Sholing 0-0 Cirencester Town
Date: Saturday 29th January 2022, 3pm – Southern League South Division 1
Venue: Mackoy Stadium
Sholing: Ryan Gosney, Ryan Cluett, Marv McLean, Owen Roundell, Dan Miller, Rob Nicholls, Claudio Herbert (Jake Cope 64), Byron Mason ©, Dan Mason, Sami Makhloufi, Stu Green. Unused subs : Conor Whiteley, Jack Mann, Dean Frampton, Luke Deacon
Cirencester Town: Alex Harris, Shayne Anson, Tom Handley, Michael Pook (Nicholas Peare 78), Jake Lee ©, Ellison Dunton, Thomas Anderson, Joshua Nelmes, Levi Irving, Ben Whitehead (Aidan Bennett 65), Nick Hancock (Joe Turley 71). Unused subs : Jordan Morris & Kevin Sawyer
Yellow Card : Ellison Dunton
Referee: Alex James Assistants: Justyn Leonard & Adrian Knight
Man of the Match : Dan Miller
Sholing held the league leaders to a draw as the two best defences in the division kept chances to a minimum in a hard fought game. The Boatmen did create the best opportunities in blustery conditions, but weren't able to convert their second half dominance into a goal.
Team News : Brad Targett missed out with a knock picked up on Tuesday, meanwhile, Tom Gruzewski was on England Schoolboy's duty. Ryan Cluett & Claudio returned to the starting line up. On the bench was Dean Frampton, who became the first player from the Sholing Education Centre to receive a call up to the first team.
It was a scrappy start to the game as both teams tried to get to grip to the blustery wind swirling around the ground. Boatmen forced the first corner when Dan Mason's shot on the turn was deflected wide. The ball was being cleared upfield with some gusto by both defences, but slowly, Sholing started to get it down and try to work some openings. Dan Mason was holding the ball up well and his turn on 30 mins looked to open up space for a shot, but the keeper reacted quickly to smother.
Cirencester had a couple of hopeful shots, one that was straight at Gosney and another that cleared the clubhouse. Marv was getting forward down the left and he fed the ball inside the box for Greener, but from a tight angle he shot into the side netting. Sholing were building some momentum and Dan Mason was again getting into a dangerous position, but this time his shot was deflected narrowly past the upright. D-Dan then spun in behind, but Harris in goal was able to get to the ball first. HT 0-0
Stu Green showed great skill to both stop the ball going out for a goalkick and then turn past a defender to run along the line towards goal, but his cut back was cleared. The best chance of the entire game was created by Sholing on 51 mins when Marv fed Sami, who lifted the ball into the middle of the area where it was met with a sidefoot volley by Stu Green, but with the keeper out of position and the goal gaping, he uncharacteristically couldn't get his effort on target as it went over the bar. After his success in midweek from a freekick, Dan took on a 25 yard effort, but it thumped against the wall. The pressure remained on the visitors as a deep freekick was swung under the bar, where the keeper punched it clear.
Jake Cope made a welcome return to action after almost 3 months out injured as he replaced Claudio just after the hour mark. Boatmen's best play was coming down the left, with Marv putting on the afterburners a couple of times and one of his crosses was nodded on by D-Dan to Owen Roundell, who tried to turn the ball in at the far post, but once again, Harris was in the right place to smother the effort.
Apart from a few claims from crosses, Gosney had little to do as the Sholing back line stopped the league leaders from creating anything of note in the second half. Shots as they cut in from the left flank by Marv & Jake Cope both went high & wide as the game ended in a stalemate, which extends the Boatmen's unbeaten run to 11 matches. FT 0-0
Next Game : Winchester City v Sholing - Southern League - Tuesday 1st February 7:45pm
Photos courtesy of EspieJaz (swipe to view pics)