SHOLING ended the season with a comfortable 2-0 win at Fawley AFC, but face an anxious wait to discover where they will finish in the Sydenhams Premier table.

Dean Faithfull bundled in an early goal and Dan Mason applied a cool finish to keep the Boatmen two points clear in second, writes Ollie Harvey.

However, a late Blackfield & Langley winner against Whitchurch means the Watersiders can overtake them if they win their last game at Fareham Town next Thursday. 

Whatever the outcome, Sholing have had a strong finish to the season with yesterday's result making it eight wins in a row and 30 points from the last 33 available, matching their previous streak between October and November.

Dave Diaper's visitors hadn't conceded a goal in their previous three outings and, when Ben Bolton fired wildly over for Fawley, it looked like it may be four.

They soon had the ball in the net at the other end with Faithfull reading a flick-on to tap the ball goalwards. It took a small deflection on the way through, carrying it past the helpless Billy Coleman.

Callum Tanner's effort almost crept in for Fawley after Faithfull and Sholing 'keeper Ryan Gosney appeared to leave the ball for one another. Both were relieved it trickled narrowly past the post.

Dan Mason looked lively, knowing that this was his final chance to stake his claim for the Premier Division's golden boot.

Having brought the ball down on his chest and flicked an acrobatic effort over, he pounced on miscommunication between the Fawley backline, but this time his squared pass to Jamie Bupitt was cleared off the line.

With Fawley isolated in 19th position, they had very little to play for. However, right-back Peter Keating showed good feet in a surging run into the box. But in gathering the defender's effort, Gosney was able to launch a Sholing counter-attack which resulted in a Brewster free-kick testing Coleman into flapping the ball over his crossbar.

Brewster, playing in a slightly unfamiliar midfield role, then set up Dan Mason for his 39th goal of the season.

After collecting Lee Wort's neat pass, Brewster clipped a pass in to the striker whose neat touch and calm finish put the Boatmen in control of the half.

Despite Sholing's attacking threat, including Marv McLean's buccaneering runs from left back, Fawley were still able to find space. When Kieran Roche was sent through Gosney was alert to rush out and clear the danger.

And shortly before half-time, the keeper pulled off a fantastic save. A deep free-kick was floated towards the far post, and was met at point-black range by Bolton. However the winger could only watch as Sholing’s No1 got down to parry the ball away.

Wort's link-up play was a feature of Sholing's first 45 minutes but, after expertly turning his marker, he decided to go alone and fired an angled effort well over.

With the result almost in the bag, the second half failed to produce much quality. The introduction of Jake Hoole and Nick Yeomans summed up the progression of the Boatmen's youth set-up this season, but neither side created any clear-cut chances.

Dan Mason was able to steal in shortly after the hour mark, rushing between defender and ‘keeper the clip the ball goalwards. Agonisingly, it ricocheted off the post and was gathered by a grateful Coleman.

At the other end substitute George Pooley angled an effort, and Dan Semmens smashed the follow-up out of the ground.

As Dan Mason continued to search for the brace he needed to reach 40, he harried and rushed the Fawley defence, forcing them into early clearances.

It wasn't to be for the Sholing marksman and he too faces a wait next week to see if Wilson will overtake him.

Sholing: Ryan Gosney, Owen Roundell (Liam Attrill, 90), Marv McLean, Pete Castle, Dean Faithfull, Kevin Brewster (Nick Yeomans, 58), Barry Mason (Jake Hoole, 52), Byron Mason [c], Dan Mason, Lee Wort, Jamie Bulpitt. Subs (not used): Jack Attrill, Jordan Brooks

Fawley: Billy Coleman, Peter Keating, Matt Hawkins, Elliot Earl [c], Alfie Cole, Chris Lucas, Dan Semmens, Roy Johnson (George Pooley, 69), Kieran Roche, Callum Tanner, Ben Bolton. Subs (nots used): Nathan Gray, Callum Chugg, Darren Sayer, Dease Kerrison.