Bristol Manor Farm’s three match unbeaten run came to a stop on Saturday afternoon as they were beaten 2-1 away to promotion hopefuls Sholing FC, writes William Ledbury.
In a match that was largely dominated by the Portwaymen, it was Sholing who claimed all three points through goals scored either side of half-time by Sami Makhloufi and Conor Whiteley. The first coming in the 29th minute, and the second on 53 minutes. The Farm’s performance was rewarded with a goal, however, as captain Aron Robbins nodded home midway through the second period.
The match sprung into life after just 60 seconds, as Sholing came dangerously close to scoring following a scramble inside the Farm penalty area. Makhloufi and Brad Target both had efforts cleared to safety, and the chances certainly foreshadowed how the remainder of the match would transpire.
Manor Farm’s first chance came on nine minutes, when Jake Gosling’s snapshot volley cannoned off the base of the post. The opportunity came from some positive play down the left flank from Kyle Tooze, but no Manor Farm players could react quick enough and Sholing were able to clear their lines.
On 27 minutes, The Portwaymen came agonisingly close to scoring again but this time through Theo Llewellyn. The tireless midfielder cruised past the Sholing defence, playing a neat one-two with Gosling, and his curling effort sailed just inches past the top-right corner.
Just a few minutes later, Sholing were gifted a penalty after Mike Bryant attempted to clear the ball and blind-sightedly fouled Target inside the area. Dan Mason’s strike was saved well by Ben John, however Makhloufi reacted quickest to tap home the rebound.
The Portwaymen’s best chance came just before the half-time whistle. The hosts were almost caught out after trying to pass the ball out from defence, and Gosling pounced on the opportunity but his strike was blocked off the line, rounding the keeper in the process.
Sholing made it two in the 53rd minute through Whitely’s curling effort. Owen Roundell beat past two Farm defenders, and his pass found Whitely who timed his strike to perfection, rippling the net to score his side’s second.
The Portwaymen didn’t let that goal dishearten them, as they pulled one back in the 64th minute through Robbins despite originally being awarded to Josh Ford. Gosling’s corner was delivered with pace and accuracy, and after an initial strike crashed off the bar, Robbins calmly headed past Gosney to make it 2-1.
Despite pushing their opponents to the final whistle, Lashenko’s side travelled back up the M4 without the points that their performances desperately deserved. Next up, the Portwaymen host Cinderford Town in their last match before Christmas. Preview, ticket and travel information will be announced leading up to the fixture.
STAR MAN, Josh Ford