Wessex League Cup Semi Final
(Lee Wort, Jamie Bullpit)
Team Solent 0
The weekend was a quiet one for the Terrace Traveller in terms of football. I headed to the capital and swapped live sport for live music and catching up with friends, my first Saturday without football since January 21st. That day in January I was in Fuerteventura and the game was Sunday. This was my first weekend without a game (excluding Christmas weekend) since 19th November when I was working at a Wheelchair Rugby event (my proper job).
Saturday was a missed opportunity for a game in London. I had QPR against Rotherham pencilled in as my highest profile game, but I had settled for Kingstonian against Billericay as it was around the corner from where I was staying. However I bailed on football and had a brilliant time catching up with some of my best friends.
So a new week and back in Hampshire with some more games lined up. There was really only one choice for tonight and having such an affiliation with Team Solent this season, I wasn’t going to miss the cup semi final with Sholing. After all, I haven’t missed a round of the Wessex League Cup this season.
I started my run at Laverstock & Ford back in September when they ran out 2-1 winners against Romsey Town. Round two was at Test Park where Solent needed penalties to see off Brockenhurst in a close encounter. The next round was a new ground visit for me as I travelled East to Baffins Milton Rovers who on a wet night needed penalties to see off Andover Town who play a league higher. I was back at Test Park for the quarter finals when I witnessed another penalty shootout, Jesse Waller-Lassen channelling his inner Andrea Pirlo with the winning penalty to set up the tie with Sholing in the last four.
Regardless of the result tonight, I will likely head over the final at AFC Portchester’s Wicor Rec ground to complete my run in the Wessex Cup, something I fell short for in the FA Cup.
For my comments on the Universal Stadium, please visit: Travelling To- Sholing from my visit in January.
Sholing booked their place in another final this season with a 2-0 victory over Team Solent in the Wessex League Cup. The Boatmen will face Baffins Milton Rovers in the final thanks to goals from Lee Wort and Jamie Bulpitt.
The game was a dress rehearsal of the Southampton Senior Cup final, in which Solent and Sholing will go head to head at St Mary’s, home of Premier League side Southampton FC.
The Sparks, as the away team are nicknamed, were the brighter sparks in the opening exchanges as Jesse Waller-Lassen fired a 25-yard free kick just inches over the crossbar.
Ryan Gosney then kept Sholing in the game with a great reaction save, nudging a shot from Jim Orvis onto the crossbar after the home side failed to deal with a cross from Tobi Adekunle.
Sholing did have a chance at the other end but defender TJ Cuthbertson sent his header wayward at the near post from a corner.
Gosney again produced a save worthy of keeping a clean sheet when Waller-Lassen got the better of Dan Miller and raced through, curling his shot at goal but it was too close to Gosney who blocked away with his hand.
It was all Solent as the holders were edging closer to scoring a goal, this time Adekunle going close, firing a strong header straight at Gosney after some tricky play on the left wing from Matt Sheedy.
Just before half time, Sholing were given a great chance to take the lead from the penalty spot. Wort had picked up the ball on the edge of the box, dummied past one defender before Pip Nolan misjudged his slide tackle, giving away a penalty. Goal machine Wort stepped up and fire the ball home to give the home side the lead at the interval.
Whatever Dave Diaper said to his players at half time must have worked as Sholing came out with more composure and poise on the ball. The second half created very little compared to the first with both sides having half chances with the home side glancing the possession stats.
Sholing sealed their place in the final when Wort went from scorer to provider, putting in a low cross from the right for midfielder Jamie Bullpit to prod home on the line.
With the minutes ticking away, Solent found their second wind and piled men forward, winning a succession of corners and throw ins that Sholing were able to deal with. It was a hearty display by the students but they were up against a well organised Sholing team that were always going to tough to beat.
Towards the end of the game Solent ‘keeper Bradley Banda made a great save to deny Wort after a brilliant pass from Dan Mason after he controlled the ball with his chest, back to goal, and flicked the ball onto his strike partner.
2016/17 Games: 112
2016/17 Grounds: 61 (10)
Total Grounds Visited: 155 (41)