point lead, which is better than the previous all time Wessex League record of 25, achieved by Lymington & New Milton in 96/97 (the only team to ever go unbeaten all season).  FT 3-0

Next Games:
Hamworthy United v Sholing - Saturday 3pm - Wessex Premier
Portland United v Sholing - Easter Monday 3pm - Wessex Premier
Christchurch v Sholing - Tuesday 7 May 7:45pm - Russell Cotes Cup Final (at Christchurch)

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

Many Thanks to our volunteers & fans for their hard work and support this season. Below is a small selection of photos taken with the Wessex League Trophy