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Top dogs Sholing eye more signings
SYDENHAMS WESSEX LEAGUE Premier Division DAVE Diaper is ready to strengthen his Sholing squad – despite watching his side return to the Sydenhams Premier summit with a 2-1 win at neighbours Folland Sports today.
The Boatmen are now unbeaten in 19 league games and remain hot favourites to lift the title on their first season back in the Wessex ranks.
But Diaper was unhappy with certain elements of yesterday’s performance and says he would not be doing his job correctly if he didn’t attempt to rectify those faults.
Sholing fell behind to a tenth-minute Ryan Long strike in slippery conditions at Follands Park and it took until the latter stages of the second half to ensure they kept their unbeaten record in tact.
Lee Wort eventually pegged the Planemakers back with a 68th-minute equaliser and, two minutes later, central defender Pete Castle headed home the winner.
Assessing the performance, Diaper said: “We showed good character to come through and win it, but it was a bit too close for my liking.
“There are one or two areas – and I won’t say where – which we need to look at and I shall be doing that over the next couple of weeks,” he pledged.
“It annoys me when people say we are trying to buy the league because we haven’t done that. I get five or six calls a week from players wanting to join our club and I’ve got a short-list of players I think would improve us, but I would never, ever sign players just for the sake of it, and we haven’t done that.
“But today showed me that there are one or two areas where we need to strengthen and I will do that.
“I’m loyal to the players I’ve got – and always will be – but I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t address those areas we need to strengthen.
“Most players will be cup-tied for the FA Vase, but we still need to bring one or two in.”
With every other Wessex game – bar the Totton & Eling v Fawley derby – falling foul of the festive deluge, Diaper reckons his side fell into the trap of believing that this game, too, would be called off.
“Conditions were poor and we fell behind to a good goal by Ryan Long who got a run on Lee Bright and slotted past Matt Brown into the bottom corner,” he said.
“In the second half we created five or six very good chances, but we huffed and puffed in the first half and I think half the problem was that everyone thought the game would be off and we didn’t approach it in the right manner.
“We were off the pace in the first half – and it showed – but I knew that if we kept creating chances, we would eventually take some. I had a few words with the lads at half-time, but it was only what they knew themselves.
“Getting that first goal midway through the second half was crucial to us and then (Follands ’keeper) Ryan Gosney has made a tremendous save to keep out Lee Wort again.
“Follands worked hard as a team and shot-stopping wise, Gosney must be up there with the best goalkeepers in this league.”
Sholing have moved two points ahead of Winchester City on goal difference with three games in hand.
Next up for Diaper’s men is tomorrow’s home game against Downton, who are deep in trouble in third-to-bottom spot.
Weather permitting, seventh-placed Follands pay a visit to Moneyfields.
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