Southampton Senior Cup Semi Final
Hamble Club Reserves 1
Team Solent 2
(Jemal Wiseman, Silvano Obeng)
*After Extra Time
The Universal Stadium (Sholing FC)
A Team Solent double header has become a regular occurrence on a Wednesday over the season.
After watching the BUCs second team narrowly beat top of the league University of South Wales 1-0 earlier today, I was home for a couple of hours before heading out to game 102 of the season.
Tonight’s game was a bit different, not only was it a cup semi final at a neutral ground, it was also against a reserve side, who had progressed further than the first team in the same cup.
This season I had been to all of Team Solent’s Southampton Senior Cup games and I wasn’t going to miss this game. Having received a bye in the first round, the Sparks dispatched Hythe & Dibden 7-0 in round two before an equally convincing 6-0 win over Upham in the next round. AFC Stoneham were the quarter final opponents, meaning Solent had been drawn at home in every round, a 3-0 victory cemented the students’ place in the final four.
The game was played at Sholing’s home- The Universal Stadium, allowing me to make my third visit to the ground. My last trip came at the end of January in the same cup when the Boatmen beat Alresford Town in a quarter final.
Tonight was my sixth Southampton Senior Cup game this season, the three already mentioned Solent games, Sholing versus Alresford and Brockenhurst against Hamble Club.
My first taste of this cup was last season watching Romsey Town against University of Southampton and then the final at St Mary’s between Solent and Blackfield & Langley.
For my comments of the ground, have a look at my Sholing report from the end of January. Travelling To- Sholing.
Team Solent reached the final of the Southampton Senior Cup for the third time in a row with a 2-1 extra time victory over Hamble Club Reserves.
Silvano Obeng struck in the first half of extra time to give Solent a great chance of winning the cup for a third successive season. Jemal Wiseman put Solent ahead before Gerson Ramos equalised just before half time.
Team Solent were dominating play in the opening minutes of the game and as Jesse Waller-Lassen whipped in a cross, Tyrell Mitford was unable to turn the ball over the line, going out for a goal kick.
Craig Hunt picked out Obeng who managed to get a shot away but his low drive went straight at Matthew Sturgess for a routine save.
Solent were getting closer and young Ethan Taylor had a shot deflected over the bar. The 16-year-old son of Solent boss Jim has started to feature more for the first team this season, scoring in the league against Fawley back in January.
The goal did come on 26 minutes when some good work on the left side made its way to Obeng who flicked the ball around the corner to Wiseman to take on the half volley and smash into the back of the net.
Hamble had created nothing before the goal and Solent had let their guard down as Ben Rolls nearly pulled things level with a shot at the back post but Lee Webber was on hand to block the ball away.
With nine minutes of the first half remaining, Hamble managed to equalise when Dauda Tagba fired in a cross/cross that looked to be curling in before Ramos flicked the ball into the corner to claim the goal and put the Monks back into the fixture.
Hamble maybe should have had the lead before the break when a strong run from Charlie Wagstaff ended in a soft shot that Webber was able to hold on to.
The Monks made a change at the break when Parris Virgin replaced Sam Kimaku who was on a booking before Solent made their first change with Matt Sheedy replacing Ryan Dacres-Smith who looked to have picked up an injury.
Hamble’s Wagstaff had another chance to get on the score sheet when Webber made a mess of punching the ball clear but the Yellow number eight couldn’t keep his shot down.
Sturgess then pulled off an amazing save to deny Waller-Lassen scoring from 30-yards as Solent really turned on the pressure on the Hamble goal. Mitford then beat three players before picking out Taylor who had his effort blocked by a Hamble defender.
The ball didn’t seem to want the go in when Sturgess managed to hold on Mitford’s close range header before clawing out Pip Nolan’s effort out of the top corner.
Nolan went close again when his header come back off the post after he had done well to keep the ball in play from Tobi Adekunle’s cross.
Hamble had a chance at the other end when Wagstaff and Connor Rowe combined to set up Tagba but his shot was well saved by Webber.
In the final minute Solent thought they had snatched it when Taylor’s back heel flick found Obeng who made the net ripple but could only hit the side netting as the game entered extra time.
As extra time started, Solent managed to retake the lead when A combination of Waller-Lassen and Taylor worked the ball to Obeng who took on the responsibility and fired the ball low into the corner.
Hamble kept fighting and Anthony Wilkinson had a free kick expertly stopped by Webber before going close again in second half injury time that Webber managed to tip away to confirm Solent’s place in the final to be played at St Mary’s against Sholing or Brockenhurst.
2016/17 Games: 102
2016/17 Grounds: 57 (9)
Total Grounds Visited: 153 (40)