MATCH OFFICIALS: Referee : NICHOLAS WHITTINGTON
Assistants – Caitlan Tanaise + George Redford
Cowes Sports tough start to the campaign continued with a visit to Five Heads Park home of Horndean who have made a flying start to the season including a 3-0 FA Cup victory against Binfield a few days earlier.
With Tom Dye and Darren Williams both unavailable, George Turner and Connor Furmidge came into the starting line up while Jason Ince and John McKie joined Ewan Cranwell on the bench.
A great start to the game could have seen both sides score within the first three minutes. First the home side attacked down the Cowes left, Jack Maloney centred where striker Mark Smith controlled the ball, turned and shot only for Aidan Bryan to block the ball out for a corner. Seconds later and Cowes were on the attack up the hill with Jimmy Wykes who beat their left back before crossing to George Turner who should have scored, but he mis-kicked and the ball was cleared., only though to Leigh Mackenzie who played it back into the box for Connor Furmidge who beat their keeper with a header only for the ball to hit the left hand post and roll back across the goal before being cleared. From this point Horndean began to take control, with Miles Everett, their No. 10 being the main instigator for all they done. It was he that tested Ed Hatt in the Cowes goal with a shot from outside the box that was easily saved. A 25th minute corner from the Cowes right flew over everyone, but forward Mark Smith retrieved and crossed into the box, Craig Insley headed clear but only to Miles Everett who fired over the bar. Chances continued to fall to Everett, another goal bound effort was pushed away by Ed Hatt before in the 34th minute he should have scored. Josh Maloney crossed from the Cowes right but Miles Everett volleyed over the cross bar from inside the 6 yard box. Some what against the run of play The Yachtsmen were given the chance to go ahead when a over hit cross into the box was safely gathered by Del Harding but he then clattered into Jimmy Wykes with his studs showing catching Jimmy in a painful area. Referee Nicholas Whittington pointed to the spot, but no yellow or red card for dangerous play was shown?? On recent form, having missed two spot kicks in the previous two games, Cowes may have been worried, but GARETH BRICKNELL stepped up to beat the keeper from twelve yards. The Yachtsmen were forced into a change shortly before the break with Ewan Cranwell replacing the injured Leigh Mackenzie. Minutes later and the ‘Deans were level Ed Hatt did well to parry away a ferocious drive from Mark Smith, but no Cowes defender reacted and the loose ball fell nicely for MILES EVERETT to equalise. Right on half time Connor Furmidge forced Del Harding to save at his near post as the scores remained level at halt time.
H-t 1 – 1
A bright start from the Islanders saw Jimmy Wykes cross from the right but the ball flew across the goal mouth with no one making the effort to get a touch. Gareth Bricknell then got a yellow card on the Assistants say so having fouled their No 6, who then confronted Gareth before going to ground as if he were head butted which he had not been. The defender was not spoken to?????
In the 59th minute a through ball saw Max Draper clip Mark Smith just inside the area for which he also harshly saw yellow given their keepers actions earlier in the game. JACK MALONEY netted from 12 yards. Horndean substitute HARRY JACKSON was played in in the 66th minute to ease the ball past Ed Hatt to increase their advantage. John McKie came on for Connor Furmidge and on 71 minutes he was so close to getting the Islanders back into the game when his 23 yard free kick crashed against the right hand upright with the keeper well beaten but the ball would not run for Cowes and was cleared. In the final minute HARRY JACKSON appeared to foul Callum Chase on the edge of the area, the Ref gave nothing and the Horndean man took full advantage to net a fourth goal for the home side.
The final score line suggests a one sided game, but credit to Steve and the lads because they were well in the game until the final minutes and never gave up trying although sometimes the quality was not quite what it can be.
COWES SPORTS – Ed Hatt, Max Draper B, Callum Chase, Aidan Bryan B, Craig Insley (c), George Turner(replaced by Jason Ince 85), James Wykes, Leigh Mackenzie(replaced by Ewan Cranwell 40), Connor Furmidge(replaced by John McKie 65), Oliver McArthur, Gareth Bricknell B, Subs not used; Dave Thurman g-k
HORNDEAN – Del Harding, Benny Read, Sean Wain, Sam Hookey (c), Dan Sackman, Liam Kyle, Jack Maloney, Jack Warren, Mark Smith, Miles Everett, Josh Maloney, Subs used; Harry Jackson, Danny Boyle, Josh Mound, Not Used; Jay Jackson + Tom Price