MATCH OFFICIALS: Referee – KRASIMIR PETROV
Assistants – Alistair Taylor + Elliott Bracken-Lamb
It had been a tough start for both sides having suffered two defeats to start the season off. Cowes had lost their opening League game at home to Sholing (0-2) the previous week followed by a FA Cup defeat at Bracknell Town (0-3). The visitors had faired no better having lost at Portland United (6-1)in the League before a 5 – 2 home reverse against Brockenhurst in the Cup.
Team news saw Cowes missing Callum Chase(suspended), Fin Phillips(broken foot) and Aidan Bryan(holiday). Team Solent were not at full strength either having to call on several young lads.
The home side started on the front foot looking to get their season under way, Jason Malcolmson had an early goal-bound shot saved by the visiting keeper who was again in action in the 9th minute to deny Connor Furmidge. The home side were threatening and again come close to opening the scoring on 11 minutes when Craig Insley met a John McKie corner with a powerful header only to see Josh Milsom save well. The breakthrough finally came in the 14th minute when a Team Solent defender was adjudged to have fouled John McKie inside the 18 yard area, Referee Petrov pointed for a spot kick to the home side, JOHN MCKIE stepped up to send their keeper the wrong way and score the Yachtsmen’s first goal of the season. Just six minutes later and the Islanders were two up, a ball from midfield was missed by Solent right back Kieran Milsom allowing John McKie to send the ball into the box for DARREN WILLIAMS to net from close range. The crowd were being treated to some wonderful football by the home team which was rewarded by a third goal in the 25th minute. John McKie was this time released down the Cowes right before crossing for DARREN WILLIAMS to send a right foot volley past Josh Milsom into the right corner of his goal. With a comfortable lead Cowes allowed Team Solent come back into the game and Ed Hatt was very relieved in the 36th minute when an audacious lob by Jim Orvis sailed wide of the goal.
H-t 3 – 0
The Yachtsmen began the second half determined to add to their goal tally and came close just two minutes in when great work down the left by the impressive Connor Furmidge led to a chance for John McKie, but his powerful drive flew over the bar. Darren Williams then fired inches wide of the goal before Team Solent should have pulled a goal back as a ball over the top saw Solent’s Harry Letters beat Cowes keeper to the ball but his effort went wide of the right hand upright. The visitors enjoyed more of the ball in the second half in a very open contest. Ed Hatt pushing a Jim Orvis free kick round the post for a corner. Gareth Bricknell then set up John McKie but his effort was just wide of the goal before Josh Milsom was again called into action saving a long range effort from Gareth Bricknell. He then turned defender with a great tackle at the back post at the expense of a corner after right back Max Draper had been beaten by substitute Luke Bennett whose cross had been tipped away by Ed Hatt into the path of their forward. The icing was placed on the cake four minutes from time when a Cowes corner was headed clear by the Solent defence, but Ollie McArthur headed the ball back into the area where DARREN WILLIAMS was on hand to complete his hat-trick and add Cowes’ fourth goal of the night and send the crowd home very happy.
COWES SPORTS – Ed Hatt, Max Draper, Jason Malcolmson, Ashley Brett, Craig Insley (c)(replaced by Oliver McArthur 60), Ewan Cranwell, John McKie(replaced by James Wykes 82), Gareth Bricknell, Connor Furmidge, Darren Williams, George Turner(replaced by Leigh Mackenzie 77), Sub not used; Thomas Dye, Sam Sanders G-K
TEAM SOLENT – Josh Milsom, Kieran Milsom, Ethan Taylor, Josh Davies, Mitchell Byrne, Jim Orvis (c), jack Wilson, Julian Stahler, Giovanni Landu, Harry Letters, Craig Hunt, Subs; Luke Bennett, Nicholas Riley, James Taylor, Callum Short