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Wednesday 9th November 2011 Ko 7.45pm

Southern League Cup 1st Round

SHOLING 2 (Wort 40 53)

WIMBORNE TOWN 3 (Kemble 18 Cream 59 Wignall 88)

Att 94

Entry £8

Programme £2

Badge £3.50

Tea £1

Cheeseburger £3

Cheesy Chips £2

Sholing FC were known as VT FC until July 2010, and the ground is to be found in Old Notley, just outside Southampton city limits. VT refers to Vosper Thorneycroft, the shipbuilding and engineering firm, this was their works team. With the restyled VT Group now swallowed up by the Babcock Group in March 2010, the works link was lost and the club chose to name themselves after the district in eastern Southampton nearby. Interestingly the ground is still known as the VT Sports ground, and within its confines is the Vosper Thornycroft Pigeon Club. My mate May, not noted for her devotion to football, commented before I set out that Sholing sounds Chinese. Hmmm Sho-Ling, I think she’s got a point there!

The ground bluntly is bland, a mixture of prefabicated stands and metal fencing to keep the ground graders happy. But whilst its not going to win any awards for architecture, its worth looking deeper. Its obvious that a lot has had to happen in a short time to allow elevation to Southern League football, which is creditable for a club shorn of company support, and there are some nice touches, such as the photos in the turnstyle operator’s booth, and the ship’s bell in the bar. It’s just that they’re few and far between.

I spent the majority of the game worried about another dose of extra time and penalties, I do have plenty of history in that regard. This, like Monday was a game involving two well-matched sides, although Sholing had it within it themselves to have won this easily. They led twice, but were pegged back each time, Max Cream’s goal being his first touch! So when Wignall bundled in following Cream’s blocked shot, I allowed myself a little smile of relief. I was able to get home at a reasonable time!