Solent's Buildbase FA Vase dreams come to an end
Team Solent 2-5 South Shields report
Senior Lecturer in Sport Writing, John May, reports on Team Solent’s game against South Shields on Saturday 28 January…
Team Solent's students learned some harsh lessons as their Buildbase FA Vase dreams were dashed at the last-16 stage by holders and trophy favourites South Shields.
The scoreline was harsh on Solent in a game of fine margins which turned on Jesse Waller-Lassen's missed penalty on the stroke of half-time.
Solent's ace marksman Waller-Lassen was given a golden opportunity to put his side ahead after Adeoye Olumuyiwa had been fouled by Wayne Phillips, but the usually reliable Waller-Lassen struck the foot of the keeper's right-hand post with his spot kick.
The students had the wind in their sails after battling back from a goal down, and had Waller-Lassen taken the chance, Solent would have gone in at half-time with the momentum, and a major upset in their sights.
But relieved South Shields' manager Lee Picton was able to get his players into the sanctuary of the dressing-room and rally them to raise their game in the second half.
It was no surprise when The Mariners took the lead 16 minutes after bossing the opening exchanges.
Solent were guilty of napping as South Shields worked a short corner routine and got defender Alex Nicholson into space to drive an angled shot through a forest of legs.
But Solent roared back and levelled on 28 minutes when Curtis Thorn's cute ball inside the full-back picked out Jim Orvis who rounded South Shields keeper Liam Connell to score into an empty net.
In a pulsating first-half, Solent keeper Bradley Banda pulled off a great save to deny Robert Briggs before Olu Adekunle missed a great chance from eight yards to put the students level and they came even closer to scoring when Connell could only parry Adekunle's pile-driver and was bailed out as defender Dillon Morse just got to the loose ball ahead of Tyrell Mitford.
But the head of steam Solent built up at the end of the half leaked out with Waller-Lassen's penalty miss and half-time, and the holders were in little mood to grant favours as they scored twice in three minutes to take control.
David Foley's pace had asked questions of the Solent defence all afternoon and his run and cross was helped into his own goal by Solent defender Ellis White.
Former Hartlepool and Fort Lauderdale striker Foley stretched South Shield's lead when his pace and trickery enabled him to dance through Solent's defence and finish coolly past Banda.
But Solent refused to lie down and threw themselves a lifeline with 12 minutes left when substitute Silvano Obeng headed Waller-Lassen's free-kick back across goal and Pip Nolan got the final touch.
Moments later Solent came within inches of a dramatic equaliser when Lewis Pitts planted his firm header from eight yards straight at the keeper.
Solent pressed for the equaliser but left themselves open at the back and keeper Connell's clearance found Foley whose cross was steered home by sub Carl Finnigan to seal South Shield's quarter-final berth six minutes from time.
And in injury time, former Sunderland and Middlesbrough midfielder Julia Arco showed his Premier League class when the Argentine spotted Banda off his line and chipped him from 40 yards to ice the cake.
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