Evesham United 2-2 Sholing

Scorers : Adam Pepera 23, Brandon Smalley 76  /  Owen Roundell 29, Josh Batt 84

Date: Saturday 19th March 2022, 3pm – Southern League South Division 1

Venue:  The Spiers & Hartwell Jubilee Stadium

Evesham United: Isaac Parry, Joseph Hunt, Ben Prictor (Connor Jakeways 56), Elliot Keightley, Adam Pepera, Lorcan Sheehan (Jack Horrell 78), Kyle Belmonte, Jordan Lymn, Michael Symons © (Toumani Sidibe 85), Brandon Smalley, Daniel Djurovic.  Unused sub : Callum Clayton

Yellow Card: Elliot Keightley

Sholing: Ryan Gosney, Ryan Cluett, Marv McLean, Josh Batt, Dan Miller ©, Rob Nicholls (Charlie Wagstaffe 78), Conor Whiteley, Owen Roundell, Dan Mason, Sami Makhloufi, Brad Targett.  Unused subs : Tomasz Gruzewski, Jack Mann, Lochlan Colquhoun, Luke Deacon

Yellow Card :

Referee:  Joshua Brookland  Assistants: Chris Bounds & Liam Brace

Attendance: 198

Despite having the bulk of possession and chances, Sholing had to twice come from behind and in the end, settle for a point.

Team News :  Byron, Greener & Cope were all out injured, but Sami was available after suspension and Marv returned at left back. On the bench was Charlie Wagstaffe, returning to first team action after almost 5 months out.

It was a lovely sunny day, although a strong Easterly wind was blowing across a well prepared firm pitch.  Sholing worked the keeper inside the first minute when Marv's cross from the left was met with a header by Brad Targett that the keeper spilled, but he recovered to grab the ball as Dan Mason was about to pounce.   The home side forced Gosney into a save on 7 minutes, when he turned a shot round his near post.

Boatmen came agonisingly close to scoring on 10 minutes, firstly Dan Mason knocked the ball down into the path of Sami Makhloufi, whose shot saved for a corner. Ryan Cluett's delivery found Brad Targett with a thumping header that was cleared off the line by a defender via the underside of the crossbar.   The wind seemed to effect a shot from Targett on 17 mins as his powerful effort from the right dipped and swerved just past the angle of post and bar.

On 20 minutes, laughs all round as the linesman fell over under no challenge.  Sholing weren't laughing a few minutes later when Evesham took the lead.  A freekick on the left wing was swung into the heart of the box where Adam Pepera was allowed to bury a header past Gosney.  Straight from the restart, Brad Targett's shot was smothered at the near post.  The Boatmen were level on 29 minutes as Conor Whiteley ran into space on the right and his low cross into the 6 yard box couldn't be converted by D-Dan, but it fell for OWEN ROUNDELL to calmly side foot into the net.

Sholing continued to create chances in the minutes before half time.  Firstly, Dan Mason's backheel allowed Brad Targett the space to shoot across goal and just inches ahead of the arriving Whiteley.   Then Conor put over a cross that the wind blew towards goal, it looked a comfortable catch for the keeper, but not for the first time in the match, his handling was suspect and he was lucky the ball broke through his hands and brushed the outside of the post.   He did better to stop another header from Targett, but still needed two attempts to catch it.  HT 1-1

Boatmen picked up where they left off in the first half, opening up Evesham down both flanks, although there were either shots off target or disappointing final balls at the end of our build ups.  A poor clearance by an Evesham defender landed at the feet of Roundell, but he skied his half-volley over.

The home side were playing on the break, but with their first chance of the second half, coming on the hour mark, they almost went back in front, but Ryan Gosney did brilliantly to save from point blank range.   Most the game remained in the Evesham half, with Sholing still finding plenty of space to get around the home side's penalty area, but not finding a finish.  

So, it was typical that from another Evesham breakaway, they scored against the run of play with a freakish goal on 75 mins. Gosney was in a race with Brandon Smalley to a ball outside his area, Gos just got there first, but his clearance smacked against the forward, looping high back over his head.  It looked to be going wide, but the wind helped blow it back towards goal, where Smalley was quick to get to it as it dropped and finish into the empty net.

Charlie Wagstaffe replaced Rob Nicholls for the final 12 minutes as we went looking for an equaliser.   It arrived on 84 mins, when a freekick out on the right was put into the box by Ryan Cluett, where after a bit of a tussle, JOSH BATT controlled it and poked past the keeper from inside the 6 yard box. It was his first goal for the club, but he didn't celebrate, instead running back into position as Sholing were focused on turning 1 point into 3.   Again, we worked ourselves into good positions late on, but some sloppy passing around the area meant we would rue not turning our dominance into a win.   FT 2-2

Next Game : Plymouth Parkway v Sholing - Southern League - Tuesday 22 March 7:45pm
Next Home Game : Sholing v Highworth Town - Southern League - Saturday 26 March 3pm - HALF PRICE ADMISSION

Photos courtesy of EspieJaz (swipe to view pics)