Sholing were rather fortuitous to beat fellow Sydenhams Premier Division title chasers Winchester City 2-1 tonight at the Silverlake Arena.
Adam ‘Taz’ Roberts gave the visitors the lead before Lee Wort’s first-half strike and Ashley Jarvis’s poked effort somehow found the net with 23 minutes left on the clock.
The result puts Dave Diaper’s side just one point behind City with nine games in hand at the top.
It was a great advert for Wessex football, with both sides showing their pedigree. The smaller, less physical Winchester – especially forwards Sam House and Roberts – struggled with the far stronger Sholing backline but demonstrated lung-busting determination to chase the ball down.
Their aerial weakness saw the majority of Ross Casey’s goal kicks won by a Sholing head. The Winch midfield struggled to keep the ball for any period of time, Lloyd Webber and Liam Green the main offenders, although both were carrying knocks.
The Citizens’ attacking problems may have stemmed from Danny King. The usually fearsome attacker down the left was carrying an ankle injury and he struggled to get past Boatmen new boy TJ Cuthbertson, who arrived from Blackfield & Langley recently. Nonetheless, City, against the run of play, took the lead. Full back Dan Thompson powered forward before playing a deft chip to Roberts deep into the home side’s box. The slender striker took one touch and, with space around him, smashed right footed into the middle of the goal. Sholing soon regained control and levelled seven minutes later. Byron Mason picked up the ball with his back to goal and clipped it over the defence just as Wort was ghosting past his marker. The prolific marksmen and Vase hero controlled and looped a shot high over keeper Ross Casey and into the net.
City boss Neil Hards would have been happy with the early phases of the second half as his charges dominated, but Sholing weathered the storm and scored the winner with just over 20 minutes left.
Marvin Mclean’s run and dinked cross found Jarvis who poked shot bobbled and squirmed under Casey on its way into the goal.