MATCH OFFICIALS: Referee – THOMAS COPPING
Assistants – Arron Tree + Callum McFarlane
The Yachtsmen were again given a home re-arranged fixture on F A Cup weekend with Wiltshire side Amesbury Town visiting Westwood. Off course this brings back memories from the final game of last season when the Islanders needed to beat the same opponents to secure their Premier Division survival, which off course they did, 1 – 0.
With skipper Craig Insley serving a the first of a three match ban following his red card at Tadley Calleva, Ewan Cranwell moved into centre half with Myles Taylor coming in at left back. Connor Furmidge replacing Jason Malcolmson the only other change. Amesbury made just one change from their previous game at Andover Town, Connor Millar replacing Joe Williamson.
Another lively start to a match at Westwood as Connor Furmidge’s first minute shot saw Paddy Crease diving low to his left to save before on three minutes Jimmy Wykes watched Crease again save well to keep his header out before the ball was played back into the area and Darren Williams watched his goal bound header crash of the keepers left hand post and away to safety. Two minutes later it was Amesbury’s turn to test Ed Hatt in the Cowes goal as Kieran Stephens broke down the left, pulled the ball back to Connor Millar whose shot was superbly pushed over the crossbar by the Cowes keeper. The Islanders Connor Furmidge again had Paddy Crease diving full length to his left to keep the scores level. A quarter of an hour gone and a long throw from the Cowes left by Myles Taylor caused problems before John McKie tried his luck from 12 yards but again the visitors keeper denied the home side. In the 25th minute Ed Hatt was forced into a double save as he blocked a point blank header close to the edge of his area before diving full length to push the ball away for a corner. Connor Furmidge again smashed a long range shot towards their goal but Paddy Crease was not going to be beaten by that. 34 minutes in and Jimmy Wykes was the next player to test the visitors keeper who again responded with another top draw save. Shortly before the interval it was Ed Hatt who was called upon to push a shot from Luke Greenway over the bar for a corner. Somehow the first half remained goal-less, both keepers at the top of their game.
H-t 0 – 0
A couple of similar chances at the start of the second half as first Cowes’ Darren Williams lobbed their keeper but also the crossbar before Cameron Reach done the same at the other end . Manager Steve Hunt made two changes in the 58th minute, George Turner and Oliver McArthur coming on for Jimmy Wykes and Tom Dye meaning Myles Taylor moving into midfield with Ollie dropping into left back. In the 71st minute Cowes looked certain to take the lead when John McKie was played in on goal, he poked the ball past the advancing keeper but the ball went agonisingly inches wide of the post. Will these two sides ever score? was being asked around the ground. 77 minutes gone and Connor White came on for John McKie who was struggling with cramp. Cowes had shouts for a penalty turned down in the 78th minute before Darren Williams low shot was straight at the keeper. Westwood was sent into raptures in the 83rd minute when Connor White teased their left back in front of the clubhouse before firing across the face of goal where substitute GEORGE TURNER flew in to bury the ball in the Amesbury goal from close range finally giving the home side the lead. Five minutes from time and Amesbury forward Jordan Stephens was shown a red card following an incident on the edge of the Cowes box. With seconds remaining George Turner ran at their defence only to be brought down inches from the area. Gareth Bricknell was urged to make their keeper work, but he slid the ball to his right for MYLES TAYLOR to send the ball low into the right hand corner of the Amesbury net to double their lead and secure another three points that would move the Island side into the top ten.
A magnificent game from both games that was well Refereed and will be remembered for two brilliant performances by the two teams goalkeepers, Amesbury Towns Paddy Crease and Cowes’ Ed Hatt.
COWES SPORTS – Ed Hatt, Max Draper, Myles Taylor, Aidan Bryan, Ewan Cranwell,Tom Dye (replaced by Oliver McArthur 58), Jimmy Wykes B(replaced by George Turner 58), Connor Furmidge B, Darren Williams, John McKie B(replaced by Connor White 77), Gareth Bricknell (c) , Subs not used; Ashley Brett + Dave Thurman g/k
AMESBURY TOWN – Paddy Crease, Daniel Field, Craig Wheeler (c), Ben Cook, Daniel Beckles, George Higgins, Luke Greenway(replaced by Matthew Sherfield 75), Kieran Shepherd, Jordan Matthews S/O, Connor Millar, Cameron Reach, Subs not used:- Kieran Edwards, Gareth Horner, Cameron George + Danny Harrison g/k