Diaper delight at Sholing's FA Vase reward

Daily Echo: Dave Diaper Dave Diaper

SHOLING have finally got their wish of a home draw in the FA Vase.

Having followed victories at Wessex rivals Winchester City and Folland Sports with a 4-1 win at Reading Town on Saturday, Dave Diaper's Boatmen will entertain Essex Senior League outfit Hullbridge Sports in the last 32 next month.

Hullbridge are currently mid-table but beat their high-flying league rivals Great Wakering Rovers 1-0 away on Saturday.

Sholing are unbeaten at their Silverlake Arena fortress this season and Diaper said: “A home draw is all you can wish for at this stage.

“When Spennymoor won the Vase last season they only had two away ties, so playing at home does help.

“We’ve had to travel so much and our fans deserve this one to be at home. Although, saying that, we had more supporters at Reading on Saturday than they did!”

Diaper will try and get to one of Hullbridge’s games between now and the January 18 play date, but stressed: “We won’t take any team lightly. But we’ve been given home advantage and it’s up to us to be mentally strong and come through that.”

The boss couldn’t have asked for more against Hellenic Premier high-fliers Reading – once Sholing had got to grips with the opposition’s direct style.

Cracking finish They took a seventh-minute lead with a cracking finish by Byron Mason who had pounced on a half-cleared corner.

Reading levelled ten minutes later, but the Boatmen turned on the second-half class with goals from Marvin McLean, Lee Wort and Barry Mason.

“They were playing almost a 4-2-4, missing out midfield and launching the ball up-field quickly to try and get behind us and see if we had pace. They threw us a bit by not playing football. I made a tactical change at half-time and we started to miss out midfield as well.

“Once we’d got the second goal we pushed on and could have scored more.

Sholing return to knockout competition tonight at home to Conference South side Havant & Waterlooville in the Hampshire FA Senior Cup third round.

But, with a crucial league fixture ahead at Alresford on Saturday, Diaper will not be unduly worried if they can’t repeat last season’s feat of beating the Hawks 3-1 at the quarter-final stage.

The Boatmen have Tyronne Bowers, Lewis Fennemore, Marc Diaper and Dan Miller injured and there are doubts over Lee Bright and Byron Mason.

Moneyfields, whose Vase tie with Bitton AFC was abandoned due to an extra-time brawl, will be at home to Eastern Counites Premier outfit Hadleigh United if they survive an FA investigation into the incident and/or the replay.

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