MATCH OFFICIALS: Referee:- KWAME HINSON
Assistants – Megan Kepadia + Joseph Bramley
Finally on our travels again, this time to Arlebury Park, home of Alresford Town who sat in 11th place in the table. Although Cowes Sports were 15th the form shown against Blackfield & Langley in their previous game meant this was a match that they would target to bring back three points to the Island.
Up and till Friday the Yachtsmen looked like they would be very strong, but several withdrawals and players not making themselves available meant that four more players would make their Wessex debuts, two starting and two from the bench.
The home team started well and it was no surprise that they took the lead in the 8th minute as Cowes lost possession in midfield and CHIGOZIE AGWEUGBRO fired home into the left corner of Ed Hatts’ goal. Jimmy Wykes did well in the 14th minute, winning the ball just outside their area before testing the home keeper who saved low down at his right hand post at the expense of a corner, from which Harry Dye had a goal bound header saved by Daniel Kempson. Minutes later and a quick break saw Jimmy Wykes shoot straight at the keeper. Alresford skipper then tested Ed Hatt with a low bobbling effort that the Cowes stopper pushed away for a corner. Their goalscorer was then played in on goal although he was in fact yards offside however Assistant Joe Bramley was not up with play, the forward though produced a weak chip straight at Ed Hatt who saved with ease. Twenty eight minutes in and Cowes were forced into a change with Stuart McCarthy injured being replaced by George Stockley. Ten minutes later and the home side doubled their advantage as AARON BLAXALL was allowed a free header fro a corner.
H-t 2 – 0
A steady start to the second half as Cowes thwarted the home side, their first shot at goal coming in the 64th minute that Ed Hatt pushed away for a corner. With the home Manager getting frustrated he made two changes to try and liven things up. That move paid off in the 68th minute when substitute Matthew Andrews sped down the Cowes left although a suspicion of offside which was not given, saw him make his way into the area where Ed Hatt came out and fouled the forward. For some reason the Referee decide it was a goalscoring opportunity despite at least two defenders were close to the goal and their player had lost control of the ball. Ed Hatt was very harshly shown a red card a a penalty was given. Steve Hunt was forced to replace 16 year old Lewis Blackmore with keeper Dave Thurman. Amazingly Assistant Megan Kepadia allowed Dave onto the pitch and ran back to take her position for the penalty, before ensuring that a Cowes player had left the pitch. Lewis did make his way off before the penalty was taken. Skipper CHRISTOPHER MASON sent Dave Thurman the wrong way to net the home sides third goal of the afternoon. A 75th minute corner saw JOHN COLE net with a near post header across goal into the right of the goal before SAM DOSWELL netted a fifth goal in injury time.
A very disappointing day all round for the Islanders although you cannot fault the effort displayed by most of those present, but some back on the Island need to take a look at themselves and ask “do I want to play for this club or just the Reserves??”
COWES SPORTS – Ed Hatt S/O, Max Draper, George Carter-Knight, Aidan Bryan (c), Harry Dye, Jason Ince(replaced by Max Coshell 78), Lewis Blackmore(replaced by Dave Thurman 70), Conor White, Stuart McCarthy(replaced by George Stockley 28), Connor Furmidge, James Wykes,
ALRESFORD TOWN – Daniel Kempson, Ben Clarke, Harry Davies, Scott Munro(replaced by Tom Richards 74), Lukas McCartney, Sam Doswell, John Cole, Christopher Mason (c), Chigozie Agweugbo(replaced by Matthew Andrews 67), Aaron Blaxall(replaced by Geoffrey Dunn 66), Samuel Burt, Subs not used; M Cole + B Benson