SHOLING came out on top in the pre-season battle of the FA Vase winners last night.

Dave Diaper’s men ran out 2-1 winners over current Vase holders Thatcham Town at the Universal Stadium.

Two impressive first-half strikes by Dan Mason and Lee Wort proved the highlight of a good team performance by the Boatmen, who themselves lifted the trophy at Wembley in 2014.

The deadlock was broken on 32 minutes when goalkeeper Ryan Gosney's deep kick was headed on by Jake Hoole for Mason to strike with a superb dipping volley from 20 yards.

Wort, who had just been denied by a good save from Luke Cairney, bagged the second on 39 minutes, this time beating the Thatcham keeper with a low 30-yarder into the bottom corner.

Thatcham – managed by former Alresford Town and Winchester City co-boss Danny Robinson – pulled one back on 53 minutes through James Tennant.

Sholing boss Diaper summed up: "Both teams deserve credit for making this friendly into a very competitive match."

"My thanks go out to Danny and his players for coming down to play us.

“I think we both learnt things about our players tonight.

“Good luck to Thatcham this season."

Sholing's next friendly is at home to Winchester City on Friday (7.45pm).