MATCH OFFICIALS: Referee – ANDREW BAILEY
Assistants – C. Gunnell + Edward McKenzie
An early start to the Hampshire Senior Cup saw the Yachtsmen travel to north of Basingstoke for a clash with Wessex Div 1 highflyers Tadley Calleva, yet another tough draw.
Cowes welcomed back Tom Dye to the midfield, whilst Darren Williams, Callum Chase and Jimmy Wykes all started as Connor Furmidge and George Turner dropped to the bench to join Jordon Stacey.
A bright start from the Islanders saw Gareth Bricknell send an 2nd minute shot wide of the home goal before the home side stunned Cowes by taking the lead when DANNY VICKERS lobbed Ed Hatt from 25yards. Tadley’s Jason Kingston was then booked for a foul on Gareth Bricknell. Ollie McArthur won the ball near the home area, fed Gareth Bricknell whose effort was saved by Kieran Greene in the home goal. Jimmy Wykes thought he had equalised for the Yachtsmen in the 42nd minute when he headed a Gareth Bricknell cross into the Tadley goal, but he was flagged offside by the Assistant despite their being the keeper and a defender on the line. Cowes’ task became harder a minute before half time when Craig Insley fouled Tadley’s Darryl Phillips, their feet tangled and to the amazement of Craig and everyone in the ground the Referee brandished a red card to the Cowes skipper. From the resulting free kick the home side doubled their advantage with a glancing header from DANNY VICKERS.
H-t 2 – 0
A man short for the second half Cowes went to a 3 – 4 – 2 formation in search for a way back into the game. Five minutes in and Jimmy Wykes was fouled inside their area and a penalty was awarded, but once again the chance was wasted as Darren Williams sent his spot kick wide of the keepers left hand post. Tom Dye saw his free kick gathered by the home keeper at the 2nd attempt before on the hour mark he sent a curling effort towards the top left corner of the goal only to see Kieran Greene produce a fantastic finger tip save. Cowes did find a way back into the tie in the 63rd minute when Gareth Bricknell slid the ball into the path of DARREN WILLIAMS who calmly bent the ball around the keeper into the left side of the goal. Connor Furmidge and George Turner were brought on for the final 15 minutes in place of Leigh Mackenzie and Darren Williams as the visitors push for a equaliser. George Turner fired the ball across the face of their goal with Jimmy Wykes just failing to divert the ball goalwards. Cowes’ efforts were thwarted in the final minute when a debatable free kick was awarded to the home side just outside the right corner of the area. The ball was fired across the goal into the left corner of the net. Not giving up Cowes responded as Ollie McArthur saw his goal-bound shot pushed over by their keeper for a corner from which JIMMY WYKES headed home from close range, but time had run out for the Islanders as the final whistle was blown.
Cowes again showed that they have plenty of character and determination, but sloppy goals conceded are costing dearly plus not getting the rub of the green with decisions going against them.