Winchester City 3-1 Sholing

Scorers : Rob Flooks 31, Warren Bentley 52, Max Smith 83  /  Dan Mason 90

Date: Tuesday 1st February 2022, 7:45pm – Southern League South Division 1

Venue:  Charters Community Stadium

Winchester City: Charlie Philpot, Ollie Griggs, Dan King, Pip Nolan (Max Smith 72), Rob Flooks, Kieran Douglas, Ollie Bailey (Craig Feeney 75), Jamie Barron ©, Warren Bentley, Oliver Balmer, Simba Mlambo.  Unused subs : Liam Callaghan, Dan Walster, Josh McCormick

Yellow Card: Ollie Griggs, Kieran Douglas, Max Smith

Sholing: Ryan Gosney, Ryan Cluett (Tomasz Gruzewski 74), Marv Mclean, Owen Roundell (Jack Mann 79), Dan Miller, Rob Nicholls, Sami Makhloufi, Byron Mason ©, Dan Mason, Stu Green (Conor Whiteley 71), Brad Targett.  Unused subs : Jake Cope, Luke Deacon

Yellow Card :  Ryan Gosney, Ryan Cluett, Sami Makhloufi

Referee: Samuel Reed   Assistants: Harvey Small & Rob Harrison

Attendance: 301

Sholing suffered our first defeat in 11 games after a disappointing performance where we were undone by uncharacteristic defensive mistakes and slightly more familiar missing goalscoring opportunities when on top.

Team News : Brad Targett returned from injury to replace Claudio Herbert, who has been released by the club. We wish Claudio all the best.

Boatmen started brightly and were on top for the first 20 minutes of the game. Brad Targett had a shot deflect safely to the keeper and then from the left channel, Stu Green attempted to lob the Winch goalie, but he backpeddled quickly to claim.  Green & Targett were stretching the home defence and the ball kept falling to Brad outside the box, but he put a couple of efforts over the bar, as did Rob Nicholls with one that came to him on the half volley.

There wasn't much seen of Winchester in an attacking capacity, until on 31 mins they won a corner and Jamie Barron's inswinger into the 6 yard box was met by an unchallenged header by Rob Flooks.  That appeared to knock the stuffing out of Sholing, who went quiet and Winchester took control of the rest of the half.

Took until on the stroke of half time for Sholing to have another effort on goal after Targett was fouled outside the box.  The referee took an age to organise the wall and get the game restarted, with Stu Green trying to catch out Philpott down at his near post, but the keeper got down to hold onto the ball.  HT 1-0

Not for the first time this season, Sholing conceded a goal quickly after the restart as Warren Bentley fed in Ollie Bailey on the overlap and Bentley was on hand to knock in the cross to give the Boatmen a mountain to climb.  To be fair, Sholing did stir themselves into a period of sustained pressure, with Marv getting forward to put in some balls into the middle of the box, but each time, Winchester players were getting in last ditch blocks.  The clearest opportunity came the way of Dan Mason, who's downward header from 8 yards, lacked power and the keeper was able to push it round the post.

Winchester continued to look dangerous from Barron's corners and their lively front 3 were keeping Sholing pegged back.  Dave Diaper made three changes, but to no effect as the home side grabbed a fluke third goal to completely kill the game off.   Bentley put Max Smith into the right side of the area and his shot took a massive deflection to loop high over Gosney and find the far corner of the net.

On 90 minutes, DAN MASON headed in Marv's cross for a consolation goal. A deserved win for Winchester that pushes them up to 3rd. Boatmen will have to take full advantage of our games in hand & be more ruthless in front of goal if we want to stay in the promotion picture.   FT 3-1

Skipper, Byron Mason, said afterwards : "A loss has been coming, we have not been at the races. Maybe we needed a shake up! A lot of work to do and hard work needs to happen"

Next Game : Sholing v Winchester City - Southampton Senior Cup - Tuesday 8 February 7:45pm

Photos courtesy of EspieJaz (swipe to view pics)