Sholing 0-2 Slimbridge AFC

Scorers : Edjidja Mbunga 36, Jay Malshanskyj 74

Date: Saturday 26 September 2020 - 3pm - Pitching In Southern League South Division One

Venue: Mackoy Stadium

Sholing: Ryan Gosney, TJ Cuthbertson, Marv McLean, PJ McLean, Dan Miller, Owen Roundell, Claudio Herbert (Jake Hoole 86), Byron Mason ©, Dan Mason, Stu Green (Stu Green 85), Brad Targett (Nick Watts 66).  Unused subs : Luke Deacon, Charlie Wagstaffe

Yellow Card : Claudio Herbert, Byron Mason, Ryan Gosney

Slimbridge AFC: Lewis Adams, Alex Hainault, Ben Prictor, Myron Turner, Christien Turner ©, Joel White, Jay Malshanskyj, Michael Ford (Dean Turner 92), Jamie Martin (Johan Flo 18), Danny King (Joseph Stokes 89), Edjidja Mbunga.  Unused subs : Ben Deakin, Nick Humphreys

Yellow Card : Ben Prictor, Joel White

Referee: Ciaran Barlow  Assistants: Matthew Sell & John Foster

Attendance: 220

After 6 months of waiting for a competitive Sholing home game, the Boatmen had a bad day at the office and were beaten by a well organised and hungry Slimbridge side.  Sholing barely had a shot in anger at the visiting keeper as the Swans glided to 3 points with a goal in each half and could even afford to miss a penalty.

Team News : PJ returned to defence, with Roundell going into midfield.  On the bench, Jake Hoole returned to the squad & Alex Sawyer returned from injury.  Jack Smith was also in the dugout, joining the coaching staff at the club.

In front of a good sized crowd on a sunny day, although a chilly northerly wind took the edge off somewhat.  Slimbridge had the first chance on 9 mins when a ball into the box was headed narrowly wide.  Dan Miller did likewise for Sholing from a corner as the opening encounters were quite even.  On 15 mins, Brad Targett showed a great burst of pace to skin two Slimbridge players down the right, but his cross was just behind Dan Mason, who couldn't control it.  It was a bit strange how despite his success in running at the backline down that flank, Brad never saw the ball again in that sort of area.  On the other flank, Marv cut to the byline and crossed for Claudio Herbert to connect with a first time flicked volley that surprised the keeper, but he reacted well to beat it out with Dan Mason just unable to force in the rebound through a crowd of players.  Sadly, that was to be Sholing's best attacking move of the game.

A little against the run of play at the time, but Slimbridge took the lead on 36 minutes when Danny King was allowed plenty of time and space to make a cross from the left and it found Edjidja Mbunga at the far post to knock in via the underside of the crossbar.   HT 0-1

The visitors almost doubled their lead 5 mins into the second half when Johan Flo's shot was tipped onto the post by Ryan Gosney.  Boatmen were looking bereft of ideas going forward, despite our very attacking line up and frustrations were starting to show.  During a scramble in the Slimbridge area, one of their defenders clearly put the ball out for a corner, but a goalkick was awarded and Byron picked up a yellow from the ref for dissent.

On 58 minutes, Slimbridge were awarded a penalty when Flo ran into the box and was about to round Gosney, who brought him down. Dan King's spot kick lacked power and it allowed Ryan Gosney to add yet another penalty save to his list.  The save lifted the crowd and you felt it might act as a catalyst for a Sholing fight back, but it didn't.  Was more of the same from the Boatmen, who didn't win any second balls, kept putting passes astray and couldn't breach a well organised and strong Slimbridge defence.   With the referee taking an age to restart the game after every freekick, it was frustrating to watch from the sidelines and it wasn't a surprise when the Swans killed off the game in the 74th minute.  Another build up down the left brought more success as a cross was met with a header by Jay Malshanskyj that Gosney got two hands to, but it summed up Sholing's day that the ball somehow got through & into the net.   Hoole & Sawyer came on very late on, but the damage was already done and quite simply, the better team won. FT 0-2

Many thanks to all our volunteers for their hard work.  Special thanks to Vanessa, Jen, Vicky & Pauline in the clubhouse.  Not the result we wanted on the pitch, but a good crowd and hope everyone enjoyed the new facilities at the ground and thanks for following the instructions and social distancing.  We go again on Tuesday night where hopefully the lads will bounce back as they so often do.

Next Game : Sholing v Highworth Town - Southern League - Tuesday 7:45pm

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