Sholing 2-1 Willand Rovers

Scorers : Dan Mason 62, Sami Makhloufi 90+2  /  Joe Wylie 16

Date: Saturday 16th April 2022, 3pm – Southern League South Division 1

Venue:  Mackoy Stadium

Sholing: Luke Deacon, Ryan Cluett (Tomasz Gruzewski 46), Dean Frampton, Owen Roundell, Dan Miller, Rob Nicholls (Jack Mann 72), Conor Whiteley, Byron Mason ©, Dan Mason, Nathan Gray (Sami Makhloufi 46), Charlie Wagstaffe.  Unused subs : Leo Taylor & Josh Batt

Yellow Card:  Rob Nicholls

Willand Rovers: George Burton, Josh Searle © , William Richards, Adam Poole, Ellis Johnson, Ryan Guppy, Jack Veale, Glenn Gould (Bailey Kempster 54), Ben Griffith, Jack Rice-Lethaby, Joe Wylie.  Unused subs : Lewis Wilson, Callum Chivers, David Steele

Yellow Card :

Referee:  Martin Bloor   Assistants: Declan Skehan & Nicholas Whittingham

Attendance: 120

Man of the Match : Dan Mason

Boatmen came from behind to do the double over Willand Rovers, thanks to a stoppage time winner from Sami Makhloufi.

Team News :  Stu Green, Brad Targett & Ryan Gosney missed out through injury & Marv was unavailable.  Dean Frampton started at left-wing back as Diapes started with a back three, with the wing-backs pushed on.  Prolific scorer for the U23's, Nathan Gray, started up front with Dan Mason.  Before the match, Dan Miller was awarded a momento from Director, Paul Knott, to mark his 400 games for Sholing.

Willand Rovers got caught up in traffic, not making it to the Mackoy Stadium until 2:40, so the kick off was put back to 3:15.  Game got underway in glorious weather, with the visitors having the first effort on goal after 7 mins, but it was straight at Deacon.  Dan Mason worked some space for an angled shot that the keeper blocked with his legs and D-Dan was to go very close a minute later.  Byron's ball forward found Dan inbetween the defence and the advancing keeper, he looked to have headed it over George Burton, but the keeper did very well to arch his back to finger tip the ball onto the bar.

Willand took the lead on 16 mins when it appeared that Byron was held back, but Joe Wylie was able to take advantage of the space that opened up to knock past Luke Deacon and into the far corner from 10 yards.  Boatmen reverted to a back four with Byron going into midfield, but it initially made little difference with Willand having a couple of shots off target and the best opening that Sholing could manufacture saw a Cluett cross nodded wide by Nathan Gray.   Unusually for Rob, he lost his calm and picked up a yellow just before the break.  HT 0-1

Nathan Gray was struggling with a back injury, so Sami Makhloufi came on for the restart, as did England U18 Schoolboys right back, Tomasz Gruzewski for Ryan Cluett.   Next goal was going to be important and the visitors thought they had it on 57 mins, but a good reaction save by Luke, kept us in it.

Slowly, Sholing started to show more urgency and use D-Dan as the focus of our attacks, helped by the driving runs of Byron.  On 59 mins, the keeper came to punch a corner, but Dan Mason got their first to direct a header goalwards, but a Willand defender was on the line to chest the ball down and clear.  That's how it's been going for D-Dan of late, but he got his reward on 62 minutes.  Another Conor Whiteley corner was met with a towering header by DAN MASON to plant the ball high into the net for his 16th goal of the season.

A good move on 66 mins saw the ball met first time by Conor 10 yards out, but the keeper spread himself to pull off a point blank save.   D-Dan did what he probably should do more as our main striker and instead of laying the ball off for someone, beat his man and let go a shot that fizzed narrowly wide.

Willand were also pushing for a winner, but it was to come for Sholing, two minutes into stoppage time. SAMI MAKHLOUFI at first miscontrolled a cross, but was able to go retrieve the ball wide on the left, beat his man and hit a peach of a curling shot from 18 yards past the despairing dive of the keeper and into the far corner.  We could have scored twice again in the final moments, with Byron having a shot saved when he was in behind and then Conor made room, but lifted his shot over.   The final scored matched the one from our away game at Willand way back in August, with just two more games left to play this season.   FT 2-1

Next Game : AFC Totton v Sholing - Monday 18 March 3pm
Last Game of the Season : Sholing v Barnstaple Town - Saturday 23 April 3pm

Photos courtesy of EspieJaz (swipe to view pics)