Barnstaple Town 0-3 Sholing

Scorers :  Joe Adams 53, Jake Cope 90+4, 90+6

Date: Saturday 13th November 2021, 3pm – Southern League South Division 1

Venue:  Mill Road

Barnstaple Town: Jack Arthur, Ross Jones, William Ellis (Kevin Squire 80), George Jones, Ben Palmer, Tony Radford © (Harry Bamforth 69), Grady Pickard (Euan Washbrook 76), Bradley Gale, Neil Last, Ryan Keates, Kyle Darragh.  Unused subs : Daniel Tucker & Dom Larter

Yellow Card:

Sholing: Ryan Gosney, Ryan Cluett, Marv McLean, Josh Batt, Dan Miller (Owen Roundell 90), Rob Nicholls, Joe Adams, Byron Mason ©, Dan Mason, Sami Makhloufi (Tomasz Gruzweski 67), Jake Cope.  Unused subs : Jack Mann, Luke Deacon & Michael Kurn

Yellow Card :

Referee:  Andrew Hobbs   Assistants: Scott Robertson & Liam Chick

Attendance: 162

Man of the Match : Jake Cope

Jake Cope scored two goals in added time to put Sholing back to winning ways.  After a goalless first half, the Boatmen made the breakthrough via Joe Adams, withstood some late pressure, but deservedly got the win and another clean sheet.

Team News : Sholing were without the suspended pair of Claudio Herbert and Brad Targett and were also missing Stu Green, Conor Whiteley, Charlie Wagstaffe & Mitch Byrne. Ryan Cluett returned and Josh Batt made his first start for the club. Owen Roundell was on the bench after re-signing for the club after spells at Gosport & Portchester.  Barnstaple were without a single point this season, but recently changed their manager and brought in some new signings, including Exeter City goalkeeper Jack Arthur, who played against Sholing for Bideford a few weeks ago.

The sign outside the ground welcomed "Shouling" to Mill Road and there were to be a few times the tannoy announcer called us Totton, but apart from that, the welcome was friendly from Barnstaple!    Sholing tried to stamp their authority on the game early on and after Joe Adams' angled shot was saved, the ball spun up for Sami Makhloufi to volley, but he couldn't get his effort into the unguarded goal.  Dan Mason also tried a shot on the angle, that flew across the face of goal as it just seemed like a matter of time until Sholing scored.

However, the game then went a bit flat for 20 or so minutes, with players struggling to get the ball out of under their feet on a heavy pitch.  On 40 minutes, the nearest to a goal came via Jake Cope hitting a goalbound shot from the edge of the area that Arthur did very well to get a fingertip on it, to divert it onto the crossbar.   Straight after, Sami rounded the keeper, but a defender got a foot in to block.  Barnstaple forced Gosney into his first action just before half time when he had to come racing out to smother as a player broke into the box.  HT 0-0

Home side tested Gosney again straight from the kick off when Gos was brave at his far post to get something to block a close range effort and then get clattered by the player.  The assistant referee was a bit quick with his flag to deny Sholing, including a time when Byron raced through after turning his marker.   A nice one-two saw Cope played into the area, but he was denied by the keeper's legs.

Boatmen finally got the breakthrough on 53 mins. Jake Cope broke down the left wing and fired in a great cross that was met by JOE ADAMS and a defender with the ball flying past the keeper from within the 6 yard box.  Joe will definitely claim it.   Was then a bizarre incident when a Barnstaple player was down injured on the floor and one of his teammates smacked the ball off his head, it ended up falling to Dan Mason to fire into the net, but you guessed it, the offside flag was up.

The Barnstaple keeper again made a decent save, this time on 70 minutes when Joe Adams low snap shot was pushed round the post.   The worry that Sholing hadn't finished off the home side, grew as Barnstaple had a succession of corners and a couple of shots deflected narrowly wide as the Boatmen defence, that included the impressive Josh Batt, held firm.

It didn't look to be Jake Cope's day when on 91 mins he had a shot hacked off the line, but he kept going and got his reward with two stoppage time goals.  After a scramble in the area, Rob Nicholls shot was saved, but JAKE COPE was on hand to steady himself and fire past the defenders on the line.  Almost immediately, Sholing got their third as Dan Mason slipped the ball into the path of the overlapping JAKE COPE to slot calmly past the exposed keeper.   

Good to see us back to winning ways and get another clean sheet.  Barnstaple looked much better than their record suggests, but the Boatmen did their job and can take some confidence from improved performances and results from the last two matches.  FT 0-3

Next Game :  Larkhall Athletic v Sholing - Southern League - Wednesday 17th November 7:45pm

Photos courtesy of HR Media (swipe to view pics)