Scorers : Bradley Gray 25, John Dennis 49 / Brad Targett 39
Date: Saturday 25th January 2020 - 3:00pm - Betvictor Southern League South Division One
Venue: The Corinium Stadium
Cirencester Town: Lewis Clayton, Jordan Morris, Michael Pook ©, William Tunnicliffe, Joshua Nelmes, Will Wellon, Thomas Anderson, Nicholas Hancock, Levi Irving, Bradley Gray (John Dennis 41), Tourmani Sidibe (Ross Gabriel 74). Unused Subs : Jack Freeman, Lewis Thompson & Joshua Grace-Parsons
Yellow Cards: Will Wellon, John Dennis
Sholing: Ryan Gosney, TJ Cuthbertson, Jake Hoole (Jack Nicholas 74), Owen Roundell, Dan Miller, Owen Royl, Lee Wort (Brad Targett 32), Byron Mason ©, Stu Green, Dan Mason, Jamie Bulpitt (James Lauder 63). Unused Subs: Marvin McLean & Joe Smith
Yellow Cards: Jamie Bulpitt
Attendance: 169 (approx 20 Sholing fans)
Man of the Match: Brad Targett
Referee: Daniel Pattison, Assistants: Jake Allsopp & Jack Shepard
Two long range strikes ensured that Sholing fell to another narrow away defeat. Yet again it was a tight encounter in which the Boatmen worked hard, but lacked creativity to earn a point.
Team News: Dan Miller was making his 350th appearance for the Boatmen. Dave Diaper made two chances from the midweek County cup defeat recalling Lee Wort & Owen Roundell. Marvin McLean & Brad Targett dropping to the bench. Sholing went with 3 at the back, with the idea of allowing the full backs to push up.
Was Sholing's first visit to Cirencester's neat ground since they had a 4G surface installed in 2017. It was a cold and misty day in Gloucestershire as the game got underway. There were few notable openings in the opening period as both teams seemed to be trying long ball tactics, which led to several attacks breaking down. With passes being played high into the air, Sholing always seemed to be second best to any loose ball and Cirencester dominated the early possession, but couldn’t convert them into chances, until Sidibe sent a pea-roller into the side netting from the edge of the penalty area.
It was Sholing that should have taken the lead in the 17th minute with their first chance of the game. After good work by TJ, the ball fell to Dan Mason unmarked in the middle of the box, but his shot was straight at Clayton in the Cirencester goal, who also smothered the rebound from the feet of Jamie Bulpitt.
Despite this clear opportunity, the Centurions were still dominating possession and looked dangerous in attack down the other end. After Levi Irving’s backheeled effort was blocked at source and Tourmani Sidibe shot wide under pressure, their third opening in quick succession saw them the lead in some style. Bradley Gray strode into space from the right channel and unleashed a 30 yard shot that screamed over Gosney and into the far top corner for a spectacular goal.
Things didn’t improve for the Boatmen as they were forced into a substitution after Lee Wort pulled up injured for the second time in a matter of minutes. Brad Targett came onto the pitch and made an immediate impact when he broke forward down the right to set up Stuart Green, who fired harmlessly over the crossbar. Sensing an opportunity the Boatmen continued to push and got their reward with an equaliser in the 39th minutes. Targett put on the afterburners to race past two defenders and get deep into the box, where he cut the ball back towards Green, but the ball bounced between him and a defender and back into the path of BRAD TARGETT who happily prodded the ball in from a tight angle. The referee consulted his assistant about an offside, but the goal stood.
Cirencester almost responded immediately when Jordan Morris broke free straight from kick-off and played an inch perfect cross into the path of Tourmani Sidibe, with his first time effort denied by Ryan Gosney with an excellent point-blank save. HT: 1-1
The Boatmen were caught cold from the restart, going back behind in the 48th minute. A short set piece was played into the path of John Dennis, who shaped to put in a cross from the left side of the box, but instead he let fly with an angled effort from 20 yards that nestled just inside the near post.
There was a moment of controversy as Brad Targett, once again, beat the home side for pace and was through on goal before being chopped down right on the edge of the box. The referee decided it wasn't a goal scoring opportunity and booked Will Wellon. Once again, Sholing wasted the set piece, with Jake Hoole firing a low effort that was easily kicked away.
This home advantage was nearly doubled when Dennis showed great feet and put in a curling effort that was only inches away from the bottom corner as Cirencester were causing problems down both flanks. This was further apparent when both Nicholas Hancock and Tourmani Sidibe headed over the bar from crosses into the box with around thirty minutes left.
Further substitutes and a number of stoppages disrupted the play, but it was Sholing who created the next opportunity in the seventy-second minute. A long throw-in was flicked on by Dan Miller into the path of Brad Targett lurking inside the penalty area. Unfortunately the youngster leant back too much and the effort flew over the crossbar. This was sadly the last opportunity for Sholing who, unlike the home side, were a bit shot-shy when outside the box. Was a feeling that the Boatmen were waiting for something to happen, instead of making it happen themselves and this disappointing result means we slip to our 6th defeat in 7 league games and drop to 17th in the table. FT: 2-1
Report by Connor Steel
Next Game : Melksham Town v Sholing - Monday 7:45pm - Southern League
Next Home Game : Sholing v Hamble Club - Thursday 7:45pm - Southampton Senior Cup