Sholing 1-0 Barnstaple Town

Scorers : Dan Mason 6

Date: Saturday 23rd April 2022, 3pm – Southern League South Division 1

Venue:  Mackoy Stadium

Sholing: Ryan Gosney, Ryan Cluett (Tomasz Gruzewski 60), Marv McLean, Owen Roundell, Dan Miller, Rob Nicholls, Conor Whiteley, Byron Mason ©, Dan Mason (Jack Mann 28), Sami Makhloufi 46, Charlie Wagstaffe (Dean Frampton 87).  Unused subs : Luke Deacon & Josh Batt

Yellow Card:  Dan Miller

Barnstaple Town: Lloyd Irish, Callum Laird, Solomon Wheatley (Andrew Norman 79), George Jones, Ben Palmer, Brodie Montague, Ashton Hewitt, Archie Reay (William Morrish 82), Phil Ormrod (Tor Swann 73), Ryan Turner, William Tucker ©. Unused subs : Ashley Mitchell & Toby Stephens

Yellow Card :

Referee:  Tony Smith   Assistants: Jonathan Pike & Jordan White

Attendance: 268

Clarke Willmott Solicitors Man of the Match : Dan Miller

Dan Mason hit the only goal of the game as Sholing finished the season with our third win on the spin.

Team News :  Ryan Cluett started at right back in the only change from the AFC Totton victory.  Barnstaple had picked up form in the latter stages of the season after an influx of new players, but it was too little too late as "Barum" propped up the table and will drop a division.

A lovely sunny day at the home of football, although quite a strong easterly wind blowing down the length of a dry pitch.  It was the 93rd time the pitch has been used this season across the different sections of the club, but still in remarkably good condition all things considered, although a lack of rain in recent weeks has left it firm with an irregular bounce.

Boatmen got off to the perfect start when on 6 minutes we took the lead.  Ryan Gosney's rapier like pass from the edge of his area found DAN MASON battling with 2 defenders for the ball.  Dan won out, checked back from the left side of the area to hit a lovely 18 yard curling shot into the far corner for his 18th goal of the season.

Dan picked up a knock soon after and despite trying to soldier on, had to come off on 28 minutes.  When Dan left, so did our focus of attack, as we created nothing for the rest of the half.  Barnstaple were making better use of the ball and should have scored on the half hour, but a free header from a corner was planted wide.   Just before the break, Gosney beat out a well struck long range shot, the ball fell to an arriving Barnstaple player, who tried an overhead kick, which went well wide.   HT 1-0

Wasn't much change to the pattern of the game in the second half.  With the wind behind us and on the dry pitch, we were guilty of overhitting too many forward passes as there was little goalmouth action to speak of at either end.

It took until the last 10 minutes of the match for it to liven up a bit.  Barnstaple had a freekick go wide, before a link up between Jack Mann & Tomasz saw the right back have a shot saved.   Tomasz then did well to chase the ball down into the corner and put in a first time cross that flashed between the keeper & Conor Whiteley.    Perhaps the biggest cheer of the match came when Ryan Gosney belted the ball on the volley down the pitch from fully 80 yards and the back peddling Barnstaple keeper looked worried at how it would bounce, but he did well to dive and claim it to deny Gos a goal.

Dan Miller hadn't been booked all season, but the referee ruined that stat with a harsh yellow card 2 minutes into stoppage time.  Boatmen end the long season in 7th place in the league. Considering we weren't out the top 6 until February, it's disappointing not to be involved in the play-offs, but a run of injuries and away game postponements saw us lose momentum in a crucial stage of the season when most our rivals went up a gear.   FT 1-0

After the match, Byron Mason was named as the Sholing Supporters Player of the Season, picking up his award from Micky Travers.

Many thanks to all our supporters for backing us this season home and away, it's very much appreciated.  Also thanks to all the club volunteers for their hard work behind the scenes.

Huge thanks to Vanessa, Jenny, Vicky & Pauline for their contribution to the club over many years.  You will be missed.

Photos courtesy of EspieJaz (swipe to view pics)