Shanklin secured 3 points against a makeshift Brading side. The destination of the Division 1 championship will now go to the wire and may possibly not be decided until the final game of the season.
This was the first Saturday that spectators were allowed to attend closed grounds such as Vicarage Lane, and a three-figure crowd turned out to see the battle between 3rd and 2nd in Island Division 1.
The Romans began the game by kicking down the slope and had plentiful chances to take a first half lead. First, Jordan Browne had a strong shot saved by the Shanklin ‘keeper. Then, Dan Vale shot just over the visitors’ crossbar. A few minutes later, Louis Strickland shot right across the face of the Shanklin goal, but there was no Brading foot available to poke the ball into the visitors’ net.
In the 25th minute, against the run of play, Shanklin took the lead. George Carter-Knight sent a curling shot from the edge of the penalty area past the Romans’ keeper, Ben Gearing. (0-1)
Brading battled gamely to find an equalizer. First, Harris Payne shot over the crossbar. Then, Jordan Browne headed wide, and Barry Calvert sent a shot past the upright. Finally, a strong Louis Strickland shot forced the Shanklin ‘keeper into a making a good save shortly before half time.
HT: Brading Town 0-1 Shanklin
Kicking down the slope, Shanklin secured the lion’s share of second half chances. Pete Wilson had the first good attempt for the away side when he shot just over the bar in the 52nd minute.
Ji Nash then came on for the visitors and tormented the Brading defence with some incisive runs. In the 69th minute, Ji set up Shanklin centre forward Kyle Drew, who controlled the ball well and slotted it past Ben Gearing from 15 yards. (0-2)
Jordan Browne came close to scoring a consolation goal for the Romans with a 89th minute free kick that was well saved by the Shanklin keeper.
However, it was Ji Nash who was to have the final word for Shanklin with the final kick of the game when he tapped the ball into the back of the net from yards. (0-3)
FT: Brading Town 0-3 Shanklin
After the match, Brading manager, Steve Lawton, said:
“We had 13 first team squad players unavailable. Any team would struggle under such circumstances. However, we played some good football, and I am proud of the lads. I don’t think 0-3 was a fair reflection of our performance.”
Shanklin manager, Paul Haward, said:
“It was a scrappy game, but we took our chances. That’s why we won.”
Shanklin’s victory leaves them in 2nd place in IW Division 1 with 55 points from 21 games, trailing Whitecroft and Barton by 8 points but with 2 games in hand. Brading Town remain in 3rd place with 46 points from 22 games.
Shanklin and Brading Town will meet again in the Hampshire Trophy final at Beatrice Avenue on June 5.
Division 1 leaders, Whitecroft & Barton, comprehensively beat bottom-of-the-table Carisbrooke United 7-0 at Sandy Lane. The W&B scorers were: Ash Gulliver (3), Josh Appell, Joe Rayner, Jake Wright and an own goal. W&B now have 63 points from their 23 games and will be crowned Division 1 champions this coming Saturday (May 29) if they beat Sandown in their final game of the season.
In Isle of Wight Division 2, 2nd-placed Niton had a walkover victory against Newport ‘A’. Niton now have 52 points from 19 games and are 3 points behind Oakfield, who have 55 points from 20 games. Niton play their final game at Seaview on Tuesday and need to win by an unlikely margin of 23 goals to snatch the championship from Oakfield’s grasp.
Whitecroft & Barton Reserves appear likely to win Combination 1 after beating Carisbrooke United Reserves 10-2 in their final game of the season. W&B now have 55 points from 22 games and are 3 points ahead of Northwood St Johns Reserves, who have 52 points from 21 games.
Northwood play their final game of the season at Sandown on Saturday, May 29, needing a victory margin of 9 goals or more to secure the Combination 1 title.
Results for Saturday, 22nd May:
Harwoods Renault Saturday League Division 1: Binstead & COB 5-2 East Cowes Sports; Brading Town 0-3 Shanklin; Sandown 2-3 West Wight; Vectis 6-2 Cowes Sports Reserves; Ryde Saints 1-0 Northwood St Johns; Whitecroft & Barton Sports 7-0 Carisbrooke United
Harwoods Renault Saturday League Combination Division 1: Oakfield H-W Brading Town; Sandown 3-0 Ryde Saints; Seaview 1-2 Binstead & COB; West Wight H-W East Cowes Sports; Whitecroft & Barton Sports 7-0 Carisbrooke United
Results courtesy of IW Divisional FA