Bideford AFC 0-3 Sholing

Scorers : Conor Whiteley 10, Stu Green 21, Brad Targett 37

Date: Saturday 11 September 2021, 3pm – Pitching In Southern League South Division One

Venue:  The Sports Ground

Bideford: Jack Arthur, Niall Heeney, Alex Byrne, Javan Wright, James Mayne ©, Louie Slough, George Nancekivell, Callum McGhee, Craig Duff (Ben Wood 11 (Jack Calver 55)), George Tucker, Matthew Buchan (Aaron Taylor 64).

Yellow Card:

Sholing: Ryan Gosney, Ryan Cluett, Yumo Wan, Rob Nicholls, Mitch Byrne, Dan Miller ©, Claudio Herbert, Joe Adams, Conor Whiteley (Nathan Gray 43), Stu Green (Charlie Wagstaffe 30), Brad Targett (Martin Buckland 55).  Unused subs : Tomasz Gruzewski & Lochlan Colquhoun

Yellow Card : Ryan Cluett

Referee: James Gould   Assistants : Scott Robertson & Alan Bassett

Attendance: 182 (approx 15 Sholing fans)

Man of the Match : Ryan Gosney

Sholing demonstrated some clinical first half finishing, scoring with pretty much all their efforts on goal, as we keep the unbeaten start to the season going and move up to second in the early league table. Conor Whiteley scored a brilliant long range lob and then two incisive moves and finishes by Stu Green & Brad Targett, with a Ryan Gosney penalty save saw all the action in the first 45 mins as the Boatmen shut down the game after the break.

Phil Moody & Sam Scott took charge of the team, with Dave & Marc Diaper unavailable.  The team that made the 4 hour trip down to North Devon was also without Byron Mason, Dan Mason, Marv McLean, Jake Cope, Luke Deacon & Jack Barnes, so Nathan Gray, Tomasz Gruzewski & Lochlan Colquhoun were promoted from the U18/23s for the first time.  It meant 7 players aged 20 or less made up the squad.  Bideford were also missing a number of players and could only muster 3 players for the bench, all of which were also carrying knocks.

It was Sholing's first visit to Bideford for 10 years and they arrived at a well presented large ground, with a warm welcome from friendly club staff on a lovely sunny day. The pitch was dry, but spongey & uneven underfoot and wouldn't help either side.  Boatmen had the first half chance when a ball deep to the far post saw the keeper not able to claim the cross and Brad Targett win the header, but right on the byline, he had no chance to direct it anywhere but wide.

Bideford's Number 11, Matthew Buchan, was causing Sholing problems and he latched onto a flick to go in on goal, but shot straight at Gosney.  The home side were looking sharp at getting the ball to the edge of the box and playing flicks into someone running into the area, but on 10 minutes, Sholing took the lead with a brilliant goal.  On the half way line on the right wing, Claudio Herbert took a quick throw-in, getting impressive distance to clear the defender and send CONOR WHITELEY in behind in the right channel.  Conor looked up and sent a first time lob from 30+ yards out, over the back peddling keeper and into the net for a stunning strike!

It was the Boatmen's first shot on goal and with our second shot on goal, we scored again. Some quick interplay through midfield saw Brad Targett drive into space and feed the ball to STU GREEN to finish from the middle of the box.   The home side had a cross-shot beaten away by Gosney and then some good blocks by Ryan Cluett & Rob Nicholls and another save by Gosney kept Bideford at bay.   Stu Green went down with a foot injury and came off on the half hour to be replaced by Charlie Wagstaffe, with Joe Adams advancing into Greener's role.

Bideford were awarded a penalty on 34 minutes when a shot struck the arm of Ryan Cluett, with another debatable penalty given against Sholing and a harsh booking for the right back. Gosney had studied some youtube videos of recent Bideford games, including a penalty shoot out and the research paid off (along with his ability) as he dived low to his left to save Wood's spot-kick and quickly get up to collect the loose ball.    If that had gone in, Bideford's tails would have been up, but on 37 mins, Sholing got a killer third goal instead. Joe Adams beat several bemused Bideford players to then square for BRAD TARGETT to finish with aplomb.  

Just before half time, Conor Whiteley raced to a loose ball with the Bideford keeper, with both colliding and at first the keeper appeared to come off worse, but it soon became apparent that Con's ankle had swelled up and he couldn't continue. Nathan Gray, who has been scoring goals dual-signed at Verwood (as well as our U23s) came on for his first team competitive debut.  HT 0-3

The summary of the second half is going to be a lot shorter than the first half and the Boatmen were more than happy for it to be an uneventful second 45.  There was more injury woes for both teams early in the half, with Brad Targett another victim of a pitch that appeared to contribute to rolled ankles. Bideford's first half sub was then also subbed due to injury and their best player, Buchan, also limped off soon after.

Martin Buckland replaced Brad and went to an unfamiliar role on the right wing as Sholing shut the game down and a weakened Bideford side with no recognised forwards left, didn't cause the Boatmen defence any moments of difficulty.   Joe Adams had another mazy run into the box, but delayed his shot and the move broke down.  Nathan Gray appeared to time his run in behind to perfection to latch onto a ball over the top, but the linesman seemed a bit eager to raise his flag.   That really, was that, as far as action went, but it was good game management by the Boatmen and a lot of hard team work to not give the home side a sniff, with Ryan Gosney chalking up his 120th clean sheet for Sholing.

Well done to the squad for a clinical and hard working team performance, everyone contributed on and off the pitch.  Good work by Phil & Sam to step into the considerable shoes of the Diapers and also a word about our supporter "Away Day Andy" who during the game, went to the local supermarket to get some more bags of ice to help Joel treat the glut of ankle & foot injuries.  FT 0-3

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

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Highlights & Interviews Courtesy of HR Media