Sholing 1-4 AFC Totton
Scorers : Conor Whiteley 65 / Brett Williams 55, Ethan Taylor 66, Jordan Raguette 80 & 86
Date: Tuesday 12th October 2021, 7:45pm – Southern League Cup
Venue: Mackoy Stadium
Sholing: Luke Deacon, Ryan Cluett (Jake Hoole 83), Marv McLean, Brad Targett (Martin Buckland 58), Dan Miller ©, Jack Mann, Claudio Herbert, Robin Nicholls, Conor Whiteley, Stu Green (Josh China 78), Jake Cope. Unused subs: Joe Smith & Nathan Gray
Yellow Card: Rob Nicholls, Conor Whiteley
AFC Totton: Lewis Noice, Sam Griffin, Jordan Raguette, Adeoye Olumuyiwa, Harry Medway ©, Stephane Zubar, Jack Hoey (Shaq Gwengwe 82), Frederick Read (Callum Baughan 82), Brett Williams, Ethan Taylor, Lewis Waterfield (Jordan Ngalo 64). Unused subs : Hisham Kasimu & Ben Jefford
Yellow Card : Harry Medway, Brett Williams, Ethan Taylor
Referee: Sean Jenkins Assistants: David Morey & Krasimir Petrov
Man of the Match : Jack Mann
Sholing made it three Cup exits in the space of a week, this time going out of the Southern League Cup at the hands of a strong AFC Totton side. Boatmen, who were missing 6 players, kept the game even until the second half, but the visitors showed clinical finishing to advance in this competition.
Team News : 19 year old, Jack Mann, made his first team debut, going into centre midfield. Brad Targett added centre-half to his collection of outfield starting positions this season and Conor Whiteley came back in to start up front. Luke Deacon went between the sticks, with Gosney injured and Gos was joined on the sidelines by Byron, D-Dan, Charlie, Mitch & Joe Adams. They could have been joined by a couple of the players who did start the game, as the toll of a number of hard recent games, saw a few carrying knocks, but soldier on.
Luke Deacon was the first keeper called into action, making a terrific save low down from a point blank header by Williams. The visitors had most of the early pressure, but were off target with a couple of shots, before Sholing started to show more promise in attack. A nice passing moving saw Stu Green found in the box, he turned and got off a well struck shot, but Noice saved. Marv put on the afterburner to get to the byline and put over a peach of a cross, that deserved better than have Sholing players not react to it.
Jake Cope came more into the action as the half progressed, twice getting off shots that stung the hands of the keeper. Boatmen ended the half on top and were about to take a corner when the referee blew his whistle for half time. HT 0-0
Rob Nicholls picked up a booking for his first foul of the game just after the restart and The Stags were to go in front on 55 minutes with a goal gifted to them by the Boatmen. Luke Deacon threw the ball out to Cluett, who didn't want it as he was already closed down, he knocked it back to Luke, who took a poor touch, allowing former football league striker, Brett Williams to close him down and force the ball into the net. It got worse for Sholing when a challenge from behind by Taylor left Targett in a heap and he had to go off. No card for the Totton player. Rob Nicholls filled in for Brad, who was filling in himself at centre back and Martin Buckland came on into midfield.
Boatmen pushed forward and former Totton player, Stu Green set up the equaliser on 65 mins by crossing into the 6 yard box, where a hurried clearance fell straight to CONOR WHITELEY near the penalty spot and he hit a cool finish past the bodies on the line. There was no time for Sholing to feel good for getting level, as straight from the restart, Totton scored. To be honest, I was typing the goal update on Twitter as the visitors put the ball in the net, but I'm told Ethan Taylor lifted the ball over the stranded Deacon.
Sholing came close to drawing level on 72 minutes when Conor Whiteley ran across the edge of the area and stood up a cross that was met with a looping header by Claudio. It cleared the keeper, but hit the top of the crossbar. Stu Green limped off with our overworked physio, Joel, and 17 year old Josh China came on for his home debut. The rest of the game belonged to Totton, who with fresh legs and a lot of pace going forward were quickly opening up a stretched Sholing team. One of several baffling referee decisions was to award Totton a freekick outside the area, after it appeared the game was stopped for a head injury to a Stags player, well away from where the freekick was given. The freekick was pushed onto the angle of post and bar by Luke Deacon, but fell to Jordan Raguette to score on the rebound.
The former Hamble Club forward, who was playing left back, gave the scoreline a rather flattering look for Totton, although it was an excellent finish by Raguette to hit a low shot from the left across Deacon and in off the far post. The final few minutes were a bit of a mess as the referee brandished cards and seemed to confuse both sets of players and most of those watching on.
One positive for Sholing, was the debut of Jack Mann, who looked assured in midfield, especially considering the quality of opposition must have been higher than he's ever faced before. Perhaps the other positive is that the Boatmen are no longer in a competition that has no sponsor or prize money and which would cost the club over £1,000 if we were to get an inevitable midweek away draw to a West Country club. Totton deserved the victory tonight, but hopefully, Sholing will have the injured players available when we next meet in the league on New Years Day. FT 1-4
Next Game : Frome Town v Sholing - Southern League - Saturday 3pm