Christchurch 0-0 (3-5 penalties) Sholing
Date: Tuesday 8 September 2020 - 7:45pm - Russell Cotes Cup Semi Final
Venue: Hurn Bridge Sports Club
Christchurch: Lewis Gunstone-Gray, Emmanuel Ohameje, Brad Hill, Ron Frost, Billy Walker ©, Nick Swann, Ben Satterley, Max Wilcock, Will Fletcher, Kyle Graham, Ash Pope, Jon Blake. Subs : Mickey Finch, Luke Stone, Josh Kirkham, Max Frampton
Sholing: Ryan Gosney, TJ Cuthbertson, Marv McLean, Alex Sawyer (Charlie Wagstaffe 46), Owen Roundell, Jamie Bulpitt (James Lauder 86), Claudio Herbert, Byron Mason ©, Dan Mason (Rafa Ramos 86), Stu Green, Brad Targett. Unused subs : Joe Smith & Luke Deacon
Referee: Paul Barber Assistants: Chloe-Ann Anderson & Lee Stevens
Sholing reached the final of the Russell Cotes Cup via a penalty shoot-out after a dismal 90 minutes of non-action. For the third time in his Boatmen career, Ryan Gosney both saved and scored a penalty, with all the other Sholing spot kick takers scoring with aplomb.
The competition that was halted last season was brought back by Hampshire FA to be completed, as it won't be contested as part of the 2020/21 season. In Sholing's first competitive game of the campaign, new signing Claudio Herbert made his debut, but with both Miller & PJ unavailable, Byron went into defence to partner Owen Roundell.
There was a good following of fans from Sholing, although sadly, the action on the pitch wasn't enough to distract from trying to avoid getting bitten by the swarms of mosquitoes at Christchurch's ground. There were a lot of nearly balls from the Boatmen, with the final pass too often overhit or easily intercepted. A freekick on the edge of the box was wasted by Sholing, so it was up to the home side to have the first... and only... decent effort on target when a header from set piece was saved at the second attempt by Gosney.
Brad Targett might have gone down under a challege in the box, but stayed on his feet, but couldn't get off to trouble the keeper. A few minutes later he blazed horribly over when set up in space. The main talking point of the half came just before the break when the Christchurch keeper slid out of his area while holding the ball. However, the referee appeared to be one of the few nearby who didn't see it. HT 0-0
Charlie Wagstaffe replaced the injured Alex Sawyer for the start of a second half, that was to be even less entertaining than the first. Both defences were well on top and broke up what few attacks came their way. Honestly can't recall either keeper having a save to make in a second 45 that dragged. Claudio Herbert was trying his best to make something happen, sinking deeper and deeper to pick up the ball and go on runs, but the movement was lacking from his teammates to open up the home defence.
The Christchurch no 4, Ron Frost, seemed like magnet for every ball forward by the Boatmen, meanwhile, on the couple of occasions the home side got into a shooting position, they put efforts closer to the corner flag than the goal. Meanwhile, the mozzies were showing more bite than either side. It was a relief there was no extra-time, with the game going straight to penalties. FT 0-0
Stu Green took the first penalty and scored, Christchurch did likewise, as did Claudio Herbert to make it 2-1 to Sholing. The home side's second penalty was well saved by Ryan Gosney, who dived to his right to push it away. Brad Targett extended the Boatmen's advantage before Christchurch scored again. Gos took our 4th penalty and hit an exocet missile into the roof of the net. Nothing and no one could have stopped that! Home side scored their 4th spot kick, which meant that Owen Roundell had a chance to win the tie if he found the net, which he coolly did. FT 0-0 (3-5 Pens)
Sholing will face Lymington Town in the final, date and venue to be decided.
Next Game : Bemerton Heath v Sholing - FA Cup - Saturday 12 Sept 3pm